Review of THE HOUNDS OF GOD by JUDITH TARR
(third in THE HOUND AND THE FALCON trilogy)
As with earlier books in this series, I immediately invested in the characters. There’s another jump ahead in time with the start of a new book; each novel has its own distinct plot with the major unifying factor being the characters.
In this third and final installment, Thea is now pregnant (though still refusing to marry her beloved Alf). She and Alf live in the fey court now with other familiar characters from earlier books. Life seems peaceful...until a crazed religious fanatic kidnaps Thea and their newborn twins. Religion versus magic has been a prominent, if not the most prominent, theme in this series with THE HOUNDS OF GOD being no exception.
Our newest antagonist views magic as sin and, therefore, the fey as demons, and he intends to see every last one of them purged from the world. Right now he’s fixated on Alf. Not only does Alf’s exceptional magical talent make him a prime target, but our villain considers a fey man like Alf having a religious background absolute blasphemy. He makes no secret that he will kill Thea and their children once they’ve served their purpose, but for now their purpose is to lure Alf directly into the beast’s mouth.
My praise and criticism of this book stays consistent with what I’ve said about the earlier two. In terms of praise, I admire the theme of being rejected by the group with which you identify. As for criticism, I still found the writing dense and sometimes unclear, especially with actions scenes where not only can’t I picture what’s happening but I’m not even sure I know what’s happening.
This was a satisfying series that encourages me to read everything else by this author. I believe most of her works are rather obscure at this point - if not out-of-print - but I expect her books will be worth the effort of tracking down copies.