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The Princess and the Hound (The Hound Saga #1)

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  10,736 Ratings  ·  956 Reviews

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

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published May 1st 2007)
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Stephanie No, it does not have anything sexual in it, nor anything that is very controversial. It is more of a...teenager reading-level novel with strong fairy…moreNo, it does not have anything sexual in it, nor anything that is very controversial. It is more of a...teenager reading-level novel with strong fairy tale-style in its telling. So, while it is very accessible for younger readers (probably... 10 and up to get more of the full depth of the novel), it is a solid, rich, wholesome read. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 22, 2009 Cara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cara by: Ginny
Ms. Harrison was brave to write a story like this. Most fairy tale stories take away the weirdness, but oh no this one keeps it intact, which most of the time does not work but I think it does in this case.

I'd like to debunk something in this review and say this is not a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. While I can see why they have classified it as such, but do not go in thinking this is the case because it will probably disappoint.

All right now for a quick rundown of what it’s about:

Jun 26, 2008 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retellings, ya
Despite the cover (and title), the princess and her hound are not the main characters in this story. The narrative centers instead on a boy named George. Prince George, to be exact. And Prince George possesses a pack of problems. His mother died when he was young, leaving him alone in the world with no siblings to share his grief and a father who knows how to rule a kingdom but understands nothing of how to be a father. On top of which, George has the dubious gift of animal magic. He can speak t ...more
Jun 03, 2011 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Prince George is an only child and heir to the throne of Kendel; as a little boy he spends time with his mother with the horses in the stable, the hounds in the kennels, or the wild animals in the forest. From her he learns the languages of animals, and slowly learns to hide his gift of animal magic as his mother does, and to live in fear of it being discovered - anyone caught using animal magic is burned.

At seventeen, many years after his mother died, George travels to a neighbouring kingdom th
Lacey Louwagie
May 06, 2007 Lacey Louwagie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one . . .
This book interested me because it claims to be a "retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story" where "the princess is the beast." But this story had SO little in common with the B&B story that it wasn't really justified being called a retelling. In fact, if I hadn't read that about it, it probably wouldn't have reminded me of B&B at all. And although it's categorized as a "romance," the romantic element took backseat to a lot of unimpressive subplots that didn't tie together well at all ...more
Emily Beeson
Feb 16, 2008 Emily Beeson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine
Recommended to Emily by: ltue
I thoroughly enjoyed The Princess and the Hound. It is one of those original fairy tales that sweeps you up into a fantasy land of animal magic and princesses.

Prince George shares a deadly secret with his mother. They have the animal magic. Those with animal magic are burned to death because the people fear them. When George's mother dies because of her magic, George tries to supress his, but it almost kills him, too.

As George grows up, he tries to do everything a king-to-be should do. He agree
Miss Clark
Oct 15, 2008 Miss Clark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mistitled. Should read George and the Occasional Appearance of the Mixed-Up Merrit, as the story really focuses on Prince George and his angst about his animal magic and his feelings for the princess of the neighboring kingdom to whom he is betrothed. Boring. Bland. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

This story is told pretty much in the classic fairy tale style.
As such don't expect today's usual tropes: there's no waste of pages telling how pretty and special our characters are.
Also, unlike most stories, here our main character is the guy, Prince George, and we get to see him growing up. That means, that yes, this is mostly a slow type kind of story, but I had no problem with that, because the author nailed the story's "voice" perfectly.

I liked that George wasn't the usual "perfect" fairy
Jul 31, 2008 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
This book clearly proves the notion that not every book is for every person. I think it might be just a "me" thing, because I absolutely *hated* this book! Usually, there are good elements and crappy elements in just about every book I read, but this one was just "off". To be fair, I thought the book was pretty decent until about half-way in, then it went gradually downhill until about the last 1/4 of the book, and then the rest of the plot just plummeted. The book sets up as some sort of quasi- ...more
Dec 20, 2007 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fairy tale style fantasy
This book ended up being different from what I expected, mainly because, despite the title, the p.o.v. is from a Prince, and not the Princess or the Hound.

NOTE: Don't read further if you haven't read the book, because it is impossible to summarize without giving away more than the jacket description does. So, if you want to read it entirely unspoiled, don't read on!





