ranuel (ranuel) wrote,

Review: Hounded

Hounded Cover
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Book One of the Iron Druid Chronicles

This was SO MUCH FUN!! Probably a mistake to read it during my reading of the Dresden Files because it has everything I like about Dresden Files without the stuff I don't like. One of the librarians handed the audio book to me and told me I'd like it and he was right. The reader does such a good job that I plan to get the audio versions for the other two as well.

Atticus O'Sullivan owns Third Eye Books in Tempe, Arizona. He's a good looking young man who appears to be in his early twenties with bright red hair and some cool tattoos. At Third Eye you can sip a cup of custom blended tea in their small tea shop, pick up a deck of tarot cards, get a book on magic or religion, or pick up a bust of Ganesha. In other words it's your standard university town New Age bookstore except if you know to ask the owner can set you up with an ancient grimoire from the backroom.

Atticus is actually the 2100-year-old Druid Siodhachan Ó Suileabháin who a couple of millenia ago REALLY ticked off Aengus Óg, Celtic God and member of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Sidhe politics being what they are he now has beings he's never met who would kill him to win favor with Aengus and powerful ones who help him out just to spite Aengus. Problem is that Sidhe politics being what they are sides can change without advance warning. Atticus has made it to 2100 by moving around and changing his identity on a regular basis. Well, that and the magic that keeps him young and the deal with Death that's keeping him alive.

The "Iron Druid" in the series title refers to the fact that Atticus spent centuries learning to use iron in his magic in order to be more effective against his fey enemies.

Atticus lives in Tempe because it's a nice place and it's pretty remote from any possible portal to Fairy. It's appealing to other magical types for similar reasons and his friends and customers include witches (not of the Wiccan type), werewolves, vampires, ghouls, and the occasional god. It's a good place for the last living Druid until Aengus finds out where he is.

He has a familiar of a sort in the Irish Wolfhound Oberon. His magic has bound Oberon to him so that the dog has augmented intelligence and the ability to speak to him telepathically. He's still a dog through and food, bitches (he has a thing for poodles), and ass sniffing are his main interests. Oberon provides a lot of the comic relief as well as being a really useful ally.

Other major characters are the Werewolf/Vampire team of lawyers Atticus has on retainer, the bartender at his favorite pub who is more than she seems, and his neighbor the elderly Widow MacDonagh who enjoys a wee drop and having grown up during The Troubles is more than able to deal with some of the more outrageous aspects of Atticus' life. Favorite Widow MacDonagh quote: "A friend will help you move. A really good friend will help you move a body."

I'd recommend this if you like Dresden Files or American Gods.
Tags: book review, iron druid chronicles

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