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WesternSFA


Hounded
Iron Druid Chronicles #1
by Kevin Hearne
Del Rey, $7.99, 320pp
Published: May 2011

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.

Atticus gives the appearance of being a 23-year-old hippie but appearances can be deceiving since he is, in reality, a 2100-year-old Druid, the last of his kind. He has been hiding out from the god Aenghus Og who wants to kill him and retrieve the sword Fragarach.  Atticus does his best to blend into the community, running his occult bookstore near Arizona State University and going home each night to his  Irish Wolfhound, Oberon.

 Aenghus sends a quartet of fairies to retrieve the sword setting in motion a series of events that culminates in a huge battle with a god involving Atticus, his werewolf and vampire lawyers, Granuaile, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch and Morrigan, the goddess of death. 

The Kindle edition includes two bonus stories. First is Clan Rathskeller that is set ten months before the events of Hounded and finds Atticus and Oberon at an open air mall in December where they discover Santa’s elves are actually gnomes who are there to meet a god who has recovered an item stolen from them. In  Kaibab Unbound Atticus helps the elemental Kaibab escape a trio of witches.

This was a quick read. The characters are all fully realized, even the minor characters. Oberon is wonderful and his conversations with Atticus are a highlight of the book. I think many of us pet owners wish we could communicate with our pets directly as Atticus and Oberon do.  If future books are as captivating as this then I look forward to the rest of the series. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For other titles in this series click here
For other titles by Kevin Hearne click here

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