Prince George has grown up with a loving, sweet mother, who is different from those around her: she can talk with animals. Prin
Mar 21, 2008 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes fairy tales, but also animals, magic, and court intrigue
This books joins some of my favorite fantasy novels reminiscent of fairy tales (although I believe this one is original), and reminds me strongly of Shannon Hale's Goose Girl series in the language, the character driven journey, and the internal struggle of the characters. This book gets points from me for being about the prince, rather than the princess, and therefore joins the ranks of the select few great fairy tale books with a male protagonist (joining Sean Stewart's Nobody's Son, Patricia ...more
Aug 07, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy, 2009
I really enjoyed this book. It is supposedly a fairy tale retold - but it's no fairy tale I've ever heard before. It's a story about animal magic, a prince who is trying to figure out who he is, and a princess and hound who are inseparable.

The first book I read by Mette Harrison was Mira Mirror and it was also about magic and I enjoyed it. But there was no romance in that book. This book had a nice, subtle romance and it was told from the prince's perspective, which I really enjoyed. You don't
I enjoyed this, but didn't love it, as so many others seem to have done. The characters are likable, for the most part, and even the villains are sympathetic and not your typical cardboard cutout "evil dudes." But the love story...has gaps. Big ones. And those gaps just make it really hard to believe, or to care. The animal magic is pretty interesting, although it's never really explained terribly well because the main character in the book barely knows anything at all about it. And I liked the ...more
Feb 12, 2009 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
This book is a liar. It is not really about a Princess or a Hound. It is about a boy named George, who is a Prince with Animal Magic. That type of magic is forbidden in his kindgom, and this book is about the different struggles the characters go through to each hide parts of themselves from the world that are deemed "unacceptable."

Even though this book is not told by, or really about a Princess or a Hound, I still really liked it, and had a hard time putting it down. So... I guess is was a goo
Sylvia Mercedes
Am I alone in thinking this book was a bit . . . strange? I mean, beautiful writing, no doubt about it! Mette Ivie Harrison can paint vivid word pictures and write on a par with all the great classic novelists. But the story was just . . . strange. Made me a little uncomfortable. I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn't for me.
I was excited for this one because I thought it sounded like a really interesting premise (and, um...I am a sucker for the cover, which is pretty).  And though there were things I really enjoyed about it, for the most part I felt a little let down.

It's a little hard to explain because my feelings about it are a little contradictory.  I feel like it was well written, but I feel like it wasn't.  It often felt passionless to me, though I don't doubt Harrison't passion.  There was just some strange
May 13, 2008 Garrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I read the entire second half in one sitting (it was hit and miss before that as I got into the story - which is why it is not a 10 rating). I even got a bit teary-eyed in a couple places (that's a good thing).

So, let's look at the way the story was put together.

Setting: This was a fairly generic setting of medieval times. Most of the story revolved around the castle and the immediately-surrounding forest. The rest was set in the other kingdom's castle and immediately
Idril Celebrindal
More like 2.5 realistically. The author's note at the back mentions that the novel's plot and structure changed over the 7 years or so during which she was writing it, and I think it ultimately shows. Characters behave inconsistently from scene to scene, or make statements that don't align with prior events. One character is let off the hook so dramatically and bizarrely that for me it completely undermined the worldbuilding of the book (view spoiler) ...more
Halle Lusk
Prince George loved his mother, she taught him, loved him and showed him the world. The queen shared his same gift, animal magic. Animal magic was a gift that was feared and hated by most in their kingdom and those who had it tried to hide it. When Georges mother passes away, George and his father are devastated. George grows up and has to figure out a way to deal with his gift, that nobody knows about, alone.
George and Princess Beatrice of a rivaling kingdom are engaged to be married and the f
Megan Smith
The Princess and the Hound was a captivating story and a great read. The plot twists were unexpected and the characters were deep, well explored, and likable.

I loved the lessons of the importance of being true to yourself and allowing others to be themselves, without trying to force them into molds they should fit into. I loved seeing love overcome fear.

