The Princess and the Hound


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In this lush and beautifully written fairy-tale romance, a prince, a princess, and two kingdoms are joined in the aftermath of a war. Harrison retells the story of "Beauty and the Beast," but this time, the beast is a woman.

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Jan 18, 2008


I picked this up to read without realizing it was by the same author as "Mira, Mirror" which I had read just a few weeks previously. I think this author may become one of my favorites for the fairy tale genre of fantasy novels.On the surface, this isn't a fairy tale retelling of any sort. But it shares many similarities with classic fairy tales: orphaned or ignored royal children, rogue magic and magicians, life-threatening secrets, arranged (or quick) marriage, and anthropomorphized animals. It even starts with a folk tale from one of the kingdoms in the story, which is referred to repeatedly by the characters, who add variant elements or endings. I like the way Ms. Harrison uses classic elements to tell an entirely new story that ends up sounding old (in a good way).

Beatrice and George surprise themselves and one another as they slowly learn to trust each other. Bit by bit the reader suspects Beatrice's secret, and how it will affect George and their marriage. Meanwhile, George is continually confronted with his own secret, and must decide what he will do about it. Is the greater good served by sacrificing self? Or, can George and Beatrice best serve themselves and others by learning a new kind of sacrifice?

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