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WesternSFA


Staked
Iron Druid Chronicles #8
by Kevin Hearne
Del Rey, $27.00, 336pp
Published: January 2016

Iron Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, hero of Kevin Hearne’s epic urban fantasy series, has a point to make—and then drive into a vampire’s heart.

When a Druid has lived for two thousand years like Atticus, he’s bound to run afoul of a few vampires. Make that legions of them. Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber. Now the toothy troublemakers—led by power-mad pain-in-the-neck Theophilus—have become a huge problem requiring a solution. It’s time to make a stand.

As always, Atticus wouldn’t mind a little backup. But his allies have problems of their own. Ornery archdruid Owen Kennedy is having a wee bit of troll trouble: Turns out when you stiff a troll, it’s not water under the bridge. Meanwhile, Granuaile is desperate to free herself of the Norse god Loki’s mark and elude his powers of divination—a quest that will bring her face-to-face with several Slavic nightmares.

As Atticus globetrots to stop his nemesis Theophilus, the journey leads to Rome. What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City? But poetic justice won’t come without a price: In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend.

Well, we start this book with a major annoyance. Mr. Hearne suggests it is important to read a novella which has important information about what happens between the end of the last book and the beginning of this one. If something is that important to the story arc it should be included as the beginning of this book or as an extra in this or the last book instead of trying to force readers to track down a book of short stories to have necessary information. That said, I am not willing to spend $5.99 to read one story in a 169-page ebook when I have no interest in the other two stores included.  Shame on you and your publisher Mr. Hearne particularly as this marks the first hardbound book in the series thus making it the most expensive so far.

As noted the action does not take up quite where the last book ended but close enough that skipping the novella does not seem to matter.  Atticus goes after the vampires, Granuaile makes a deal with the Polish witches and then goes after her step-father while Owen starts a grove in Arizona. We again have betrayal and the death of innocents as well as the beginning of the separation of our three main characters as they pursue their own priorities. Granuaile is coming to realize that she and Atticus view their responsibilities as Druids in very different way. Most of our loose ends are tied up but the one major problem, Loki and Ragnarok, remain to be wrapped up in the last book in the series, Scourged. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For more books in this series click here
For more books by Kevin Hearne click here

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