The Princess and the Hound Review

In this lush and beautifully written fairy-tale romance, a prince, a princess, and two kingdoms are joined in the aftermath of a war.

–Amazon Book Description

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison

I just finished a book that I was thoroughly uninterested in. Why read it then you ask. Well, as I was reading it, it sounded rather familiar and the cover dinged a slight bell, but I couldn’t remember how it ended so I continued. As I got farther into the book, I realized I had read it before, but it was so average, that I had made absolutely no impression on me at all.

Well, this time it managed to make a couple imprints and here they are.

First, this book takes place in the aftermath of a war between the kingdoms of Kendel and Sarrey. To solidify the uneasy peace between the two kingdoms, Prince George of Kendel decides to marry Princess Beatrice of Sarrey.

The story is told in third person from George’s point of view. George is a prince born to a loving mother and a dutiful father who he never really connects to. From his mother George inherits “animal magic” which is pretty much the power to communicate with animals by speaking their language. Animal magic is hated throughout both kingdoms due to some old legends which have altered everyone’s view of the stuff.

So George grows up with a couple of problems, but they are nothing in comparison to his betrothed. Princess Beatrice has a father who never wanted her and the only person she has to hang out with is her hound, Marit. Now, this isn’t the extent of her problems but it would be kind of a spoiler if I told you what it was. However, the back of the books says, “Beauty and the Beast retold- but the beast is a woman!” if that is any indication.

These two troubled kids must not only find a way to love each other, but also to change everyone’s views on animal magic and also, to change themselves.

The book is written in a very average manner. It is long—410 pages—and not always interesting. Frankly, I don’t know how I managed to get through it. There were a couple of typos, some of which threw me for a bit because they made absolutely no sense: King Richon said “We should let them be,” but he was part of the “them”. I can only assume the author meant for George to say it. There were some interviews included at the end which made me feel like the author wanted to write this fairy tale style, but it came off as kind of boring.

Aside from the average writing, the plot itself wasn’t that interesting. It was supposed to be romance, but that only took off in the last twenty pages. I mean, there were some things that were obviously in the way of romance, but then I wish it hadn’t been advertised as so. Also, the author tried to work way to many things into plot and that ended up really stunting the characters’ growth.

The end seemed awfully convenient, or rather somewhat cheesy. The actual last page wasn’t bad, but the chapters before that were just bleh. The author didn’t leave much up to the imagination. I felt like she felt like she had to make sure we understood what was going on.

And finally, I didn’t like the names. George is fine, Beatirice is okay, Henry, sure why not, but everyone esle was bleh. Maybe just because I know a girl named Kendel, all the names seemed forced. Like they didn’t quite fit.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book. At the end, I was left wondering why I had bothered to read the whole thing. It was mildly interesting, but not worth the time it took to read all 410 pages.

Instead, I would recommend Alex Flinn’s retelling of Beauty and the Beast entitled Beastly which I really like (but definitely stay away from Robin Mckinley’s  retelling of which is horribly long boring).

Amazon link.

Ri’s Rating:

QQ/QQQQQ
2/5

0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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