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The Hounds of God  By  cover art

The Hounds of God

By: Judith Tarr
Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
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Editorial reviews

Like its predecessors, the final chapter in Judith Tarr's The Hound and the Falcon trilogy weaves fantasy and history with stunningly immersive effect. In The Hounds of God Alfred must leave behind the comfort and safety of St. Ruan's Abbey and confront an evil power seeking to eradicate the elf-born. When Alfred's beloved Thea is kidnapped, he ventures forth in search of her, his epic journey taking him from his besieged home of Rhiyana, to the halls of the Vatican, to the Sack of Constantinople. Betraying his three decades of experience on stage and screen, actor James Patrick Cronin brings raw urgency and medieval authenticity to the proceedings, and convincingly portrays Tarr's epic cast of elves, Crusaders, Byzantines, monks, and inquisitors.

Publisher's summary

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 his 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.

©1986 Judith Tarr (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Available at last

What did you love best about The Hounds of God?

The Hound and the Falcon trilogy has long been one of my favorite fastasy/history series, and I am delighted that it is now available on Audible. Judith Tarr is deeply knowledgeable about Celtic legends, the Crusades and the medieval church, and she has created an internally consistent alternate reality compounded to the mix. Her characters are heroic but flawed, though most of the villains are thoroughly corrupted. Who would have thought that a question of the existence vel non of the human soul could be presented with such poignancy? The magic is not crude, cute or silly; it is integral to the story. Tarr is interested in how people know and touch each other; her magic is used mostly to create intimacies that most real people long for but never achieve.

What other book might you compare The Hounds of God to and why?

Other books by Tarr. Alamut, a prequel to the Hound and the Falcon, is masterful. Tarr's focus on the challenges and vulnerabilities of interpersonal communication is reminiscent of Ursula LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness. Tarr's work is not as epic as Tolkien, and it is more serious than Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books, but I'd place them all near to each other on the bookshelf.

What three words best describe James Patrick Cronin’s performance?

I must answer in more that three words. As a narrator and voice actor, Cronin is admirable. His voices fit the characters well, although he makes the deaf young man sound a bit doltish. However, I wish that