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The Isle of Glass (The Hound and the Falcon #1)

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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  718 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Volume one of The Hound and The Falcon Trilogy, Fantasy
Unknown Binding, 276 pages
Published January 1st 1985 by Bluejay Books
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(showing 1-30 of 1,522)
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Beth
Jun 03, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was sitting in my parents' living room with tears falling down my face at the end of this. I've only got the phone to compose on while I'm visiting, so for now I'll just say I loved it. This "stub" stands in for what will be, I hope, a not too slobbery review once I get to a real keyboard.

*

I'm a week out from reading this novel and am still hard-pressed about what to say about it. I loved Brother Alf and his internal conflicts, how the events in the book and those conflicts were so important t
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Kathleen
Trilogy begins here. Told in 3rd person, this is a slow-moving, thoughtful, and historically credible (fair elves notwithstanding) medieval fantasy set during the time of the Crusades and King Richard the Lionhearted. The Knights Templar get a mention, too.

A plot to weaken and overthrow the king of Anglia. A zealous religious order (the Paulines) similar to the Spanish Inquisition (interesting take on Brother Adam). A strong bond of friendship. A budding romance. A nuanced view of King Richard.
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Sara
The Hound and the Falcon trilogy remains one of those that has survived my evolution into a super-picky reader, and is still among my favorite books. Sure, the angst of Alfred sometimes gets a little heavy--but unlike far too many novel characters, Alf has some pretty good reasons for being angsty, particularly in this first installment of the trilogy. Alfred of St. Ruan's, you see, is a foundling; he has no idea who his parents were. He's also a monk. Doesn't seem too bad on the angst front yet ...more
April Steenburgh
Alfred is a monk of St. Ruan’s Abbey- devoted to his Brothers and his God, a scholar of rare talent, and very much more than a man. A foundling, he was taken in and raised by the Abbey as one of their own, and while his colleagues have grown to old men, he remains no more than a youth.

The quiet Abbey life that Alfred clings to is pulled away from him as he is sent out to the world, carrying a message of violence to the Richard Coeur de Leon. Once out of the Abbey’s comforting walls, Alfred canno
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Julia
Jan 11, 2014 Julia rated it liked it
This first book in Tarr’s The Hound and the Falcon trilogy is a work of alternate history, taking place in England during the reign of Richard I. Alf, a monk at St. Ruan’s Abbey, is an elfin changeling left there as a baby, and despite his fair looks and that he never seems to age, only a few are aware of or suspect his true nature. When an injured rider arrives at the abbey one evening, it becomes Alf’s turn to play the part of messenger and ambassador to Richard I in order to prevent war among ...more
TheRealMelbelle
Jun 22, 2014 TheRealMelbelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I am impressed with this author. She creatively weaves history and fantasy and her background in Classics and as a Medievalist makes for an excellent foundation for her work in this first book of the Isle of Glass trilogy.

She seems like an interesting person as well as an excellent author.

Here is the very interesting Wiki info on her: (born 1955) is an American author, best known for her fantasy books. She received her B.A. in Latin and English from Mount Holyoke College in 1976, and has
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Katharine Kimbriel
May 09, 2016 Katharine Kimbriel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans who love 3D characters
You'll become obsessed with this series

Once upon a time a reader took a half-dozen books with her on vacation. She was lucky because they were all good books--but THE ISLE OF GLASS was so good, she became obsessed with it. As she made her way across multiple states, heading home, she stopped in every bookstore she could find in every town on the way, looking for the next book in the series. She would have settled for the third book in the series!

Yes, it's that good, and to this day the glorious
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Fantasy Literature
I’ve gone back and forth on this text quite a bit, unsure how generous I’m willing to be. The facts are these: Judith Tarr’s prose is better than expected, the story flows well, and the pacing is great, but on the other hand, this is not a book that beyond its style really seems to have a lot to do. The Isle of Glass is the kind of novel that readers will finish with a nod and a shrug rather than a smile or tears.

