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Daughter of Hounds

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  703 ratings  ·  79 reviews
They are the Children of the Cuckoo. Stolen from their cribs and concealed in shadows to be raised by ghouls, they are now changelings in service to the creatures who rule the world Below and despise the world Above. Any human contact is strictly forbidden and punishment is swift and severe for those who disobey.

Raised by her widower father, Emmie Silvey has a precocious
Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Roc
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Soldier is a Child of the Cuckoo, stolen from the crib to be raised as a human servant to the ghouls; Emmie Silvey is a strange, yellow-eyed girl plagued by visions. The ghouls are threatened by an outside force, and now Solider and Emmie will come together in a looping road of intrigue and secrets. Ultimately this book has a simple premise, but its winding, looping storytelling complicates both the plot and the writing. Sometimes this style can be frustrating (many scenes end just on the brink ...more
God I loved this book. This is the 3rd Kiernan book that I have read, Silk and The Red Tree being the first two. I have really enjoyed Kiernan's prose and her character development, no cardboard cutouts here. In this book Kiernan has created a wonderful dark fairytale, filled with ghouls, witches, demons, and elementals, yet it is done in a world that is not far off from being our own. Urban fantasy at it's finest. A wonderful little girl is the protagonist and her wit and maturity are the heart ...more
Gori Suture
Apr 10, 2010 Gori Suture rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Recommended for dark fantasy enthusiasts
From the moment I started reading, I was spellbound. The colorful characters -- Emmie Silvey, Saben White, Soldier, Deacon, Pearl, and Odd Willie -- stepped right off the page, handed me a cup of sludgy tea, and dragged me off to a dark world where monsters from the Irish mythos ruled my every thought for days. Kiernan creates a dark fantasy world were little girls might just be what goes bump in the night, and reality isn’t what it always seems. The story paints a grim picture of an ongoing bat ...more
Apr 09, 2009 Annie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
LOVED it! This is my favorite of hers I've read so far. It has a depth that I don't think any of her previous books quite reached - there's more explanation of what's going on as it happens. Because of this, it didn't have as much of the looming creepy feeling to it that I loved in Threshold and Low Red Moon, but it's SUCH a satisfying read. And mad props for having an awesome little-kid main character. Emmie is awesomely smart and sarcastic, and just fun to read about. Caitlin R. Kiernan rocks, ...more
I am halfway through and still trying to figure out the point...

Eventually I find that Soldier, a Child of the Cuckoo, is the true focus of the story, even though it loops around and never focuses on her except at certain points. It was a good story, and had a really good ending, but the looping tale made it difficult to comprehend and tie all the tale's pieces together.

We do learn that Soldier is one of the stolen children, although we never quite learn why children are stolen from the crib. I
E. Kimble
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. The atmosphere's delicious. The brutality can be fantastically matter-of-fact and at its best hits just as hard as it should. Kiernan's prose occasionally veers toward the overdramatic but for the most part fits around her story as snugly as it ought, which is why I was somewhat surprised to find how little I cared about what happened next. :(

Mild curiosity powered me through to the end, but the fate of the characters never concerned me. Can't deci
Had it gone through a rewrite or two, this would have been an excellent book. As it stands, however, this book is not particularly good. It is a pity; there is reasonable indication that the author understood how to write well, and there are a number of truly interesting ideas present within this book. However, it is possible for a good writer to produce a work of inferior quality. I just wish they held on to it for later revision instead of seeking publication.

However, allow me to begin with wh
The third in the series by Caitlin R. Kiernan, this book is one that surprised me. I've enjoyed many of her other books, but this had a bit of a story and a couple main characters that were even more sympathetic to me than I've noticed before. There's a lot of hope in this book in odd places, and also a lot of interlocking stories that relate to the other two books, Threshold and Low Red Moon of this trilogy. The story also strangely refers to happenings in the other two books (Silk and Murder o ...more
This book was a random selection at the used book store that completely captured my fascination. Normally not a prolific reader of dystopian fiction, I found this book to be one I was unable to put down. Kiernan's writing style and vocabulary combined to create a vibrant world that while unpredictable and unique seemed unequivocally genuine and well conceived. The dual storylines seemingly incongruent nevertheless resolved into a satisfying overlap. Perhaps on of the greatest successes of the pl ...more
Jeremy Preacher
Daughter of Hounds is my favorite of this stack - it doesn't eclipse The Drowning Girl, but otherwise it is more precisely suited to my tastes than any of the other early Kiernan books. I'm not sure it's a better book, but I don't much care about absolutes.

