Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison

The Princess and the Hound (Hound Saga #1)

Mette Ivie Harrison

Publication Date: May 1st 2007

Publisher: Eos

Pages: 410

Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Young Adult

He is a prince, heir to a kingdom threatened on all sides, possessor of the animal magic, which is forbidden by death in the land he'll rule.
She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from true human friendship but inseparable from her hound.
Though they think they have little in common, each possesses a secret that must be hidden at all costs. Proud, stubborn, bound to marry for the good of their kingdoms, this prince and princess will steal your heart, but will they fall in love?

Have I mentioned that I have this strange, stupid aversion to male points of views in books that I read? I'm not exactly sure why and I am quite ashamed of it, but it is the reason why when I first read The Princess and the Hound I put it down after the first few chapters. I have to say now that that was a huge mistake, because when I started reading this book a second time (at first wondering why it seemed so familiar). I realized what an well written, enjoyable book it was.

This book is a fairytale in its structure, it is however a completely original fairytale of the author's own imagination. It introduces its own kind of magic called animal magic, with a history and many myths to it. The main character is a boy who hides himself from everyone he knows, trying to fulfill his duty as a prince first and foremost. Because of this, however, he finds himself incredibly lonely and not the happiest guy in the world. Enter the strange Princess Beatrice and her hound, both of whom George feels companionship very quickly.

It is a story of revenge, forgiveness, taking a stand and righting past wrongs. There is so much in the book that its surprising.

The two biggest strength have to be the characters which were all unique and carried depth and the world building which in a scifi or fantasy novel is a very important element of the story. The prose is also very well done, for me very much in the style of fairytale retellings.

I recommend this book to lovers of fairytales who want to try something in the same vein, but completely original. If you are like me and have a weird aversion to male perspectives, push past it, because it honestly is the best perspective for this book in my opinion.



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