Urban Fantasy takes a new stand | Review of ‘Hounded’ (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)


By: Cynthia Ayala

Hearne’s amazing urban fantasy tale tells about an immortal druid who just wants to be left alone. But with crazy gods bothering him, the action and humor is endless.

Author: Kevin Hearne

Published: May 3, 2011

Publisher: Del Rey

Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adventure

Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the druids, lives peacefully in Arizona running his occult bookshop. An immortal who only looks twenty-one, he likes the peaceful life he has taken. However, an angry Celtic god wants something he has, a sword of immeasurable power, and he will stop at nothing to get it – even making deals with the wrong sort of death gods. Now Atticus must call in favors from his werewolf and vampire lawyers; make a deal with a charismatic and deadly Hindu witch and draw up every ounce of power he can from the Earth if he wants to survive.

Hounded, published by Del Rey in May 3, 2011 is the first novel in the fantasy based Iron Druid Chronicles that follows Atticus O’Sullivan, the last remaining druid who just wants to live his life out in Arizona free of gods and fae. Of course, what kind of a novel would that be if he got his wish?

The novel was over all very amusing as it followed the lone druid and his faithful Irish wolfhound Oberon as they take on some very nasty back stabbing witches and an angry god of love who seeks total domination within his immortal realm. Atticus is just having a very bad day in the novel that turns into a very bad week then a very bad month considering the circumstances and events that take hold within the novel. Hearne is very good at characterization. While the narrative that trails Atticus’s characterization is very good, the characterization surrounding other character does not falter either. Take, for example, Flidais; her characterization was amazing. Flidais was both scary and funny at the same time and Hearne made it seem so effortless, her dialogue in conjecture with Atticus’s. She’s a god, a huntress, who will do what she will no matter the consequences, but what makes her so amusing is that she says everything so matter-of-fact, so nonchalant that it makes the reader laugh, will make the reader laugh and smile and enjoy reading her character, her dialogue and her interaction with Atticus.

Of course, the same can be said about most of the characters within the novels, especially Morrigan, the seductive goddess of Death. Take this quote for example: “What do you know? She liked to be told she was scary. Kinky.” [274]. The novel is filled with hilarious moments like that, that capture who the characters are and the dynamics.

This was an incredibly well written novel that follows the pace of events thoughtfully, putting together the characterization and the effort to make it so seem less jut highlights how talented this writer really is. Every myth, every fantasy, is so interwoven together on such a level that all myths fit together perfectly. Nothing is out of place in this novel, from narrative, dialogue, scene specifics and mythology, it all works together brilliantly to give readers this fantastical and amusing read. ★★★☆☆ (B+)

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