Probably part of my fondness arises from its relative plottiness. I do like me a plot. Part of it is Soldier's unapologetic ass-kicking curb-stomping attitude, which I will pretty much always get behind. And I just like the whole mythos of the
It wasn't a bad read, but for me it just didn't flow. A bit disappointed and it is probably not something that I would read again. There was just too much going backwards and forwards and there are no explanations until the very end, and even then things were just glazed over. I have a couple of her other books so I'll still give them a try but hopefully they will be a bit more riveting and forthcoming!
This book was a meal that was slippery and savory, but then expanded in your gut, so that you had to slow down and chew. I became attached to all of the characters, even the "bad" ones. She took a long time to tell what could have been a much shorter story, but I didn't mind because the writing is twisty and sharp and the characters are Dark Crystal least in my mind.
Andreea Pausan
This book was like watching one of those paintings within paintings: a self-portrait of the artist who paints a canvas of himself painting..and so on. The technique is called mise-en-abime and it is simply hallucinating the way Kiernan chooses to display it here. We never know and the characters often wonder which is truth, which reality and which dream.And they all blend seamlessly together in a mad adventure transgressing the limits of time and blurring the boundaries between worlds. All set i ...more
Each time I've read a book by Caitlin R. Kiernan, I've said to myself, "This is the best one I've read so far." That statement remains true. I enjoy dark fiction and horror - and this is an excellent example.

I don't generally give 5-star ratings; for me, that is a place reserved for those truly great books, the stories you can't forget, that give you that emotional gut punch. Did this book do that? Mmmmm... not quite... However, based on a comparison scale of ratings I generally see on Amazon or
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Henk
As a huge Lovecraft fan, I had this book recommended to me. I was a few pages into it, when I left it in a plane. While I waited for a new copy, I read her novel Silk.
Her writing style is a bit surreal and florid. She loves to go off on tangents, with a vague, unsettling evil skulking somewhere about the corners. It's a Lovecraft trick, but he does it a bit better. When I read her book Silk, she was so loose with her story and wordplay (sometimes involving words she makes up for the occasion) th
I loved this book for its atmosphere, its characters (Soldier is such a badass), and its sense of impending doom. I love the way Kiernan plays with the concepts of time and space. Each one is pliable in this novel, and people on all sides of the conflict use them for their own ends. I love that Emmie is smart and sarcastic, and that Pearl is a bratty little jerk (also the shout-out to The Scarlet Letter, with some people calling her Pearl and some calling her Hester).

But....after being glued to
I enjoyed the act of reading this, but underwhelmed by the end state of having read this. It's like hearing your aunt tell a wonderful tale full of adventure, and then she says "so that happened," and gets up to pour herself another drink.

And you say, "no wait, what happened?"

And she says, "exactly," and wiggles her fingers spookily so she can exit the room before you ask any more questions.
Brian Taylor
I don't really know what to say about this book other's different. I'm still trying to process it. I would imagine this book is pretty polarizing with fans. Some probably love it and some probably don't. I'm somewhere in the middle. I applaud the author for trying something different, and respect her skills. I'm also curious to read her other books.
Daughter of hounds by Caitlín R. Kiernan. Soldier is a Child of the Cuckoo, stolen from the crib to be raised as a human servant for the ghouls, Emmie Silvey is a strange, yellow-eyed girl who is troubled by visions. The ghouls are threatened by an outside force, and now Solider and Emmie will come together in an intriguing and secretive road to freedom. Ultimately this book has a simple storyline, but its different way of storytelling complicates the plot and the writing. It is very smart that ...more
Deviant Divas
The Daughters of Hounds was the first book I have ever read by author Caitlin R. Kiernan. I was pretty excited to read this book. It came highly recommend to me by a friend of mine. The Prologue started off ok then as it progressed it just confused me.

The characters made no sense to me (Soldier, and Emmie Silvey) I tried to make the connection. I could not(maybe I am just stupid).

