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The Hound of Rowan (The Tapestry #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,273 Ratings  ·  638 Reviews
MAX MCDANIELS LIVES a quiet life in the suburbs of Chicago, until the day he stumbles upon a mysterious Celtic tapestry. Many strange people are interested in Max and his tapestry. His discovery leads him to Rowan Academy, a secret school where great things await him.

But dark things are waiting, too. When Max learns that priceless artworks and gifted children are disappear
Kindle Edition, 450 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Grace Yes, there is. Kind of like in Harry Potter. Not the main plot, but certainly one of the sub plots. I'd recommend this series if you haven't read it…moreYes, there is. Kind of like in Harry Potter. Not the main plot, but certainly one of the sub plots. I'd recommend this series if you haven't read it before now.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Reading the first few chapters, I found myself comparing this book to Harry Potter. As one of the most avid reader of H.P. I have to say that I was a little disappointed. But when I got past reading chapter 4, I found myself falling in love with this book.

There's a significant difference between this book and H.P.
The main plot, unlike H.P, this book does not exactly use "magic" per say, it's based more on the real stuff like science fiction and folklore.
I was also amazed by the author's imagi
Apr 08, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Judy
Recommended to Cynthia by: library
Wow! Harry Potter, look out! Max McDaniels rocks Rowan Academy! This book reminds me of Harry Potter because it is a boy hero going to a magical school learning to battle evil, but don't let yourself be suckered into thinking this might be some cheap Harry Potter imitator. Max and Rowan Academy stand on their own as the beginning of an incredibly good series! All of the characters are amazingly well-drawn and the world that Max McDaniels lives in feels so real. It's a world of magic and mystery, ...more
Feb 19, 2011 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A decent first effort. I see these books as a cross between Harry Potter and Fablehaven. The story is fast paced and interesting. The characters are a bit flat but I expect will flesh out a lot over the course of the series.

I have a difficult time not comparing these books to Harry Potter and that is unfair since I've read all 7 of the books in that series. Going back and reading the first book shows that the Tapestry first effort is on a similar level. The key will be whether or not Neff can r
Feb 27, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love when I pick up a book, knowing very little about it, and discover that it is just what I was looking for. Because this is a book about a young teenager who goes to boarding school to learn magic, the comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable, but this is so much more than a Harry Potter read-alike.

Basically, this is the story of Max. While visiting an art museum with his father, Max sees a vision in a tapestry. This vision draws attention to Max, both favorable and negative. Ultimately,
The Library Lady
Apr 08, 2009 The Library Lady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, it might turn out to be what some reviews keep saying "a Harry Potter knockoff", with no merits of its own. But since Jo Rowling stole freely from her predecessors, and just happens to be a good writer who revived an old formula at the right time, I'm willing to give this one a chance....

UPDATE (4/7/09)And I'm glad I did. Lots of wonderful touches--people keep mentioning "Mum" the reformed (well mostly)hag cook with good reason--she's wonderfully funny. Well told, well thought out and I'm
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 23, 2013 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
I was originally going to go 4 stars on this book, but on reflection I decided I had to go 5. We'll call it a borderline 5. I try to give few 5 star ratings as any book I give a 5 needs to be exceptional or the rating fails to mean much.

I went there in this case as I think it will remain a reread book for me if I ever have time to do a reread. I have less time to reread books now as there seem to be so many I haven't read yet...go figure.

So, what do we have here? Why did I come to the decision t
Jan 04, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you like Harry Potter and you like Lightening Thief, I can almost guarantee that you'll like this book. There are some striking similarities between this and Harry Potter... not quite passing the plagiarism border. They're both about magic schools, both main characters have dark hair, Series starts around the same age (this guy's 12), they're going through the whole hero cycle thing where they're destined for a dangerous and probably fatal world-saving mission. Despite all of these similariti ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is basically a Harry Potter rip-off. While it has some differences (for example, technology is embraced not eschewed; the kids have animals that they care for; the kids come from across the world, not just the UK), it’s pretty similar – ie: the kids have untapped powers, the kids are specially selected, the kids go through a process similar to the sorting, there is a school sport (soccer-esque), there is a powerful yet charming headmistress, quirky teachers, and a villainous group that ...more
Stacey Kym
Apr 28, 2016 Stacey Kym rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ya-2016
'The Hound of Rowan' was a spectacular novel that I seriously loved to death but it just...lost something along the way - hence the four star. I loved the incorporation of real life events by the author and the childhood trivialities that we so often find embarrassing as children but then laugh later as adults. It was a fantastic story that made me laugh so often or just grin stupidly at the book. I loved the characters (the good ones) and got seriously creeped out by the evil ones. The story wa ...more
Apr 21, 2014 Robyn rated it really liked it
Montana Library2Go