The plot is scanty and rather unambitious. Alfred, or “Alf,” the protagonist, is on
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Alexis Latner
Jun 21, 2016 Alexis Latner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an extraordinary book in how seriously and accurately it depicts the Medieval world - while having a hero who is an elf with a religious vocation. Alf's journey from security and certainty into danger and doubt is uniquely his own, but thoughtful readers can relate to him. Author Judith Tarr gives us other memorable characters too, and they relate to each other in varied ways, but believably. If there's anything or anyone two-dimensional in this tale, it's not cardboard two-dimensionalit ...more
dogpossum
Nov 16, 2015 dogpossum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I waited this long to get into Tarr's earlier work. LOVE.
What do I love?
- very nice, loving male friendships (that may or may not be sexual)
- the language
- the magicky bits were balanced by good, solid characters
- a main character in a fantasy story who is not ok with violence

The story wanders a bit somewhere in the middle, but it gets its shit together a bit later on. Nice cameo by Richard Lionheart.
Emilie
Sep 23, 2016 Emilie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember really enjoying the series, but I must have read the books near the time they were first published, and I'd have to read them again to refresh my memory of the details. I don't think I own them anymore, so I'll look for them in the library.
Maya Morikawa
Nov 26, 2014 Maya Morikawa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History and Fantasy

Enjoyed it,as I always do.Characters real and human,even they are not.Looking forward to more of Alf's adventures as he searches for himself.
E.L.
Feb 27, 2014 E.L. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-in-2014
I neither disliked this book nor liked it enough to want to read the rest of the trilogy. I feel thoroughly indifferent to it.
Amy VanGundy
Aug 05, 2016 Amy VanGundy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man. I really liked this. Very Katherine Kurtz. Christianity and elves. For me that's a great combination.
Pati Nagle
Sep 27, 2012 Pati Nagle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Medieval history, England, and magic, I was a sucker for this book. I love the main character, Brother Alf, who is caught between his love of the church that shaped his life and the knowledge that he is different from his brother monks. Richard the Lionheart is strikingly drawn. Wonderful read. I'm preparing to devour the rest of the series.
Carol
Mar 29, 2009 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darcey
Another wonderful book by Judith Tarr, tying in with the Rhiyana lot but from a different point of view. Brother Alfred and Jehan are both compelling characters - and Alf's quest to find out and become who he is finds itself complementing Jehan's, all the while exploring Tarr's very-truly-close-to-our world.
Knitwit Tarvin
I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, following the adventures of an Elvish changeling raised as a monk. Tarr's writing creates wonderful characters that I adore and root for, in particular Alf himself, Jehan and Thea. The book also offers an interesting look at King Richard.
Freda
May 01, 2011 Freda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness. What a joy to read. It's got everything you need to transport you to first the monastery and then onwards throughout the story until the only conclusion possible. Fantastic, super, top ten book just waiting to be picked up and devoured by eager minds
Potter
Nov 08, 2011 Potter rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
An old childhood favorite. A quick and engaging read, although some familiarity with Richard the Lion Heart and the Crusades will make the series more enjoyable. Judith Tarr's melding of history and fantasy is well crafted and believable.
Liese Betts
Jun 19, 2013 Liese Betts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book on my bookshelf for years and periodically I pick it up and re-read it. Everytime, I find myself moved by Alf's journey from the cloistered life of a 'teenage' monk to life in the wide world.
Julie
I really liked some elements of this book and really didn't much care for the main character. That makes it a difficult book to rate. I might come back later and adjust the rating.
Kristyn Jensen
Some parts of the book kept my attention. The writing was good but I felt the plot was slowoving and a little boring. I'm going to read the next one and maybe things will pick up.
Kellyann
Dec 28, 2012 Kellyann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Great/weird concept: in medieval England, the Fair Folk are real. One of them is a monk. The book is 3/4 historical novel and 1/4 fantasy.
Damgaard78
Apr 25, 2012 Damgaard78 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time read as a teenager. 20 years later still a great read. A great mix of medieval Europe with a good amount of Elves.
Margareth8537
Jun 08, 2013 Margareth8537 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Read this when it came out, but have only just come across the rest of the trilogy. Enjoy these alternate histories
Arlene Allen
Aug 06, 2010 Arlene Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Amazing series. Established Judith Tarr as one of my all time favoritre writers.
Helen
Jun 17, 2011 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#1 trilogy about changeling monk and elf in love,
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Sep 25, 2016
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41194
AKA Caitlin Brennan, Kathleen Bryan.

Judith Tarr (born 1955) is an American author, best known for her fantasy books. She received her B.A. in Latin and English from Mount Holyoke College in 1976, and has an M.A. in Classics from Cambridge University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She taught Latin and writing at Wesleyan University from 1988-1992, and taught at the
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More about Judith Tarr...

Other Books in the Series

The Hound and the Falcon (3 books)
  • The Golden Horn (The Hound and the Falcon, #2)
  • The Hounds of God (The Hound and the Falcon, #3)

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