During the rest of the book it was hard to stay interest. The plot had no appeal to me and the characters were just
May 13, 2012 Janice rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I'm really of two minds about this book. I liked the writing quite a bit. It's a Lovecraftian homage of sorts, but a deftly done one. I don't think you need to know the references to enjoy the story. Well done there.

OTOH, I'm not sure I really followed what was happening that well. That's probably due more to how I read a book in little dribs & drabs instead of in long, concentrated reading sessions. It didn't help that one of the main characters was pretty unlikable. We do see a bit how sh
A weird, but utterly awesome book. This story reads like a dream or hallucination from time to time, but the writing, characters and world building are so cool it sucked me right into it's madness (which still makes a lot of sense though). And I fell completely in love with Soldier and with the ghouls, which are Lovecraftian ghouls btw. The story is multi-layered and complex, but all layers fit perfectly together in the end. There seem to be two books that precede this one, but I didn't feel lik ...more
Ralph McEwen
This book was difficult at first with all the jumping forward and backward and changing character perspective from one paragraph to the next. Once I became familiar with the characters and the style after about 70 pages. I was able to get into it and enjoyed the rest of the story. I think it should be noted that this is a very ADULT book with a lot of strong language. I think much of it was character appropriate but a little over done in some places. I see from other reviews that this maybe the ...more
Robin Edman
Wow. Just wow. A story about ghouls told from within the society is woven with the story of a changeling girl, born of ghouls but raised by humans. Ms. Kiernan is really, really weird, but she's really making it work for her. The writing is all hazy and dreamy, even when she writes of horrors, and it gives everything a lack of edge, which is surprisingly effective. She pulls you right in, and there you stand, blinking, caught in the lights like a deer, and you just know the horrible thing is com ...more
An excellent bit of mythos fiction. True fans of Lovecraft will want to read Low Red Moon first, but it is not strictly necessary. She does an excellent job of capturing the original feel of lovecraftian ghouls while expanding on their mythology in an innovative way. The main female character is strong and dangerous and virtually asexual, there are no romance subplots to distract from the more important traits of the character. Parts of the ending felt like they could have had a more satisfying ...more
Kiernan used a wonderful selection of words to create this very different (and rather weird) but very good book. It was certainly a different sort of fantasy novel than I expected. It was absolutely fascinating (and had a great car radio-music selection! What a fun soundtrack!). I really enjoyed it - it was really like a very dark and strange fairy tale - complete with a fairly open ending. And it was a bit sad in the end, but any other ending wouldn't have felt right... I would definitely read ...more
Amanda (awesome)
I loved this book. The cover's kind of goofy, but don't let it fool you, this is no trashy paperback (which don't get me wrong, i also like on occasion). The writing was beautiful, I was completely lost in the alternately gritty and gorgeous worlds of the story. The scenes with Soldier, both present and flashback were my favorites. The sections with the little girl, Emmie, I liked less, but still liked. Even though I had a pretty good idea what the ending twist was, I was still excited to see ho ...more
I gave this book four stars, but I still can't quite decide if I really liked it or just simply liked it. The four-star rating is on account of the fact that it was very well put-together and planned-out, and there were some nice themes. I found out halfway through the book that this is the third novel in a quasi-series (the first two being Threshold and Low Red Moon, I believe), but things are well-explained, so I didn't feel too lost.

Anyways. I'm definitely open to reading more from this autho
This is the second book I've read by this author and I broke a hard and fast rule when I read this. About halfway through, I realized it was part of a series and I HAVE to read a series in order. I didn't want to put this book down to get the others in front of it!

This book is part horror and part fantasy and all good! Don't expect fluff and definitely don't expect to put it down until you're done! But do read the books in front of it. It'll help you understand the world Caitlin R. Kiernan has c
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“You know, it's a sad and unfortunate state of affairs that you have to live in a world where eight-year-olds refuse to believe in anything that they cannot touch or measure, and anyone who happens to see a thing that is invisible to most people is immediately branded a lunatic.” 11 likes
“The horse is dead," she says and squeezes Soldier's hand. "From here we walk."
"Anyone ever told you you're sort of a creepy kid?" Odd Willie asks.
"All the damn time," Emmie tells him. "I don't bother keeping count anymore.”
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