Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne ★★★★

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Book one in The Iron Druid Chronicles
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
ISBN: 0345522478
Page Count: 304
My Rating: ★★★★

Summary

Atticus O'Sullivan has been running for 2,000 years, and he's a bit tired of it. After he stole a magical sword from the Tuatha Dé Danann (those who became the Sidhe or the Fae) in a first century battle, some of them were furious and gave chase, and some were secretly amused that a Druid had the cheek to defy them. As the centuries passed and Atticus remained a fugitive—an annoyingly long-lived one, at that—those who were furious only grew more so, while others began to aid him in secret.

Now he's living in Tempe, Arizona, the very last of the Druids, far from where the Fae can easily enter this plane and find him. It's a place where many paranormals have decided to hide from the troubles of the old world—from an Icelandic vampire holding a grudge against Thor to a coven of Polish witches who ran from the German Blitzkrieg.

When Atticus hears from the Morrigan that his nemesis, Aenghus Óg, has found him once again, he decides to stay and fight rather than run. In so doing, he becomes the center of a power struggle amongst the Tuatha Dé Danann, where the sword he stole is the key to a plot to overthrow Brighid, First among the Fae. To thwart this determined deity, Atticus will need all the power he can muster to deliver himself from evil.

REVIEW

I really enjoyed this book. The story follows Atticus, a 2,100 year old druid. He 'acquired' a magical fae sword some millennia ago, and not everyone thinks he should be allowed to keep it, so he's been hiding in plain sight in Arizona for several years, trying to stay under the radar. He's now sick of all the running, and this story is about what happens when he decides to stop and fight.

HOUNDED had an abundance of wonderful, rich mythology, and I felt like I learned a lot without even trying to. Because thankfully, Hearne delivers it all in such a way that when you met a god or goddess, you felt like you were being given an introduction to a character, and not just the wikipedia breakdown of who they were, which is so often the case with other authors who use existing mythology as the backbone to their work. In fact, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the story telling in general. Especially for a debut novel. I also love the fact that all three books currently out in this series were released a month apart from each other like one big sucker punch. What a year for Kevin Hearne!

The book had various supernatural races. We saw vampires, weres, gods and goddesses, witches and fae to name but a few. A lovely, big melting pot of all my favourite things. I actually would give it four and a half stars if that were possible, but what's preventing it from being a five, and what I would really like for the next book, is for our protagonist, Atticus, to develop some closer personal relationships. Other than his dog, there isn't really anyone Atticus is close to and I missed reading about those kinds of relationships. The closest people in his life appear to be his lawyers and his employee. Which is just a little bit sad......

I look forward to reading the next instalment. I can't remember the last time I read a book from a first person male perspective. So many urban fantasy books have female leads, so it was a nice change.

Frivolous aside: This series has some wicked cover art. It's definitely what made me look into the books when I usually only look out for books with sword or gun-wielding chicks on the front. Not floppy-haired Irish druids.

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