Lexie's Reviews > The Princess and the Hound

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison
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The Princess and the Hound defied my expectations. I couldn't fathom how it was a 'retelling' of Beauty and the Beast at first and it was only after discussing the book with my sister that I began to understand. Instead of the traditional status of Beauty as the girl and the Beast being the love interest, in this we have instead Beauty and Beast being intricately entwined with and other.

At first I couldn't stand George. His detached way of viewing things irked me. He admits at least once that the growing wall between himself and his father, after his mother dies, could have been avoided if he had reached out to his father. Yet, he still regards his father with civility alone and is troubled when his father tries to approach anything close to a 'normal' relationship with him.

Beatrice was a harder read. I spent a lot of time trying to deduce the riddle the title presented. Of all the theories I came up with however, none of them adequately covered the truth and so when the reveal came I was left delightfully surprised. I liked her better for it as well. The relationship between Beatrice and Marit (the Hound) is part of the puzzle, but Marit as an individual is equally interesting to read about. Her interactions with George are a little heart-wrenching and the connection between the three is tense.

On the one hand George has these memory like dreams of what Beatrice was like younger--less blunt, a little softer, smiled a little more (though her history isn't a happy one). But the Beatrice of now is blunt, harsh, rude and indifferent towards him more often then not. He's falling in love with the Beatrice of the dreams, but can't reconcile how she could change so greatly.

The 'villain' of the piece is a magician from a long time ago. However its honestly more truthful to say that not any one person is at fault. Though the magician did what he did out of revenge and anger over what happened to his daughter, Beatrice's father and George's father were both at fault. So busy with their wars and games they didn't pay attention to anything else. Or in Beatrice's father's case he only noticed the faults his daughter possessed, none of the good. Every single one of the character's is flawed, but communication (and lack thereof) is the biggest fault any of them have.

George doesn't talk to his father about his fears about being the King one day, George's father doesn't talk to George about the death of his mother and how much they both miss her (and how guilty he felt), Beatrice doesn't talk about her true feelings with George, Beatrice's father only yells and rails at his daughter for all her perceived problems. George and Beatrice don't discuss, until much later in the book, their feelings on the marriage and how they can come to an easier accommodation. George's mother didn't tell him about the dangers of his power to understand animals. And half the time the people did it because they wanted to protect the other.

The sequel, The Princess and the Bear, is about two characters (both introduced in this book) and the connection they forged by the end of this novel. I enjoyed this book, enjoyed its interpretation of the fairy tale and the twists it took. I wish we could have seen things from Beatrice's viewpoint, instead of hearing everything second hand, but overall I was very happy.
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Reading Progress

02/26 marked as: books-owned
02/26 marked as: books-owned-read

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