Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Princess and the Bear Review (Mette Ivie Harrison)

Synopsis: He was once a king, turned into a bear as punishment for his cruel and selfish desire. She was once a princess, now living in the form of a hound. Wary companions, they are sent - in human form - back to a time when magic went terribly astray. Together they must right the wrongs caused by this devastating power - if only they can find a way to trust each other. But even as each becomes aware of an ever-growing attraction, the stakes are rising and they must find a way to eliminate this evil force - or risk losing each other forever.

Review: People told me that you could read this one without reading The Princess and the Hound, but I don't recommend it. You won't entirely understand some of the things that are discussed, nor will you have a prior "connection" to the characters in it. This isn't a stand-alone sequel.

The Princess and the Bear is good, but not nearly as good as The Princess and the Hound. George is in it for a very brief moment, then never appears again, and Richon (the bear), while a good character in his own right, is not George. Just as Chala (the hound; her name changes from the prequel) is good, she isn't Beatrice, and I was not as fond of them - nor did I grow to be as fond of them - as I did with George and Beatrice.

Also, the story just wasn't as good. It was interesting and a pleasant surprise that Mette Ivie Harrison decided to write about what happens with the bear and the hound after the occurrences in The Princess and the Hound, but the story bordered far too much on being weird. A strange cat-man, unmagic killing everything in a weird plague-like way, time travel, and dead people rising (the latter isn't nearly as bad as it sounds, but it was still fairly weird). None of this beat George and Beatrice's story. I did find The Princess and the Bear a faster read than its prequel, but that is simply due to the shorter chapters. But the beginning almost made me stop because it was just strange. It jumps right into where Chala and Richon are still a bear and hound, and the Reader follows them around for a while in that form. I don't know why, but it was almost . . . uncomfortable reading those first few chapters. Perhaps it was the whole romantic attachment between a bear (who was human) and a hound - it was strange. And then a few things happen that just don't make sense and are all jumbled together. Finally, the story takes off when the wild man sends Chala and Richon back in time to save the kingdom from unmagic (don't ask me what that is; I don't know), and they gain human form. After that, the story is easier to read, but again - weird.

Despite my not liking The Princess and the Bear as much as The Princess and the Hound, I would recommend reading it if you have a desire to. Mette Ivie Harrison has one more book in this series - a series which I have dubbed The Animal Magic Trilogy - called The Princess and the Snowbird. According to her, it is a completely stand-alone book, but this one was supposed to be, too.

Star Rating: 3/5 (liked it)

Others in This Trilogy:
1)The Princess and the Hound
2)The Princess and the Bear
3)The Princess and the Snowbird

1 comment:

  1. I had a wonderful visit in this world of magic! It was comfortably familiar as the place where Prince George came into his own. In this sequel to THE PRINCESS AND THE HOUND, we see a relationship develop between the bear and the hound who were part of George's story. This new story is enriched by the first one, but not dependent upon it.


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