Review 68. Mette Ivie Harrison – The princess and the hound.

The Princess and the Hound (Princess, #1)Title: The princess and the hound.
Author: Mette Ivie Harrison.
Pages: 410.
Published: May 1st 2007 by Eos
Sort: Part one of”Princess”
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?

“There are few things easy in life that are worth the doing.”

This is a difficult book to rate. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it. I read the whole book, but I never enjoyed myself. It only took me one day, but I wasn’t thrilled to read it either.. So you can understand the trouble I have. I thought it would be more magical, more fairytale-ish.

This story starts with King Richons and his hate for Animal Magic. He likes to hunt and he does it often. He is known for his cruelty, but that will change soon. His people are waiting for a change and one day, ‘the wild man’ arrives. He forces the king to stop his hunt, but of course, the king sends him away. He returns with an army of animals and they fight. The king is changed into a bear and he only can change back if he learns his lessons.

We switch to another era to Prince George. His mother has Animal magic. You can’t resist it too long, otherwise you’ll get a fever and you get very sick. His mother tried it, but she dies. From that moment, his father forbids George to talk about his magic. People are frightened by it and many are burned. George feels ashamed by his Animal magic and he does his best to ignore it.

In his dreams, he often sees a bear. That’s how the two stories entwine. He also gets other strange dreams after his meeting with Princess Beatrice, the girl he is about to marry. They want to strengthen the bond between the two kingdoms. Beatrice is just looking for an escape from her brutal father. She has a strong bond with her dog, but there is something strange going on.

When George’s father gets really sick, Beatrice tells him about her suspicion; she doesn’t trust the doctor. She knows him from before and she is right. We get to know the doctor’s past and George must follow this man. Not only to safe his father, but also to free the real princess; the one he is beginning to love in his dreams and he might help the bear in his dreams too.

It was hard to really bond with George. I never understood why he tried to ignore his Animal magic. Not exposing it too much is one thing, but suppressing it is another thing. It’s just his nature; his personality and it makes him whole. I’m glad that he meets himself in the end.

Beatrice is also difficult to bond with, because she is not herself. I also disliked the love between them; it’s a bit too instant-love for me. They get to know each other, that’s true, but it went too fast for my taste.
The writing style is fine. Nothing too fancy. Sometimes the story is a bit boring; it drags on. I wished there was more pace in it. And like I said: I expected this book to be more magical. I thought it would be like a fairytale, but that’s certainly not the case. That might be the reason why I didn’t love it so much.


  1. It's a shame this book wasn't what you thought it would be. To be quite honest, it doesn't sound like my sort of book at all. Thanks for the helpful review, Mel! I hope your next read captures your attention more. :)

  2. Mel, you're a mind-reader too! It's not just me XD I swear, a while back there was a period of time when I was constantly seeing this at the library, picking it up, putting it down, totally wondering what I should do about this book >_< Wow, a king being changed into a bear O_O Alllllrighty. It's really too bad that the characters were hard for you to get attached to :( It seemed like quite a promising tale. Thank you for the wonderful review on this one though! I think I'll skip it

  3. It looked very promising especially since I love animals! But character-reader relationships are very important to me... sigh. Thanks for the review!

  4. As Vivian also said, this is one that I've constantly seen at the library, will pick up, then put back down, unsure. On the one hand, I've thought I might love it cause it seems fairytale-ish. On the other hand, it seems to also be heavily historical fiction, which I'm not a huge fan of. Sigh. I don't know. Thank you for your honest review. I might try this at some point, but, if I can't connect with the characters I usually don't enjoy books. :(

  5. Too bad you didn't like this one more. It' always annoying to not be able to really connect with the characters. I can't ever enjoy a book when this happens, either. I'm not sure this one would be for me. Historicals aren't usually my thing. Great review!!


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