Friday, June 3, 2011

The Princess and the Snowbird

By Mette Ivie Harrison

She is the headstrong daughter of the hound and the bear, heir to all her royal parents’ magic and able to transform at will into any animal she wishes.
He is an outcast, a boy without magic, determined to make his way in the forest beholden to no one.
Though Liva and Jens are as different as night and day, from the time their paths first cross they are irresistibly drawn to one another. Each wrestles with demons: Liva with the responsibility that comes with the vast magic she’s inherited, Jens with the haunting memories he’s left behind. Separately, they keep a lookout for each other and for the immense snowbird whose appearances signify a dark event on the horizon.
When a terrible threat surfaces, Liva and Jens set out in an attempt to protect all they hold dear. Much is at stake- for while their failure could spell an end to all magic, their success could bring them together at last.

As I read each upcoming book in this series I am struck by the poignant voice of these novels. There is a beautiful poetry in the story that recalls how I felt about fairytales as a little girl. Harrison has a unique way of stating her views about people, animals, and magic. I admit, I had to start to remove my own beliefs from the book to enjoy the magic of it, because parts of it just didn't mesh with my own opinion. But I can still recognize a great work when I see it. This latest book has darker tones than the previous two books, but balances the life and love of the protagonists extremely well.

There is a strange sad feel to the story that I can't adequately describe...perhaps haunting would be accurate. I would think that those who enjoy fantasy and deep thinking will like this book most. It's a tossup as to who to reccomend this series to; though I will unreservedly say The Princess and the Hound is a wonderful stand-alone read.

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