Daughter of Hounds
Caitlin R. Kiernan
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Buy *Daughter of Hounds* by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Daughter of Hounds
Caitlin R. Kiernan
Roc Trade
448 pages
January 2007
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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Daughter of Hounds is an emotionally wrenching and thoroughly depressing tale of two worlds, ours and another that is led and directed by ghouls. Children are stolen from their cribs and taken to this underground world to be raised by hound-like creatures. Known as Children of the Cuckoo, they are forbidden to have any contact with other human beings. Severe punishments for infractions are assured (such as the amputation of two fingers or worse).

A hard-edged female demon-killer named Soldier runs around doing the dirty work for a higher up named Baliff. At times Baliff can be really kind, but most times he is all about accomplishing the business of his superiors.

A delightful, intelligent little yellow-eyed girl named Emmie is being raised by her widowed father, Deacon, an ex-psychic. Being an only child and so smart, there are many opportunities for the reader to witness her sorting life out by herself. Emmieís father remarried, to a woman named Sadie, but they have separated; Emmie still visits Sadie on occasion.

Emmie begins having hallucinations when she hears Deacon and Sadie arguing. Then the hallucinations of a strange little brown girl with whom she converses begin happening with increased frequency. Emmie doesnít particularly care for the other girl, who she determines is part of her own psyche that has split off from her main personality - that is, until the little brown girl begins telling her things that she didnít already know.

Emmie eventually meets up with Soldier, the violent young woman changeling. Together they combat the monsters and unearthly forces that have shaped their lives and threaten their futures.

Daughter of Hounds is muddled with profanity that obscures the action, and many areas are just too vague to readily ascertain the exact intent of the storyteller. This is a highly imaginative story that does flow at a few intervals, although much of the story is shrouded in innuendo and vague declarations of impending doom. A real disappointment from award-winning author Caitlin R. Kiernan.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Brenda A. Snodgrass, 2007

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