Friday, July 1, 2011

The Princess and the Hound

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison
Eos, 2007
410 pages
YA; Fairy Tale; Fantasy
4/5 stars

Source: Library

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.


  1. You know, this is exactly the kind of young adult book I wouldn't want to read on principal. Where do your eyes go on the cover? To the pretty girl. To the princess. My immediate assumption was that this is a girly book, a book about a princess. But the main character is a boy. A prince. This seems like a book better suited for girls either way (though not exclusively), but it frustrates me. In this case, the cover does somewhat fit the story, but in so many young adult books the boys are shoved to the side or outright ignored in favor of the girls, all for marketing purposes...

  2. Thank you for the warning about the pacing and the info that it's worth sticking with even with the slower pacing. I like that so much seems to be from the perspective of the boy.


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