Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review: The Princess and the Snowbird by Mette Ivie Harrison

The Princess and the Snowbird by Mette Ivie Harrison
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0061553172

Source: Library

The Princess and the Snowbird

Liva is the daughter of the hound and the bear, and was endowed with all the aur-magic they could put in her.  She doesn't understand her role in saving magic, only that her parents won't accept any magic from her, even if they are hurt or sick.  Jens was born without any magic, and always felt like an outcast, an inferior member of his village, lacking even the tehr-magic that most humans had.  When their paths cross, the two begin to feel the pull of a destiny larger than themselves, especially with the appearance of a majestic and legendary snowbird.

Things I Liked:
Harrison's fairy tales always feel like they are full of untapped depth to me.  The stories, on the surface, appear pretty straight-forward.  But, there are more levels to them underneath the top.  The writing, while not flowery, immerses you in the story, forcing you to taste, feel, smell, and experience all the characters do.  I loved watching Liva experience new things and try to learn and grow from those experiences.  Jens definitely has more to him than meets the eye, even with an all-seeing-narrator eye.  I loved how the two interacted, especially in the end, when things didn't just turn out perfect right away.  A lovely ending to this unique magical trilogy.  Here's a favorite quote:

His aur-magic had been draining out, but this last bit was palpable.  It was like the last fall of a tree's leaves or the final stilling of a river frozen at the beginning of a bitterly cold winter.  It was the last moment of sunset before it was night, the last call of a bird as it flew north, never to be heard from again.  It was the smallest of changes, yet it was everything. p 88-89
Things I Didn't Like:
I found that it didn't quite grab me the way The Princess and the Hound did, and the romance wasn't quite as strong as in The Princess and the Bear.  The explanation of how the evil was defeated (trying to avoid spoilers) left me scratching my head a bit.  I'm not sure if it was just me not understanding it or if others had a hard time too.  Still, very satisfying.

Read The Princess and the Hound and The Princess and the Bear by Harrison first

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
some fighting

Overall rating: ****

Do you prefer to read old fairy-tale retellings or new fairy-tale-esque stories?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I like old fairy-tale retellings. They also seem easier to write, because you essentially have an outline to tell it. It's probably cheating, but it works well when you're a novice writer. :)

  2. Lauren, oh I totally would choose the cheating way to write a fairy tale retelling! It must be twice as hard to come up with something new as far as general plot :)


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