The Dog Princess is the sequel to the popular book The Dog Prince. The story follows Ammed, a thirteen-year-old boy, his friend Celia and, of course, Paint, the Dog Prince, on another adventure in the land of Brink. This time they must leave Brink and travel through the dreaded Dark Forest to save a dear friend.
The Dog Princess is a wonderful and entertaining story–the perfect sequel to The Dog Prince. Ammed and Celia must overcome dangerous obstacles on their journey to find and help Paint, The Dog Prince. It’s a fun, heartwarming and wholesome story with some good lessons for children. There is a lovely surprise at the end which I hope leads to a third book.
My kids and I loved The Dog Prince and were just as pleased with this sequel. In The Dog Princess, Ammed and Celia must help Paint rescue his new friend. They encounter danger in the spooky Dark Forest and overcome many barriers to save the day. I love that the author always weaves a good lesson for children through his characters and the events of the story. It’s a fun, fairy tale with a very happy ending. There could easily be another tale of adventure in Brink to follow this one…I hope, I hope!
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One Saturday, when Celia’s father was at the market, Celia went to see Ammed. “I haven’t seen you for a while,” she said.
“Well, I’ve been pretty busy helping Mama at the bakery,” said Ammed.
Celia could see something was troubling Ammed. “Maybe you don’t want to see me anymore.”
That got Ammed’s attention. “No, that’s not it at all. It’s Paint. I’m worried about him, Celia. He doesn’t eat much and I can’t remember the last time I saw him wag his tail. He misses Lily terribly.”
“Then there is only one thing you can do. You should help him find her,” said Celia. “It’s the right thing to do.”
“I don’t know where she is. And I doubt my parents would let me go.”
“It’s the right thing to do, Ammed,” said Celia. Then she turned and left.
Ammed knew she was right, but he was afraid. What happened the next morning changed all that.
Early in the morning before the sun had come up, Ammed heard howling the like of which he had never heard before. This wasn’t the sad kind he had been hearing from Paint. It was a frantic noise that made the hair stand up on Ammed’s arms. He rubbed his face, and leaped out of bed. As quickly as it had started, the howling stopped. Ammed went outside. The end of the rope that held Paint lay chewed on the ground. Paint was gone. Ammed knew where Paint was going. He went back inside to his parent’s room. His father was snoring loudly and his mother rolled over on her side. Both were still sleeping. He opened his mouth to say something but decided against it. He knew they would say no. And he knew that he had to go. So Ammed quietly dressed, put water and some dried meat into a knapsack, and slipped out into the darkness.
It was still dark when he reached the bakery where Celia lived. Ammed picked up a stone and felt its weight in his hand. He didn’t want to break a window, he just wanted to wake up Celia. He took aim and tossed the stone at her window. The stone made a sharp cracking sound and fell to the ground. Ammed picked up another stone and was about to throw it when the window swung open.
Celia stuck out her head, squinting at the dark figure below. “Ammed, is that you?”
“Yes. Come down,” said Ammed, as quietly as he could.
Half a minute later Celia opened the door and came outside. “What is going on?” she asked.
“It’s Paint. He’s run off to find Lily. You were right. I’m going after him to help.”
“Not without me,” said Celia. She went back into the house. When she came out she was wearing hiking boots and had two jackets. “I don’t know where we are headed but I thought we might need to keep warm.”
“I also left a note for my parents and told them to tell yours as well.”
“Probably better than just disappearing,” admitted Ammed.
“I thought so.”
Ammed was beginning to realize how smart Celia was. “Come on then. The first stop is the farm where Paint found Lily.”
Ammed and Celia walked through the dark streets toward the outskirts. When they reached the farm lands, the orange glow behind the mountains only hinted of the sun’s presence. By the time Ammed knocked at the farmhouse, half the sun had topped the mountains and the long shadows of morning stretched across the ground.
The farmer’s wife opened the door. “Prince Ammed has returned with a friend.”
“This is Celia,” said Ammed. “We are looking for Paint. He ran off and I know that he’s trying to find Lily. He hasn’t been the same since she left. Last night something spooked him.”
“He made a real connection with Lily,” said the woman. “Animals can somehow sense things like storms or other dangers. Some people can as well, but I think animals are more tuned in to those senses.”
Ammed didn’t know what animals could sense, but he knew what he sensed—it was trouble. “Perhaps Paint has gotten some sort of danger signal from Lily,” said Ammed.
“That may be. We haven’t seen him here, so he must be following Lily.”
“Where did they take her?”
“It was quite far. Have you heard of the Cuman? They live on the other side of the Dark Forest. We don’t usually see any Cuman here, but the man who took Lily was a merchant who came for the sure-footed horses we raise. They are famous as one of the only horses who can travel the mountain passes. It is a long journey, beginning with the steep mountain trail down through the Kafa pass. Then you must cross through the Dark Forest. The Cuman live on the other side.”
“That is where we must go,” said Ammed.
“On foot the trip will take more than a day. Be careful not to travel the forest by night. There are animals that hunt by the moonlight.”
“Then we better get moving,” said Ammed.
“Do your parents know where you are?” asked the woman.
“Yes,” said Ammed, although it wasn’t true. He and Celia headed out toward the Kafa Pass. An hour later they were on the narrow road down the mountain. The Kafa Pass was the only way off of the plateau to the west. It was a winding road that led to the valley below. From the road, they could see the thick blanket of trees that was the Dark Forest. Halfway down they stopped to rest and eat.
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