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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
The Hound is the first book in The Phoenix Chronicles series by Joseph Topp. Tỳnarr was ready for a change. As a farmhand with a strict master, Tỳnarr was used to waking up before the sun and toiling hard every day. Snatched from his home when he was just a toddler, Tỳnarr was grateful Dagfinnr took him under his wing as an adopted “son.” He was ready to be freed from his servitude when a horrible incident happened and changed the course of his future forever. After shrugging off grief for a life lost, Tỳnarr decided to chase the life he had lost in the first place: his family from whom he was snatched. The trek back to the past was filled with peril. Tỳnarr knew it wouldn’t be easy, but the path was far more difficult and dangerous than he imagined.
An epic fantasy with heart-stopping action and plenty of drama, I was hyper-focused on the story by reading just page one. The world-building was fantastic and the way it was presented was almost magical. Author Joseph Topp had a way with words and it showed how seamlessly he blended his chapters and the story flowed forward. The chapters were the perfect length, the pace was fast without being overwhelming and Tỳnarr’s character was a reader’s dream come true. He had a past, he had a goal, he was resolute and he delivered the promised action. I loved the moments when Tỳnarr was almost chasing his memories to find his way back home. He made friends and foes and each of them had a lesson to teach him. The narrative was alive with the action and the constant chase. The dialogue was thoughtfully crafted, and the descriptions were so vivid that I felt like I was right next to Tỳnarr. To say that I was in love with Tỳnarr’s development would be an understatement. You don’t come across gems like The Phoenix Chronicles very often!