The Iron Druid Chronicles

Hounded by Kevin Hearne (2011)

Summary from Goodreads:

Atticus 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 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.

“The point is, Mrs. MacDonagh, that the universe is exactly the size that your soul can encompass. Some people live in extremely small worlds, and some live in a world of infinite possibility.”

I absolutely fell in love with this book. Not only did I read this is two days, but I also read 2 short stories and a novella that go with it. (See my short reviews for those at the bottom.) This was one of the best books I have read this year. I admit that I know next to nothing about Irish mythology, but I certainly want to learn more after reading this. I also appreciated the Irish pronunciation guide at the front of the book, although I’m sure I was still saying the words wrong. But the author does give permission to mispronounce words because he wants us just to have a good time and read the book and not “steal anyone’s marshmallows”. However I could have also used a whose who of Irish mythology, because I kept getting the gods and goddesses a bit confused, even thought the author does a good job of introducing them.

Atticus is a druid from Ireland, he is 2,100 years old, but looks like he is in his twenties, thanks to a special herbal tea he brews. (Can I get some of that?) He currently lives in Arizona, because it is hard for the Fae and other gods to find him there. I love Atticus, he is funny but very smart and really works hard to fit in with society. But he is such a badass as well. When you love that long you develop quite the fighting skill set. Plus his charge of taking care of the earth is something I can appreciate. I also loved his relationship with his elderly Irish neighbor, Mrs MacDonagh, she is such a hoot and totally gets Atticus even when he kills giants on her front lawn.

His dog Oberon is also an awesome character. . Best sidekick ever! Atticus can talk to Oberon through this special bond he was able to create and their conversations often had me laughing out loud. Oberon sounds exactly like I can imagine a dog would if they could talk.

I also loved his lawyers, a werewolf and a vampire, who help through out the book not just keeping Atticus one step ahead of the police, but also when the fighting needs to happen as well.

The bad guys in this story were well done as well. We have witches and giants as well as gods and goddesses. Some of these characters were more in the gray area of ‘helping’ Atticus while furthering their own agendas. Sometimes it was hard to tell if they were the good guys or the bad. But they were all entertaining.

The plot was absolutely riveting and oh so hard to tear myself away from. It is hard to say anymore about that without giving any of it away, but trust me.

Grimoire of the Lamb (book 0.4)- Novella

If you just want to get a taste for these books without committing to a whole book, I highly recommend giving this one a try. It takes place before the events in the first book, so nothing is spoiled. This was a great story where Atticus journeys to Egypt to thwart an Egyptian god’s attempt to come back into the world. Very well done and a nice mixing of the two mythologies.

Clan Rathskeller and Kaibab Unbound

These are two bonus short stories that are at the end of the e-book version of the first book. Clan Rathskeller was a Christmas story involving gnomes disguised as Santa’s elves and their revenge on a Kobold. Kaibab Unbound gives a better understanding of Atticus’s stewardship of the land as he has to save an elemental tied to a National Park from three witches that want to destroy it for their own gain. While both stories were good, and I recommend them, they are not essential to the story as a whole.

If you like urban fantasy with a layer of mythology then this is a series you really need to pick up.

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