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.
“Sometimes I forget what I look like and I do something out of character, such as sing shepherd tunes in Aramaic while I’m waiting in line at Starbucks, but the nice bit about living in urban America is that people tend to either ignore eccentrics or move to the suburbs to escape them.”
This was a well written book and it is steeped in mythology. Other than a few pieces, the plot is actually mostly believable and follows a decent progression while remaining internally consistent. I enjoyed the way Hearne moved between events in the book more than I have in any other book in a while now. Each event slid into the next without forcing events to fall a certain way or without being arbitrarily pressed for time.
Hearne’s world-building is deeply rooted in gods and myths. In this one book we have gods from several different pantheons, though it is focused on the celtic Tuatha Dé Danann because of the focus this book on Atticus. While there are vampires and werewolves and witches and even demons, none of these are really explored in depth in this book, but there is plenty of room in the rest of the series to focus on them. We also get a large dose of Atticus’ personal brand of Druid magic which has a lot of limits laid out in the book but appears to be basically limitless in certain regards.
Atticus himself is a person I could never like. He is 2100 years old, yet acts like a young 20-something with no life experiences who just wants to play around all day. He is shallow, he acts like has never seen a woman before, he makes poor choices, he walks into traps he knows is there just for the hell of it, does what he wants when he wants, and is just incredibly annoying. This series is actually worse off for having him at the forefront. The best character in the book is the dog (this is not exactly a good thing), Oberon, but he acts as the comic relief character who butts in every possible moment to remind you he is there. Granuaile is the love interest who seems to be tailor made to push every single button Atticus has, but has no interests or existence outside of what can be useful for Atticus.
Despite having a main character I dislike immensely, I actually kind of enjoyed myself reading this. The gods weren’t just humans with a god label, the events followed a good progression through the story, and if the mythology wasn’t real it was at least convincing and full featured.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Iron Druid Chronicles series page!