- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 0810 (What's this?)
- Series: The Tapestry (Book 1)
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Yearling; Reissue edition (September 23, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375838953
- ISBN-13: 978-0375838958
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 175 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hound of Rowan: Book One of The Tapestry Paperback – September 23, 2008
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“Max’s intelligence and goodhearted nature give the story a solid emotional core even as the surprising twists and turns keep the pages turning. Neff’s first novel is sure to draw many new fans eager to see what happens next.”—VOYA
About the Author
Henry H. Neff was a successful business consultant in the Chicago area until the day he quit his job and moved out west to pursue his dreams. The Hound of Rowan is his first book. He lives in San Francisco, California.
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The author has an extraordinary and vivid imagination. He's created a cast of characters that you will fall in love with and care about. Some of my favorites are:
Max's roommate, David Menlo. He is a rich character filled with profound gifts and ancient wisdom.
Max's charge, Nick,the last lymrill in the world. He plays a very key role in book 3.
Bea Shrope, aka Mum, the reformed hag who must sniff children so she isn't tempted to eat them.
Agent Cooper, whose scarred face frightens the students. He seems very cold and calculating until you get to know him.
This list can go on and on. So many characters add so much to this story. I highly recommend reading this series. As a reference, some of my other favorite young adult series are: Fablehaven, Ranger's Apprentice, Farworld, The Beyonders, The Heir Chronicles, Septimus Heap, The Unwanteds, A Wrinkle in Time, The Wizard of Oz and many more.
For those that are considering starting a new fantasy fiction series I can say that the entire series is worth the full 5 stars. I enjoyed it so much that, had I reviewed it before reading the 2nd and 3rd, I would probably have given it 5 stars. I only gave the Hound of Rowan 4 stars since, in the books that follow it, Neff has shown how he can be such a cleaver and creative writer that it makes this one seem that he could have added just a bit more to this first book to get it to the level of a creativity and intrest of those that come after (but not a boring book by any means, still a great story!) Also love the tie-ins with Celtic folk lore.
Although the main character, Max does end up going to a school for magic there are not enough similarities to call it a Harry Potter knock off. Neff can hold his own on talented storytelling and also represents by including some of his own illistrations. I actually liked it just as much, if not more, than Rowling's series. (But that could just be that I have reached my saturation point with Pottermania.) Overall, the beginning gets you into the action pretty quick and will keep you hooked until the end.
NOTE TO PARENTS: Unless you're one of those that doesn't like the whole kids using magic thing, there is nothing in this book to worry about your kids reading. I always appreciate a writer that is talented enough that they don't have to use teenage hormones to sell thier stories and I look for those series that I can recommend to the YAs in my family as well as my friend's children without dissapointing parents that maintain high standards and morals for their youth. This book and series has received some of the best reviews and feedback from parents and thier children alike.