Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Iron Druid Chronicles, a series by Kevin Hearne

Iron Druid Atticus O'Sullivan is the last Druid on Earth, and thanks to his special concoction he calls Immortalli-Tea he has lived since time of the Roman Empire. With his sidekick the Irish wolfhound Oberon, he wields the power of Gaia to protect the Middle Earth against the depredations of Norse, Greek, and Roman gods; as well as the powers of Faerie. There are vampires and werewolves, and many other "monsters" as well.

This urban fantasy series is very much in line with Dresden Files. The romantic relationship between Atticus and his apprentice Granuaile, that weaves its way through the book, rarely relies on the "rescue the princess" trope. Good adventure and with a sense of humour. Oberon, the "talking" dog, mostly interested in sausages and poodles, is my favorite sidekick in this genre.

1. Hounded
Atticus O'Sullivan is the last of the Druids. He lives quietly in Arizona; running an new-age bookstore and occasionally shape-changing and hunting with his Irish Wolfhound, Oberon. Centuries of peace and quiet come to an end when a Celtic god tracks him down looking for some stolen property.
2. Hexed
Things are getting hectic in Tempe, Arizona. Atticus must contend with not one, but two witches' covens, a fallen angel, and followers of the Roman god Bacchus. With his faithful hound Oberon, some good neighbours, and his vampire lawyer, Atticus must broker a supernatural peace in Arizona and protect the mortals he has been hiding among.
3. Hammered
Things are becoming untenable in Tempe, Arizona. Anonymity seems out of the question now as vampires and demon hunters both seek to use and/or destroy the last Druid. Its time to get out of Dodge so as a favor to his vampire lawyer Atticus travels to Asgard to battle Thor.
4. Tricked
The battle on Asgard left some powerful enemies now looking for Atticus in Arizona. The local Navajo trickster god Coyote helps the Druid hide, but also tricks him into dealing with some nasties out in the desert. Further tricks are played on Atticus by godly powers closer to his heart.
5. Trapped
The druid Atticus has survived since the Roman empire by flying below the magical radar. Now his cover is blown just when he has to risk returning to Europe to complete his apprentice's binding to the Earth to become the first new druid in 2000 years.
Enemies from the Roman and Greek pantheon as well as vampires, Loki, and the Norse dark elves are all out to get the druid.
6. Shattered
The apprentice is now a full druid, and after rescuing his archdruid and former master from a magical time-bubble prison there are now three druids.
Atticus, Granuaile and "Owen" must battle Loki and a malevolent menagerie of magical beings. Is the newly Gaia-bound druid ready for the big leagues? Is the newly released archdruid able to adapt to a world that has passed him by? Can Atticus protect his friends and family while battling for the fate of the earth?
7. Hunted
The druids' last interaction with the European gods at the foot of Mount Olympus have come back to haunt them. Atticus, Granuaile and Oberon, the wolfhound must race across Europe, fleeing the best hunters of the Greek pantheon.
Loki is preparing for Ragnarok and killing Atticus is part of the preparations. Can the druids reach sanctuary in Britain and thwart Loki's plans before the hunters catch their prey?
8. Staked
Atticus and his friends must come together to deal with the vampire conspiracy the almost exterminated the druids 2000 years ago. Owen, his former mentor, and Granuaile, his former apprentice, both have their own problems to deal with before they can all team up and put an end to the vampire's plans to take over the world.

Its great that a series this long can manage to tie off long running plot elements, kill off and introduce new characters, and still maintain the air of ongoing risk necessary for a fun adventure.

Oberon the sausage-loving Irish wolfhound is still around for comic relief so I'm gonna keep reading the series.

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