It's against my policy to compare one book or series to another, for two main reasons. A) I don't think it matters that much what similarities exist between books. Just because you like one book does not mean you'll like a book that distinctly resembles it, and vice versa. Too often I've read books that have been compared to books that I truly love, and found these later books to be major disappointments. B) There is very little in the world of fiction that is truly new. I can
Sep 28, 2015 Bronte rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I think just about any premise involving a young boy going to a school filled with magic and the extraordinary would set up an automatic comparison to Harry Potter, just as any obscure title would be compared to its genre's classic. Knowing that, I did not going in here drawing comparisons; I'm rating this book totally as its own work, giving it the respect it deserves. That being said, maybe I read this with the wrong perspective in mind because I found several issues with it.

First off, Max
May 22, 2011 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meus
Esta história, inicialmente, pode fazer-nos lembrar um pouco Harry Potter. Temos um rapaz, possuidor de alguns poderes que desconhece, que é descoberto por uma Academia com professores e alunos também especiais. Academia essa, onde vai passar a estudar exactamente na altura em que um grande e antigo inimigo aparenta regressar. Felizmente posso dizer que as semelhanças ficam por aqui, não temos cicatrizes na testa, varinhas mágicas ou vassouras voadoras, estamos na presença de uma história extrem ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Shanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the used bookstore yesterday. At first glance it seemed to be your typical Harry Potter copycat, you know which one i'm talking about. Young boy is magically discovered at the age of thirteen and sent off to a special boarding school. However, the author definitely puts his own spin on things.

He creates his own take on some Celtic mythology with a few twists and turns. The main character's name is Max McDaniels, and he's just found out he's got mystic powers. So, off to
Sep 27, 2012 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 5-stars
Fiquei encantada à primeira com a capa deste livro.
Depois de ter lido a sinopse e várias outras informações decidi experimentar.
Ainda bem!

Foi uma surpresa maravilhosa. Gostei muito.

Este é o primeiro livro da saga "A Tapeçaria". É apresentado o "herói", Max McDaniels, um rapaz de Chicago, de 12 anos. Max vive com o pai, um publicitário. A sua mãe desapareceu. E todos os anos, no aniversário da mãe, Max e o pai, visitam o Instituto de Arte de Chicago, que era o local preferido da mãe de Max. N
Tati Dengo
Sep 07, 2013 Tati Dengo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb sounded pretty interesting, but this turned out to be a very dull book.

(Side note: There is no reason for me to compare it to Harry Potter, because the only similarities here are a supernatural boarding school, and a male protagonist, and that's it.)

100 pgs in, the book is going on and on about ordinary, logistical details such as: traveling to the school, taking a campus tour, getting a dorm room, figuring out how the bathroom works, getting schedules, etc. It didn't seem to end and
I was pretty excited reading the back of the book--it seemed like it had all the qualities of a children's fantasy novel that would entrance me. It did captivate in some ways, however, in many others it was sadly lacking.

I felt myself more compelled to focus on the supporting character (the main character's roommate) than the actual main character, Max. He was sadly disappointing in many ways, and continued to irritate me throughout the book. It was only towards the end of the book that he even
Gary Nilsen
Sep 20, 2011 Gary Nilsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, let's get one thing out of the way immediately. You simply can not avoid making a direct comparison to the Harry Potter series. Having said that, The Hound of Rowan is an entertaining book (the first of a series) to read. Author, Henry Neff has worked hard to create a world that exists apart from "normal" humans just like Rick Riordan succeeded in doing with Percy Jackson. Typical of young adult fiction, Neff throws his main character Max McDaniels into a world that on one hand is seemingl ...more
Nov 20, 2011 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first thought upon beginning to read this book: This is very Harry-Potter-like.

