Book 1 of The Hounds of Annwn
New job, new family, and in two weeks the end of a world he’s just discovered, if he can’t rise to the challenge.
George Talbot Traherne is just doing his job on a fine autumn morning, keeping the hounds together for the huntsman of the Rowanton Hunt in Virginia along the Blue Ridge Mountain. Doesn’t pay to get distracted by a white stag in unfamiliar territory, though. Next thing you know, you might find yourself… somewhere else.
The land is the same but not the people. Their huntsman has just been murdered, and George is tapped for the job. It’s an emergency — the Wild Hunt is only two weeks away, and if it doesn’t happen on schedule, the antlered god Cernunnos will take the realm from its ruler Gwyn ap Nudd and find someone who can mete out justice with the Hounds of Hell in his place.
George throws himself into the task, finding strength in the mission and resources he never knew he had. The more he comes to feel at home, settling into his new responsibilities, the more he wants to stay and make a life for himself. He’s finally met someone worth spending his life with, even if she’s just a bit older, a mere fifteen hundred years or so.
Can he keep the Wild Hunt on track despite the attempts to thwart it? Will he be accepted by those he wants to defend who view his timely presence and his human blood with suspicion? Above all, what does Cernunnos want of him and how far will he go? Can he survive the attention of a god?
Readers who are familiar with the sources of Arthurian literature such as the Mabinogion will recognize many of the characters, flourishing still in the world we cannot quite reach.
Listen to the first five minutes of the opening:
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To Carry the Horn
Publication date: October 9, 2012. 442 pages.
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Comparisons with other great sci-fi and fantasy writers are inevitable, and I would not hesitate to put this into the same short-list as David Eddings or Robert Jordan.
— Baily’s Hunting Directory. See the full review.
I’m certainly looking forward to The Ways of Winter, and would recommend To Carry The Horn to anyone who likes Celtic mythology, mysteries, or stories involving ordinary people taken to fantasy realms.
— Otherwhere Gazette. See the full review.
Myers takes readers on a fascinating ride into a parallel world where she weaves figures from Welsh mythology into a well-written tale that involves stag hunting, a huntsman’s murder, and a large case of greed and envy. Huntsman George Talbot Traherne, a whipper-in with the Rowanton Hunt in Virginia, is catapulted into the Otherworld when he takes a tumble during a foxhunt on a mysterious estate. When he remounts, George finds himself in the midst of a stag hunt where the huntsman, Iolo, has just been murdered.
With the all-important Great Hunt just two weeks away, George agrees to a new job as huntsman for the Hounds of Annwn in this strange, Medievalesque land where everyone seems to have magical powers, even George himself. He discovers that Gwyn ap Nudd, the Prince of Annwyn, is his relation and that his parents, who disappeared when he was young, were not quite whom they appeared to be. But more deaths soon place George, at first considered a kinsman and an ally, under suspicion. Was he brought to this world to help Gwyn or to replace him?
— FoxhuntingLife. See the full review.
When whipper-in George Talbot Traherne takes a tumble from his horse while foxhunting in the mountains of Virginia, he gets up to find himself in the middle of a stag hunt in a very different Blue Ridge. This is how Karen Myers begins her recently released fantasy novel, To Carry the Horn, and the twists and the action don’t stop until the final page.
— Horse Show Times. See the full review.
A blend of hunting and fantasy fiction, and the first entry in The Hounds of Annwn series, To Carry the Horn takes the reader into a world of magic and ancient rivalries where hunting with hounds plays a significant role in life and law. Well-written and finely detailed, this book provides an excellent opportunity for some enjoyable hours of escapism, particularly when read on a chilly winter evening before a cozy fire.
— In and Around Horse Country. See the full review.
To Carry The Horn is an intriguing piece of fantasy that paints, through Myers’ artistic eye, a vivid picture of a parallel otherworld where hounds and hunting are an integral part of daily life. A riveting read for anyone with ties to the chase, To Carry The Horn sets the scene for the next stand-alone entry in the extended series, The Ways of Winter. To tell the truth, we can’t wait.
— Middleburg Life. See the full review.
A novel both educational and gripping, filled with rich detail, intrigue and adventure.
What would you do if, in the act of jumping a fallen tree aboard a trusted steed, you found yourself in another world, one similar in geography but different in almost every other detail from the acres you’d ridden across for years? This is the predicament our hero George Talbot Traherne faces as he literally jumps from the 21st century into a hidden place outside the progression of time and lands in the middle of a murder mystery.
As I progressed through the book, I found it harder and harder to put down. And as I turned the last few pages, I was sorry it had to end.
— The Chronicle of the Horse. See the full review.
Myers has constructed a smooth, strong novel, her content well built, characters believable and richly developed. “To Carry The Horn” is well-written and displays a thorough knowledge of foxhunting.
— Fauquier Times-Democrat. See the full review: part 1, part 2.
— Covertside. See the full review (excerpted from above).
— eCovertside. See the full review (excerpted from above).
The hero sounds like a cross between Harry Potter and Melvin Poe.
— The Tack Room, Middleburg, VA