The Princess and the Hound

Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author, by Emily Russell

My mother and I visited a used bookstore, Gottwals, to use a gift card. I found several books I’d read before and wanted to own, along with a few writing books, but only one novel I had not already read: The Princess and the Hound.

I found myself with nothing to read less than a week later, so I pulled this book off my shelves. I almost put it back and chose a book I knew I loved; but I told myself I’d paid for it and therefore ought to read it, if only to know whether I liked it.

The Princess and the Hound was nothing I expected. For one, it is about a prince whose life is deeply affected by the titular characters, rather than about those characters themselves. For another, the story centers around a fantasy world full of forbidden magic and lives that are separated by centuries yet still connected. The story was woven together so beautifully and unfolded in a much more realistic and natural way than most novels written today.

From the dust jacket:

“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?”

This is no ordinary love story, nor is it a simple fantasy novel. It is a tale of magic and trust and humanity, of the way a single person’s life can be so deeply affected by another’s. This is not merely a story of a girl and her dog, or of a prince and princess’s love, but of two countries and the persons and forces within them. The Princess and the Hound is for readers seeking a fantasy deeper than the novels of today.

As a personal opinion, I give it four stars. But as a literary work, I give it five.

Emily Rachelle is a homeschooled junior in love with Jesus and the world of words. You can read more book reviews, as well as poetry, opinions, and everyday chatter at her blog, Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author.

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