Prince George, only child and heir to the kingdom, has a very secretive life for someone so young. He has animal magic; a form of magic that allows him to talk and converse with animals. This magic is not only forbidden across the land but is feared beyond anything. In a land where burning people at the stake for possessing animal magic was the norm, Prince George learned to keep his gift quiet-as did his mother, the Queen, who also had animal magic but chose to teach her son that his magic, like her own, was not a curse but a blessing. However, as animal magicians are caught and punished severely in his own kingdom, Prince George learns that perhaps his mother was wrong and his magic really is just a curse… Years later, after an unfortunate accident, Prince George, now quite alone in the animal magic world finds himself betrothed to Princess Beatrice, a strong, independent, fierce and unforgiving young woman. Unlike other young women, Princess Beatrice – having been belittled horrendously by her father for not being the son he always wanted – is inseparable from her hound to the point where she is known as the Princess and the Hound across her own kingdom. However, with Prince George hiding a part of himself and Princess Beatrice with her own dark secrets the upcoming wedding date becomes more like a death sentence then a “happy ending”.
This book was a good book to read, went by quick for sure. However, it was not in my favorite’s category… Though titled the Princess and the Hound the story is actually narrated from Prince George’s point of view the whole time. Which is not a bad thing but I admit that it threw me off a bit. On a different note the story was just plain weird/strange. Not as fleshed out as I’d like and I didn’t like the characters. George was wishy-washy, Beatrice was a woman who had no heart and the Hound was, well when you read about her later on, weak and submissive compared to the beginning of the story. The plot goes this way and that and then falls flat at the end. But I loved the IDEA of the story; I guess I just would’ve written it differently… and the ending? Was sort of surprising but at the same time… I wondered what magic hat Ms. Harrison pulled that ending scene from? It bordered on the line of weird and “over in a blink of an eye”.
Overall it’s got magic, fairy tales, adventure and a “coming of age” like story to it. I give it 3 out of 5 stars only because of how strange it was. It’s not a book that I read and think about even after I’ve put it down – it was simply a book to pass the time.
Have you read the Princess and the Hound? What did you think of it?