Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Book Review: The Hound at the Gate by Darby Karchut

The Hound at the Gate
Author: Darby Karchut
Series: The Adventures of Finn MacCullen (Book 3)
Publication: Spencer Hill Middle Grade (January 13, 2015)

Description: Autumn: the season of endings. And beginnings.

Especially for one young apprentice.

At the annual Festival of the Hunt, thirteen-year-old apprentice goblin hunter Finn MacCullen and his master, Gideon Lir, join other Tuatha De Danaan to honor their people’s heritage. But Finn soon realizes that there are some who denounce his right to attend due to his half-human bloodline.

While he struggles to keep his place by his master’s side, he finds himself embroiled in a decades-old grudge between Gideon and another Knight, bewildered (and beguiled) by a female apprentice with a temper as explosive as his own, and battling a pack of goblins determined to wipe out the entire camp in a surprise attack.

It’s going to take some fancy knife work, the help of a female Knight with a lethal bow, and one old pick up truck to defeat the goblins and prove to his people that his blood runs true-blue Tuatha De Danaan.

My Thoughts: This third adventure of Finn MacCullen finds him thirteen and beginning to notice girls as potential girlfriends. He is feeling more comfortable with Gideon as a teacher and mentor. They are building a very strong relationship.

Finn and Gideon are going to a Festival which gathers the Tuatha De Danaan to celebrate the fall equinox. Of course, there are hurdles. One of the ruling council doesn't want to admit Finn because he is half human. Also, an old enemy of Gideon's is attending with his apprentice who just happens to be a cousin of Finn's who spent a lot of time bullying him when Finn lived with his family.

The Festival starts out with a variety of fights as Finn battles with his cousin Ennis and Gideon battles Jack Tully, Ennis's mentor. And as those battles end, the Amandén show up in force. The book is filled with battles. Luckily, Gideon's friend Mac Roth and his apprentice Lochlan are along to help. They also meet Knight Kel O'Shea and her new apprentice Tara Butler. Gideon is attracted to Kel but neither Lochlan or Finn want to have anything to do with the abrasive and quick-tempered Tara. Finn has a very unfortunate first meeting with Tara that leaves him with his foot deep in his mouth. Lochlan especially has taken her in dislike; whereas Finn is willing to be polite. Lochlan and Finn have their disagreements too. Lochlan is determined to kill a goblin to win his torc. He needs to do this to alleviate the pressure his father, a council member, is putting on him. But it seems like Finn has to step in and save his life each time he gets near killing his first goblin.

Gideon, Finn, Mac Roth and Lochlan have been keeping a secret about Finn. That secrets comes out during the largest battle with the Amandén (goblins) which leads to a very hard decision. Finn's legendary status may mean that he will have to leave Gideon.

I can't wait to read the next adventure and share these adventures with my students.

Favorite Quote:
At his words, Finn became aware of a pair of bloodied elbows, an abrasion along his back, a cut lip that continued to seep blood, and a kneecap that creaked as if someone had pried it up, looked underneath, than slammed it back down again.

He felt wonderful.
I got this ARC from the author. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Kathy, for reading and reviewing HOUND. This one was my favorite Finn book. (Don't tell the others, though). Cheers!


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