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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

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

Alfred of St. Ruan's Abbey is a monk and a scholar, a religious man whose vocation is beyond question. But Alfred is also, without a doubt, one of the fair folk, for though he is more than seventy years old by the Abbey's records, he seems to be only a youth.

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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Product Details

  • Series: Hound and Falcon Omnibus
  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books (May 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312853033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312853037
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,716,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dawn Smoker VINE VOICE on October 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first read this collection of three of Judith Tarr's best books back in the late 1980's. They are a little melodramatic at times, but I really enjoyed them.
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!
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By A Customer on March 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first read these books in separate volumes in the late eighties and then forgot the titles completely. I found it again about a year ago and ordered it from amazon straight away. It is by far one of the most complete historical fantasies I have ever read. It is so easy to read, and contains so many details that manage to become so much a part of the story that they don't even slow it down, that it is a joy to read. I have read it again and again and still enjoy it each time. Read this book, it will open your eyes to what a great fantasy series can be.
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Format: Paperback
I love this trilogy. I read it close to 10 years ago. I have just finished it the second time. I am just as enthralled as ever with this historical fantasy filled with enchantments and interlaced with tender romantic moments. I will always love Alfred, the innocent and beautiful elf monk, turned powerful elf lord after much struggles with his real true self. I will always appreciate Thea who loves him from the very beginning. Finally who could ever forget Alfred's encounter with Richard, the Lion Heart, Alfred's sorrows during the disastrous invasion of Constantinople and finally Alfred's torment in the last of the trilogy when he thought he has lost all those he loves. My only complaint is the seemingly rush writing towards the end. On the other end, it maybe I did not wish the tale of Alfred, Thea, their children and their elf kin to end. The Hound and the Falcon is definitely one of my favorites to be treasured always.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book of three is magical, suspenseful, and great with details. Alfred the monk is well-characterized, his battles between piety and magic are heartfelt and deep. Althea's realism and acceptance of her magic is a wonderful contrast. Their adventures together are enchanting.
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.
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Format: Paperback
A powerful, ageless, beautiful elf educated as a christian monk - the resulting conflict and inner turmoil is the interesting theme of the trilogy.
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...
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Format: Paperback
This would be a good series even if it were set in some kind of "fantasy-land". The fact that Judith Tarr places her saga in a detailed historical setting makes this a great series. Tarr has a strong grasp of the middle ages church, and manipulates a few details to place an elf in a monastic setting. The characters are fully realized to the extent that you empathize with their pain and get caught up in their stuggles.
A worthy read.
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