The first novel in an original, back-to-back three-book series The Iron Druid Chronicles—introducing a cool, new, funny urban fantasy heroAtticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
Paperback, 289 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Del Rey
Five Stars: A fun Urban Fantasy Book that kicks off a great series and will appeal to a wide audience.
Atticus is a centuries old Druid. Living in Tempe, Arizona, going about his business, quietly of running a small shop that specializes in books of the occult variety and medicinal teas. To everyone, Atticus looks like a normal, handsome twenty something guy, but in reality he is a skilled Druid who has survived for centuries, a large part due to his magical necklace that took him nine hundred years to craft. What starts as a seemingly ordinary, hotter than Hades day in Arizona quickly turns dangerous. Outside his store, a group of paranormal thugs attack Atticus. The steely warrior soon disposes of them, but not before he learns they were sent by his biggest enemy, Aenghus ‘Og. The attackers are after the magical sword, Fragarach. A sword forged in the Tir na nOg, the Fae Realm. As soon as he finishes cleaning the mess up, a large black crow, harbinger of death, or better known as The Morrigan arrives in his store. She and Atticus struck a bargain centuries ago that allows for his longevity. Even the Morrigan is concerned for Atticus’ well being. Trouble hangs thick on the wind. Can Atticus once again escape the deadly fury of Aenghus Og or are his days, as everyone seems to think, truly numbered?
What I Liked:
- I was completely blown away by this book. Atticus is an awesome hero. A Druid skilled in magic, herbs, shapeshifter, healing power and he draws his energy from the earth. Not only is he a kick butt character, but he is witty and a bit sarcastic as well. The other great thing about him, is that he has a large Irish Wolfhound, Oberon, with whom he communicates telepathically. Let me just say, Oberon steals the show with all of his hilarious dialogue on sausages, arse sniffing, French poodle harems and Ghanghis Kahn. Oberon is on my list of all time favorite side kicks.
- I loved how this book immediately opens with action and it doesn’t let up. Each chapter piles on more trouble for Atticus until he is neck deep in hot water. There are so many developments and twists in the plot that you don’t get bored. I also loved the fact that you were constantly trying to figure out who were the good guys and who were the baddies.
- I loved meeting Atticus’ neighbor the old widow, Mrs. MacDonagh. This old gal is full of sass and spunk. She is lucky enough to have Atticus do her yard work and while he works in the yard, she sits on the porch and makes inappropriate comments. The best part about her is that she tosses back some neat whiskey before church. She is so fun, I hope she is in the rest of the series.
- I enjoyed having a male protagonist that is a Druid. I know very little about Druids and Celtic lore and Mr. Hearne helped my dive into his world and gain a new appreciation.
- Starting this book, I was expecting a read set in a fantasy world, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was set in my former home of Metro Phoenix. So I was familiar with the setting and many of the places in the story. I liked that Mr. Hearne set his urban fantasy book in our modern world, but there are plenty of paranormal entities who live among us and go unnoticed. This book has werewolves, vampires, Celtic Gods, Fae, and witches to name a few. Expect the unexpected in this book.
- This book avoids my arch nemeses: the horrendous cliffhanger and the love triangle. Thankfully, both of these elements are out of this book. So if you are looking for a read that does not involve that love angle theme, read Hounded.
- The best part about reading this book, is that I read it in a month long read along event with many other bloggers. It is fun to read a book with fellow bloggers and compare notes along the way.
And The Not So Much:
- Honestly, there are only a couple of minor considerations. First, this book is jam packed with Irish lore and language. It is a lot to take in and keep track of, but Mr. Hearne does an excellent job of helping you stay afloat. He even provides a nice list and pronunciation guide at the beginning, to help you make sense of everything.
- There is a section in the book where Atticus discusses all that goes into becoming a Druid. I enjoyed learning all of this, but I wish that there was a bit more, again just because I am unfamiliar with Druids and Celtic Lore.
- This book builds and builds toward a deadly showdown with the antagonist, Anghus ‘Og, but when you finally get to those last chapters, it kind of felt a bit anti-climatic. I won’t go into much detail to avoid spoilers, but the big epic battle felt a bit hurried. Not to say that it wasn’t entertaining, it was, I was just a little surprised at how quickly Atticus ran into difficulty.
- Finally, maybe this is just me, but when I saw the cover I thought this book doesn’t look like it is for me. I don’t tend to read too many fantasy books. This is a case of don’t judge a book by its cover, thinking this is a book for men. Ladies, do not hesitate to read this. This book is awesome and it will appeal to a wide variety of readers. There is a little something in it for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to continue the series.
Hounded, is a fantastic book. Follow the resourceful Atticus as he fights to stave off his mortal enemy. Be on your toes because this book is action packed and full of awesomeness. The lovable Oberon will sink his teeth into your heart with all of his hilarious commentary. If you are thinking of reading this book but haven’t gotten around to it, get after it NOW! If you have never heard of this book and want something fun, get this NOW! Books two and three are currently available and book four, Tricked, will be released April 24, 2012. No long waits in between books with this series.
“They are pathetic shadows of true men.”
“Nobody pays attention to names here.” “Then what do they pay attention to?” “Crude displays of personal wealth.”
“My dad’s idea of bonding was throwing me in the tar pits to teach me a lesson, though I’m not sure what the lesson was, except to stay the hell away from Da.”
“Giving a witch your body fluids is akin to slicing off a choice cut of your buttocks and offering it to a werewolf.”
“I looked at him as if he were trying to sell me the ShamWow and the Slap Chop.”
“With dogs you just go up and smell their asses and you know where you stand.”
“The last fingers of the sun were waving good-by over the horizon, and twilight was upon us.”
“A friend will help ye move, Katie, but a really good friend will help ye move a body.”
“Leif said, wiggling his fingers like they were jazz hands.””
“Wait. You go to church drunk?” “Mellow is the word I’d be usin’, if you please.”
I said, “I’m not the Druid you’re looking for.”
“We warbled up Mill Avenue and doubtless gave the stoner’s loitering on the corner outside Trippie Hippie a quick jolt of paranoia. Sirens just harsh on their mellow, man.”
“The point is, Mrs. MacDonagh, that the universe is exactly the size that your soul can encompass.”
“Attaboy,” the widow chuckled. “Off y’go, then. Kill every last one o’ the bastards and call me in the morning.”
“The Haunted Canyon trail Emily spoke of is in the Superstition wilderness, which spans the infamous range of mountains where over one hundred stupid people have died trying to find gold.”
“I’m not going to pretend my sphincter didn’t clench---my survival instinct is too well developed.”