But the overall feel was very dark. It fit with the theme of the book, but there was a lot of description and seeing of the thoughts of the ma
Mar 18, 2009 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really took me by surprise and I loved it far more than I thought I would. I was expecting an average book that would be enjoyable but wouldn't make much impressions on me but I was wrong. I was expecting it to be narrated by the princess, but George was an unexpected but a very interesting person to see through the eyes of. The story is told in a gentle but very down to earth manner resulting in a deep, mature novel. The summary on the book and the title are very misleading, making it ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Brittana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story 'narrated' from the prince's perspective. I say 'narrated' because the story is told from a pretty boring authorial POV. More than just the lack of character in the voice--3rd person omniscient isn't bad--is the fact that it's a RETELLING rather than creating a story. Dialogue is implied and everything is in a weird past tense that doesn't invite reader connection. I had to put it down after four or so chapters of just summary--loads of info dumping without character developmen ...more
Felita Hardigaloeh
the story is interesting...

how young George struggle to hide his ability..

how he meet Beatrice, startle the princess live inseparable with her Hound, like old friend or sibling...strange attitude for princess.

how George find his father's side, which make him to find the cure, no matter happen...

how in his quest to find the cure with Beatrice, he find another fact about Beatrice and her Hound

it's good to read from George POV...but I find another mismatch a part of story, make me confuse. I think
Apr 14, 2008 Lora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kudos to the author for writing from a prince's viewpoint instead of the title character. Jeers to the publisher for marketing this like a girly fairy tale! Don't get me wrong, I love fairy tales, but it's a shame that young male readers might be put off by the title and cover art. Despite some typos and editing errors, the writing is smooth and largely invisible, so the reader can sail along through the story without being distracted by the author's voice. George, Beatrice and Marit are all lik ...more
Kathryn Cooper
First, the cover . . . I love it! Maybe it's because I love dogs, but I think the beautifully dressed princess and gorgeous hound make a striking pair. I enjoyed this book. I was frustrated with the mystery for the first half. I'm just impatient and want to know if my hunches are correct. . . To read the rest of my review click on my book blog link.
Clean Teen Fiction's review of The Princess and the Hound
Mar 22, 2009 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the perspective this book was written by. The cover and title suggest it will be written from the point of view of the girl but it's really from the boy's point of view. I was so hooked that I read 3/4 of the book in one day and the last little bit the next day. Some things weren't totally explained and I wanted to know more of the aftermath of the story but overall it was interesting.
Oct 10, 2014 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed with this book. I had such high expectations and was so excited to read it, but it just died right in the middle. I think that it was a good idea for a story, but it wasn't carried out very well. I was so confused - was he in love with Beatrice or Marit? Who was who? And the animal powers just didn't make sense. I'm definitely not going to be reading this again.
Cecilia Rodriguez
The two main characters in the story both feel stifled by the small compartment of identity they are forced into.
In this framework, the transformation aspect of the plot works well with the theme.
A nontraditional fairytale that examines prejudice and the relationship between animals and humans.
Sep 29, 2010 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From start to finish this book made you want to keep turning the pages, but at the same time sad that it would be over soon. I love re-told fairy tales, but this definitely deserves to be its own fairy tale. Andrew Lang would be proud to include this story in his collection.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 19, 2014 04:53PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 05:00PM  
Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 2 Jul 08, 2014 08:16AM  
It's too bad... 4 74 Jul 31, 2012 12:59PM  
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My name is pronounced "Metty" like my mother's "Betty." It is Danish, and we were all named after ancestors. I guess by the time they got to number nine (out of eleven), it was getting tricky. So I got the funny Danish name no one knew how to prounounce. In Denmark, it should be "meta" like "metaphysical." It's from the Greek for "pearl." And no, it's not short for anything. Not even Mediterannean ...more
More about Mette Ivie Harrison...

Other Books in the Series

The Hound Saga (5 books)
  • The Princess and the Bear (The Hound Saga, #2)
  • The Princess and the Snowbird (The Hound Saga, #3)
  • The Princess and the Horse (The Hound Saga,#4)
  • The Princess and the Wolf (The Hound Saga, #5)

Share This Book

“You will find yourself, as he did. But that will not mean it is easy. There are few things easy in life that are worth the doing.” 19 likes
“George stared at the dove. What would she say if she could speak to him? What would she wish for, for her father? For she, too, had been harmed by a man who had meant to show his utmost love for her.
It made George wonder why love was suppose to be such a wonderful thing. As far as he could tell, love was just another excuse for causing pain.”
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