By: Mette Ivie Harrison
Synopsis (From Goodreads):He was once a king, turned into a bear as punishment for his cruel and selfish deeds. She was a 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.
My first impression of the book was that it was a little slower than The Princess and the Hound. Also, this book is really more of a companion novel rather than a sequel. It could definitely hold it's own. (I'd recommend reading Princess and the Hound first though, just because it's easier that way and you wouldn't run the risk of spoiling the first book).
The writing in this book is so beautiful, it's obvious that Harrison knows her stuff. It's so eloquent and smart. The character development is wonderful, and the relationship between King Richon and Chala is so well done. It grows in a way that is not only possible but beautiful.
Like I said, the book was a little slower than Princess and the Hound. Also, the writing is different than you'd find in other fairy tales. I was reading a bio of Mette Ivie Harrison and saw that she has a Ph.D. in German Literature, so her writing style heavily reflects that type of book. I find it absolutely wonderful and really cool to read, but not all readers will feel the same way as me. Have you ever read some of the original fairy tales? They are nothing like the Disney versions that we have today. Many of them are much darker and more gruesome.
I didn't feel like The Princess and the Bear was gruesome, but it certainly isn't light-hearted. The themes in the book were deep and let's face it, the cat man was just creepy. And, the book doesn't quite end happily-ever after. But, if you like the older-style fairy tale, this book is definitely for you!
Book-A-Likes: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Drugs and Alcohol: Mild, mentioned once