Friday, July 1, 2011
The Princess and the Hound
YA; Fairy Tale; Fantasy
Despite the title, the focus of this book is a young prince named George. Born with forbidden "animal magic" George has long felt alone especially after the death of his mother who also had similar powers. When he journeys to a neighboring country to meet his betrothed, that is when he meets the princess and the hound of the title: two females with an entangled history that needs to be unraveled in order to secure a happy ending for George and for his kingdom.
I felt for George; the only person who cared about him was his mother who dies when he's young. His father seems unable to connect with him and is more wrapped up in his kingly duties anyway. Because those with animal magic are supposed to be burned to death, George keeps himself closed off from people and it is not until he meets Princess Beatrice and her hound Marit that he begins to open up and seek a better world. I liked that love is what caused his transformation, giving him the confidence to look out. I also enjoyed that the couple had a long courtship instead of instant love.
This is not a fast book; I think it could have been edited down but I didn't mind too much. I enjoyed luxuriating in the world and preparing for the sequel, which features two characters from this book. I figured out some of the mysteries but not all, giving me some pleasant surprises as I read.
Recommended for a lazy afternoon; not for the impatient.