Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Princess and the Hound

by Mette Ivie Harrison

(from back cover:) "He is a prince and heir to a kingdom threatened on all sides, possessor of the forbidden animal magic.

She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from all except her hound.

In this lush and beautifully written fairy-tale romance, a prince, a princess, and two kingdoms are joined in the aftermath of a war. Proud, stubborn, and bound to marry for duty, George and Beatrice will steal your heart—but will they fall in love?"

Prince George possesses the gift of speaking to animals, a gift which is forbidden and feared in the kingdom of Kendel. After his mother's tragic death, he has spent his life hiding this ability and forcing himself to follow wherever duty leads him.

Princess Beatrice spent her childhood ignored and neglected by her father and looked down upon, yet her fierce nature keeps her trying to win his approval. But she also has a hidden secret.

When the two royals meet for the official betrothal intended to bind the two countries, something about Beatrice and her only close relationship with her hound, Marit, draws George to her and to the part of himself that he has denied his whole life. The pair face many obstacles, such as George's dying father and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his illness, the sense of being duty bound to marry one another, and Beatrice's own untrusting nature. They struggle to trust each other and mostly themselves.


This is a beautifully written story. The characters are complex and wounded people who strive to form complete relationships and conquer their personal battles. The hound, Marit, is delicately written and the relationship between the Princess and the Hound will capture the curiosity of readers.

While the characters do go through great emotional growth and face what is within themselves, for some reason I didn't find that my emotions were as captured as that of other friends' who have read the book. Something about it didn't quite make the emotional connection for me, but I know that most readers out there will feel an intense connection to the characters and their trials.

A smoothly written book with strong 'old-world fairytale' overtones, this is a book I definitely recommend for anyone who enjoys this genre. The characters were particularly well-developed, more so than in some other fairytale books that I've read.

Book-a-likes: any Robin McKinley, Jessica Day George, Donna Jo Napoli book.

My rating: **** 4 stars, 4.5 if this is your favorite genre

Violence: mild

Profanity: none

Sexuality: none

Drugs/Alcohol: none



  1. This book looks so good! I can't wait to read it. I met Mette at an author panel and she was lovely - and also very good at knitting!

  2. I'm sorry you didn't love this book as much as I did. I'm still trying to get a hold of the sequel.

    Suzette-I'm jealous you got to meet her. She sounds like a really awesome person.

  3. This book catches my atention. Not so much for me but for a gift for my mom, sister, and sister in-laws.

  4. This book sounds like a lovely mix between classic and new ideas, and not cliche, which is refreshing.