That impression didn't change that much between the beginning and the end, because you can't help but make that comparison: Young boy discovers he's magic and gets sent to a special school for training his abilities? That comparison is going to be made, like it or not.

I found, though, that by the end, I didn't mind the comparison because there was enough to make this book unique. Rather than the Rowling version of
Jan 10, 2013 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Action/Adventure fans who love magic laced with Irish folklore.
This was one of those books I read when I was a kid that I couldn't stop thinking about. I was never sure why, really. It's the story of a kid who finds out that he's a not so normal and is in fact a part of a group of people who have special powers such as magic and immense physical capability. These people have a school called Rowan where the kid, Max McDaniels, goes to study his newfound abilities. While there, he learns of a demon so terrible that it completely obliterated the previous schoo ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Maree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without having read any other reviews and never having heard of this book before I picked it up (and didn't read the book summary) I'm going to have to guess that the author's most hated criticism is how much like Harry Potter this book is. Because yeah, there are going to be marked similarities in any books with boy heroes who discover they have magical abilities and are sent off to a boarding school to learn how to use their magic.

And while it's a good book, I have to say that I'm not really s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 13, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not the quality of Harry Potter, but same kind of story, which my daughter loves. I read it to be able to talk with her about it. She loved it and so I added a star for her. I found that I had about 20 million questions that the author never addressed by the end of the book, which is a real big problem for me.
Nov 03, 2015 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Lots of action & excitement! Interesting storyline & characters! Looking forward to seeing how the characters develop & adapt to the circumstances in the next book. Highly recommend this one!
Sep 25, 2012 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent start to a series and fabulously designed. I'm sure Neff is tired of having his book compared to Harry Potter but I see a similarity. For me, this is a tween version - simpler read, less detail, alternate world hidden in the regular one, young protagonist and an evil that must be beaten. In fact, I've read this book to aloud to my 8 year DD, who is a huge Harry Potter fan. She loved it and we'll be starting on book 2 next. I will say that "Hermione Granger" or "Ron Weasley" are much ea ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book as a lunch time read. It would be fun to read it to the grandkids when they get a little older.
Let's see; a young boy gets a mysterious letter, and finds that he's being offered a chance to go to a school to learn magic. He also learns that there are Bad People and Bad Things out there, and that he may be The One who can defeat them.

It seems so familiar, somehow.

Nevertheless and still, I read the whole thing in a single sitting. I didn't expect anything novel, and I didn't get it (although I liked the whole Sidhe and Ireland thing he had going on), but I still really enjoyed the book. Coi
That's it! I'm saving up to dye my hair brown.
Apr 12, 2016 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Harry Potter fans
Setting up the story, so a little slow, but interesting. Lots of suspense and violence. Shows potential. Cool creatures and characters.

* Magical creatures
(view spoiler)

* Bullying by upperclassmen
* At times very similar to Harry Potter and Hogwarts
(view spoiler)
David Edmonds
In Henry H. Neff's The Hound of Rowan: Book One of the Tapestry, we are introduced to Max McDaniels, a thirteen year old boy who stumbles upon a room in the Chicago Institute of Art where he finds a strange tapestry, whose pictures seem to move and produce music. After discovering the tapestry, he finds a note in his pocket telling him to expect a visitor who happens to work for Rowan Academy, a school that specializes in nurturing the talents of kids with special abilities.

Setting aside the ine
Well, this wasn’t too bad for a Harry Potter look-alike. It is a sad fact of life that you cannot write a book about someone going to a magical school without treading onto Harry Potter ground. This book was a bit more science-fiction-y and a bit more mythological, but it’s still straight-up Harry Potter. The one thing that intrigued me was that Max is not “the savior,” but his roommate, David, appears to be. Max is some weird incarnation of an Irish hero, or something.

The creatures are interest
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