Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Iron Druid Chronicles: Hounded and Hexed

 I enjoy my sci-fi/fantasy novels, but lately I've had a hard time finding books that appeal to me.  It seems that everything involves a leather -clad hot chick with either a sword, motorcycle, or an attached demon.  

Enter The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.  I've read the first two in this series:  Hounded  and Hexed.  Hounded sat on my bookshelf for many months, and after a few false starts, I committed myself to sitting down and reading it.  It started off a bit slow, but quickly picked up speed.  The main character is Atticus O'Sullivan.  He appears to be a twenty-something red haired young man, but in reality he's a 2100 year old Druid.  He's full of tattoos that connect him to the Earth.  He's chock full of knowledge about many different faiths, magic, and Gods and Goddesses.  You live for 21 centuries, you pick up a few skills.  

Atticus lives in Arizona and owns an occult bookstore.  He likes to live quietly and wants no trouble.  Living in Arizona keeps the fae away and Atticus has successful stayed hidden from Aenghus Og--a god he pissed off centuries before by stealing his magical sword, Fragarach. Well, actually, he didn't steal it--he got it fair and square in a battle.  

Unfortunately, Atticus has been found, and now everyone is after him.  He's got to pull out all the stops to stay alive, protect his friends, and end the battle with Aenghus Og once and for all.  

If you are a fan of mythology of any kind, this is the series for you.  Every God and Goddess from all mythologies are alive and well in this series.  Native American Coyote, Celtic Goddesses, Thor, witches, vampires, and werewolves are everywhere.  The writing is quick paced, action packed, and full of humor.  A friend read these and said while he liked the novels well enough, he felt the characters were too perfect.  I can see his point a bit.  But, I figure if you've lived 21 centuries, you probably have figured out a lot of crap and have learned how to stay alive by always being prepared.  Atticus is a Druid, which I find fascinating.  He's actually the only Druid left on the planet.  His love of the earth and all of nature and his relationship with it are one of the more interesting aspects of the novels.  

I'm going to dive into Hammered, book three in the series.  It's followed by Tricked.  A fifth novel is coming out this fall, so I have a few months to catch up.  I usually don't like to read a series book after book, but I'm so enjoying this one I am breaking one of my rules and doing just that.  I liked Hexed even more than the first novel, as Atticus gets involved with some nasty witches trying to take over Tempe.  Toss in a group of Bacchants arriving from Las Vegas to create chaos at a night club, and Atticus has his hands full of trouble.

Rating:  4/5 for the first two novels in The Iron Druid Chronicles.  Great action, characters you immediately like and cheer for, and the blend of mythology is out of this world!

All are available as mass market paperbacks and e-books.

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