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The Hound and the Falcon: The Isle of Glass, The Golden Horn, and The Hounds of God Paperback – May 15, 1993
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“Judith Tarr is one of the undeniable experts in the historical fantasy form.” ―Booklist
“Wonderful characters, delightful weaving of real history and mythology, with the emphasis on the real world.” ―Katherine Kurtz
“Tarr's characters are well-rounded and believable. Her plotting is strong and her language a delight to read in its lean simplicity that still maintains a rich resonance.” ―Charles de Lint
From the Back Cover
But Alfred is drawn from the haven of his monastery into the dangerous currents of politics when an ambassador from the kingdom of Rhiyana to Richard Coeur de Leon is wounded and Alfred himself is sent to complete the mission. There he encounters the Hounds of God, who believe that the fair folk have no souls, and must be purged from the Church and from the world.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main characters are all incredibly well drawn, especially Alfred, the pious monk turned into a reluctant elven warrior & mage. He wrestles with his own self doubt and the state of his soul throughout the books, even as he changes lives for the better all around him. Sometimes, like his female foil, Thea, you just want to shake him and wake him up to the fact that someone soulless would never do so much good in the world--no matter what the church believes!
Alfred is a foundling who is raised by monks, and becomes a very learned and pious monk himself. His writings are praised by the Pope himself. Alfred eventually realizes that he is not aging and is, in fact, an immortal elf. If he believes his church teachings, then he is a soulless being. He grapples with this throughout the book. He has an encounter with others of his kind, nursing a prince of his kind back to health and meeting a fiery tempered elf woman, Thea. He is mortified that he is attracted to her--he had thought the vow of chastity to be the easiest of his vows, because he was never drawn to mortal women. He turns down the position as abbot, believing himself to be unworthy. (Those who raised him and grew up with him accept and love him as he is without a qualm--they know in their hearts that he is a power for good.) He then sets off to figure his life out. He is swept into the train of Richard the Lion-hearted later into the Crusades and to Rome. He is nearly burned by the church, becomes a great warrior, discovers his magical abilities, and finally learns to accept himself and the love of the elf woman who has been following him since their first encounter back at the abbey.
Don't miss this chance to read this book in this bargain omnibus form. You won't regret it!
I have read and reread these stories, and have tried to find as much enthusiasm over Tarr's newer works. However, her stories about ancient egypt are dry and boring in comparison.
If you like the Hound and the Falcon, also look for Alamut and the Dagger and the Cross, written in a similar vein, with lots of magic, romance, and action. Sadly, at the end of Dagger, Tarr eliminates the possibility of further books in this series... unless perhaps prequels? There's always hope.
Tarr gives a lot of thought to historical detail and atmosphere - this fantasy novel plays in a real historical setting (especially part 2 about the 4th crusade.)
Alf, the monk-elf, is very well drawn as a character, some of the minor characters seem to resemble each other strongly, and I thought I recognized the lady elf from others of Tarrs books - only there she bore different names.
The story is rather slow in flow, but then there's enough along the way worth walking slowly...
A worthy read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first read "The Hound And The Falcon" in the late 1980s, but I plucked it from my library again to begin my sixth reading last night. Read morePublished 6 months ago by J. L. Shockley
This was one of the best stories I have read in a very long time. It was well written and even though it was obvious that the author had much experience with the para-normal and... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Witchypoo
This novel was actually three novels in one. It is comprised of The Isle of Glass, The Golden Horn, and The Hounds of God. Read morePublished on May 26, 2010 by M. Reynard
The Hound and the Falcon takes place in an alternate reality in which the kingdom of Rhiyana, somewhere in Europe alongside traditional countries, is inhabited by the faerie folk. Read morePublished on December 2, 2007 by Ryner
I won't give you a big overview of the book, other people have done that. Let me start by saying this is not a light, mindless read. It is deep, passionate and spiritual. Read morePublished on August 28, 2007 by Ladyfantasy
The monk Alfred has lived his entire life hidden away in the st.Ruans abbey. But even though the years go by brother Alf still looks no older than a boy. Read morePublished on November 17, 2002 by Severa
I read this years ago, and loved it so much I had to have a copy. I can't say how many times I've reread it, but it's like an old friend now. Read morePublished on September 25, 2002 by S. E. Denton
If you do not read this book you have missed a wonderful story that will be with you for life. This is a true fantasy story, but based in real life history. Read morePublished on April 20, 2002 by Eydun Andreassen