After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.
Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.
What I expected: I expected a fast read full of gods and fights and teenaged boy thoughts. I expected more conversations with Oberon, Granuialle to become a Druid, and vampires and werewolves to be in the mix there, too.
What I got: Well, I got what I expected, for the most part – there were very few vampires and no werewolves – and I got a bit more, too. I got the knowledge that all druids must be asshats.
What I liked: Like all the other books in this series, this was a quick and easy read – the story flows well, and while I disagree with a lot about the set up, it works pretty well. Oberon was cute, of course, if a bit mouthy at times, but he’s probably my favorite part of the story.
What I did not: If you’ve read my reviews of the previous books in this series, you already know that I’m not the biggest fan of Atticus, mostly for his self-centered view of the world and how he can so easily wreak havoc elsewhere with no qualms. As long as he isn’t hurting Gaia, he could not care less about other worlds and planes of existence. This is probably a personal prejudice, but I’ve always considered those that are advocates of the Earth to also have a great deal of respect for cause and effect, yet Atticus blithely goes out and destroys this, that, and the other while telling this one that the other one did it and basically just causing pandemonium elsewhere, and when it ends up all biting him in the behind, he pretty much just shrugs and says, ‘My bad.’ That just doesn’t seem to fit in with my idea of druidism. Of course, the author can’t really be expected to read my mind and know what I expect, so this isn’t really a failing of the author but rather my reading of the story. Hearne’s vision of a druid just doesn’t meld with mine.
Cover talk: This cover makes the book seem like a steamy romance novel. It is attractive in its own way, but the image conveys the wrong message to me. If I wasn’t already familiar with the series and I saw this cover, I’d run far away.
Recommend? Anyone out there enjoying the Iron Druid series up to this point will no doubt be reading this one with or without my recommendation. For anyone who is new to the series, if you don’t have any hang-ups over druidism and like fast action and a few chuckles, you will definitely want to give the series a try. However, if you are allergic to the mindset of an underdeveloped teen boy – you definitely need to stay away, as much of the humor of these books is in that vein.