The Princess and the Bear
I fell in love with the first book - The Princess and the Hound and was
very surprised by this sequel/companion novel. This book really is more
of a companion novel in the sense that it focuses on two characters
from the first book, but not the main characters. We have the bear that
used to be a human king and a hound that was a princess for a long time
and is now in her original form as a hound.
These books involve
animal magic, but this one focuses straight in on it. With the fairy
tale ending of the first book, I really didn't expect any more stories
from this realm. The basic plot is that the hound and bear are living
in the forest, animal magic is still unaccepted, so they rarely see
their old companions. They find a cat man in the forest who is
literally sucking the life out of everything around him and enjoying
it. Unmagic is what they call it. They end up on a journey to see the
wild man that turned the prince into the bear for he is their only hope
on saving the magical creatures of the forest as well as the rest of
I found myself really enjoying this book. It was a
great difference from the usual sequel in that it has further plot, not
everything was happily ever after - after all - and it veers into that
course, blossoming a different kind of a romance and characters that
are abnormal and interesting. I stayed up late last night to finish it,
because I was enjoying it so much. I recommend both of these books to
lovers of fairy tales.
Like I said, the plot is definitely better and I love how Mette gives us perspectives from the animals - the Hound and then the Bear so we could delve deeper into their minds. I also loved the idea of time traveling and though it didn't happen as fast as I thought it would, at least it didn't take too long for the plot to actually begin.
The wild man is one of those extraneous character but he still played a vital role because he was the one who allowed the Hound and the Bear to time travel back in time. It was also amusing how at the last moment, before they entered the time warp, that he randomly asked the Hound if she wanted to be a woman or a hound. It seemed to be that it would've been better if he told her ahead of time...oh well. It's just one of those things.
The characters were more alive, like I said. They definitely had more emotion and character. Even though the Hound's way of doing things were a bit rough, I liked her thinking and her way of solving a problem. Seems very straightforward instead of the typical roundabout ways that we humans think.
The writing style improved. Better flow and just better in general.
Overall, Princess and the Bear made Princess and the Hound worth it. :)