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THE HOUND AND THE FALCON
(reprint) omnibus: 1986
Daniel R. Horne
Science Fiction Book Club August 1986 hardcover ("Nelson Doubleday" on spine.) 728 pages, jacket art by Dan Horne. Condition is Fine (-) in a near-Fine dustjacket. The book is tight and very square with the usual light bumping to ends of spine; corners are sharp; age tanning is very mild and uniform. No stamps, marks or writing: a very clean copy that looks unread. Unclipped DJ is in great shape with no tears; a couple of nicks or chips to front cover (middle); slight wear to (blank) back cover (see scans.)
All 3 books of Judith Tarr's "Hound and the Falcon" trilogy - in a nice hardcover omnibus edition: The Hound and the Falcon, containing The Isle of Glass, The Golden Horn, and The Hounds of God. All were originally hardcovers from Bluejay Press.
The Isle of Glass (copyright 1985) - For 60 years, ever since he was found abandonned in a snowstorm on the abbey's doorstep, he has been Brother Alfred of the Abbey of St. Ruan, in King Richard the Lionhearted' Anglia. His God, his Church, and his studies are Alfred's entire world. But Alfred is no common monk. His golden, cat-like eyes, his unearthly beauty and impossible youth despite his many years, his ability to see into others' minds and heal - all mark him as something else.. as something more than human. There are people who believe him to be one of the soulless Fair Folk, the elvenkind - condemned by the Church as the Devil's work. And Alfred suspect's they're right. One howling winter night, the outside world invades Alfred's peaceful haven. The shattered, half-dead body of Alun, ambassador of the elf-king Gwydion appears at the abbey's gates. He tells Alfred that Rhydderch, Baron of a land on the border between Anglia and neighboring Gwynedd, has been raiding other lands to incite war between the 2 kingdoms. As Richard the Lionheart and young Kilhwch of Gwynedd battered each other's forces, Rhydderch would pick up the pieces and forge his own kingdom. Alun is on a mission for Gwydion, the elven King of Rhiyana, in an effort to stave off the war and its inevitable toll. His mission must be completed soon, or not at all, and Alun is near death. So Alfred leaves the cloistered safety of St. Ruan's and goes to join Bishop Aylmer at King Richard's side. Once in the world of power and politics, Alfred draws immediate, unwanted attention. His true nature is obvious to the gasping priest Reynaud, the worst of the fanatical sect called "The Hounds of God," for the fervor with which they hunt down any who might threaten Church orthodoxy. Were Alfred less of a man, he might have hidden; were he less of a priest, he might have succumbed to the temptation of the humans who sought his body; were he less naive, he might have realized sooner that he was what Althea, his Rhiyanan escort, who is sometimes a hound, sometimes a fair maiden, calls him: a falcon, free to be what he may. But he is all these things and more. His is the center of royal conflicts and religious controversy; saint and devil; human and Fairy.
The Golden Horn (copyright 1985): - The saga of Alfred of St. Ruan's comes to a tumultuous climax during the fall of the City of Cities, the Golden Horn: Constantinople. War is advancing through the Byzantine Empire. Its capital, Constantinople, is the richest city in the 13th century world. The Crusaders from the West have turned aside from Jerusalem in order to plunder and conquer their fellow Christians instead. Alfred, pilgrim and healer, and Thea, friend and shapechanger, seek out Thea's family in that city, but they find her home empty and forgotten. In despair, Thea abandons Alfred, and he, in his despair, walks aimlessly until overcome by sunstroke. A Greek woman, Sophia, rescues him and brings him to her home in Constantinople. He remains there as tutor to her children and a friend to her and her husband. When well, Alfred takes work in a house of healing, and is accepted and valued by his Greek hosts. Internecine strife among the city's Eastern and Western groups first threatens the destruction of Constantinople. A fire, started in hate and distrust, is fanned by north winds and engulfs much of the city. Alfred goes beyond mere healing and enters the flame to save as many people as he can carry out. Later, tales of his "miracles" spread through the ravaged city. Thea returns to him and teaches him the ways of their power, for he wishes to learn and develop more of his gifts. But Alfred's personal problems become secondary when the wall of the city and of their enclave in the house of healing are breached. Alfred is considered a traitor by some for living and working in a Byzantine city, and a sorcerer by others for his unexplained powers. But somewhere among the Crusader forces, Alfred has friends searching for him, for not everyone judges Alfred as evil - some consider him a saint.
The Hounds of God (copyright 1986) - [I haven't read this, and the description from the jacket copy stops well short of events herein. Here's what I could garner from the net...] - Fifteen years after The Golden Horn we find Alfred in the elvish kingdom of Rhiyanna, where he has become Chancellor and a nobleman, the Lord of Broceliande. The Hounds of God (the Order of St. Paul) have sniffed the magic of Rhiyanna, and will not rest until such foulness is exterminated. When Thea and their twin children are kidnapped, Alfred follows the trail to Rome, where much of the book takes place...
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