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Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles) Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2011
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“A page-turning and often laugh-out-loud-funny caper through a mix of the modern and the mythic.”—Ari Marmell, author of The Warlord’s Legacy
Atticus O’Sullivan is the last of the ancient druids. He has been on the run for more than two thousand years and he’s tired of it. The Irish gods who want to kill him are after an enchanted sword he stole in a first-century battle, and when they find him managing an occult bookshop in Tempe, Arizona, Atticus doesn’t want to uproot his life again. He just wants everything to end one way or another, but preferably the way in which he can continue to enjoy fish and chips.
He does have some small hope of survival: The Morrigan, the Irish Chooser of the Slain, is on his side, and so is Brighid, First Among the Fae. His lawyer is literally a bloodsucking vampire, and he has a loyal Irish wolfhound with opinions about poodles.
But he’s facing down some mighty enemies: Aenghus Óg, a vengeful Irish god, plus a coven of witches and even the local police. On top of all that, Aenghus has a direct line to the firepower of hell. Atticus will need all the luck of the Irish and more if he’s going to stay alive.
Don’t miss any of Kevin Hearne’s phenomenal Iron Druid Chronicles novels:
HOUNDED | HEXED | HAMMERED | TRICKED | TRAPPED | HUNTED | SHATTERED | STAKED
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“[Kevin] Hearne is a terrific storyteller with a great snarky wit. . . . Neil Gaiman’s American Gods meets Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden.”—SFFWorld
“[The Iron Druid books] are clever, fast-paced and a good escape.”—Boing Boing
“Hearne understands the two main necessities of good fantasy stories: for all the wisecracks and action, he never loses sight of delivering a sense of wonder to his readers, and he understands that magic use always comes with a price. Highly recommended.”—The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
“Superb . . . plenty of quips and zap-pow-bang fighting.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Celtic mythology and an ancient Druid with modern attitude mix it up in the Arizona desert in this witty new fantasy series.”—Kelly Meding, author of Chimera
“[Atticus is] a strong modern hero with a long history and the wit to survive in the twenty-first century. . . . A snappy narrative voice . . . a savvy urban fantasy adventure.”—Library Journal
“A page-turning and often laugh-out-loud funny caper through a mix of the modern and the mythic.”—Ari Marmell, author of The Warlord’s Legacy
“Outrageously fun.”—The Plain Dealer
“Kevin Hearne breathes new life into old myths, creating a world both eerily familiar and startlingly original.”—Nicole Peeler, author of Tempest Rising
About the Author
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a pretty nifty idea. He is the author of A Plague of Giants and the New York Times bestselling series The Iron Druid Chronicles.
- Publisher : Del Rey (May 3, 2011)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345522478
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345522474
- Item Weight : 5.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.16 x 0.83 x 6.87 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #43,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Our protagonist is a 2100 year old druid who wields a magic sword, sports magic tattoos, wears a magic bracelet, kills supernatural assassins with his bare hands, summons elementals, beds a goddess, makes a pact with a demon, gains immortality, communicates telepathically with his dog, transforms into a wolfhound, rides a magic sled (pulled by magic stags), spars with a viking vampire, consorts with werewolf lawyers and murders a possessed park ranger.
And then, in chapter two, things get downright silly.
The author was obviously inspired by the worlds created Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs, too bad he wasn't inspired by their writing.
The good books, the ones that years later you are still talking about them, are few and far between. “Good Omens”, “The Return of the King”, “To Green Angel Tower” and the like are all novels that I sat down to read ... and didn’t get up until I finished the book. (Tad Williams nearly killed me from lack of sleep)
“Hounded” is one of those books. It lays forth a tapestry of characters and events without reading like a history book. The characters are fully formed, even the peripheral ones, so when they show up again they feel like a friend.
The characters change. They grow. They falter. Sometimes, as in reality, they die and you mourn them, you miss them.
The only complaint I have (and it is such a petty one) is that the cover doesn’t match the character painted inside. See? I told you it was petty.
Atticus is a Druid with powers of the earth and a dog named Oberon who has lived in hiding for 2000+ years ever since he took a magical sword from a God of Love named Aenghus Óg and Aenghus Og wants it back. That’s the basic story. *SPOILER ALERT*
1. Holes in the story - Oberon kills a human Park Ranger after going on a short hunt with Atticus and a different God, Flidais, because said God bewitches him(Oberon) into killing the man for startling her, but she was supposed to be there to warn Atticus about Aenghus Og being on his way. This sets off a chain of events where the police are trying to find Oberon because somehow the police have figured out the dog DNA on the body belonged to an Irish Wolfhound even though its said/written that it’s not possible to determine dog breed by dog DNA. How would Aenghus even know about the hunt to be able to set up Atticus and Oberon when Flidais and Atticus were in bed when they discussed going on a hunt and she never left so she couldn’t have told Aenghus to set a trap. It doesn’t say the Gods can talk mind to mind. It’s just too nicely set up without explanation. And Flidais is supposed to be helping him but then she’s not but then later she is and again not and again is.
2. The switching back and forth of the loyalties of the 3 different Gods (Flidais, The Morrigan & Brighet) and then also The Witches was just confusing. Not only was there back and forth by Flidais above but also The Morrigan and The Witches and the God Brighid. It was too much confusion to make sense of. One unexpected person or group who betrays the main character would have been enough but it was like the writer tried to add too much into the story and didn’t do a good enough job explaining it or letting the main character cast doubt on them so you never felt like oh they are good guys or bad guys. One second you believed that person/group was good. The next it was like huh? And in the end it was explained offhandedly like we should have known the gods are tricky and witches can’t be trusted. But maybe one witch. And her couple of sisters. *ugh*
3. The sex - is this book supposed to have sex in it or not? Because there are little hints of it that seem like there would be some sex scenes with Atticus and then lamely left EVERYTHING to the imagination. Either do it or don’t. And what’s with Granuaile? Hot redhead that Atticus has been lusting after for an undetermined amount of time comes off as a bit of an airhead who might be smart but it never really goes anywhere or makes you feel like she may or may not be a real love interest. Instead Atticus ends up with meaningless sex and getting hit on constantly by the female Gods and you’re confused as to where this is all leading. Does he need a love interest? Prolly not but then why Granuaile?
4. Character development. None of the side characters are built enough into the story to make you want to love them and continue on. The dog is kinda funny at times but even he lacks something. The widow is pretty cool but again there just isn’t a connection there. I read so many books and when you pick up a book and just love the characters and want more by the end of the book - then you know the writer did something right. Maybe after reading a few books I might feel this way about Atticus and Oberon but I just didn’t get that feeling in this book. Good potential but not enough.
Overall it lacks the depth needed for a good novel series. Hopefully the writer gets better throughout the series. I most likely won’t read any more in this series.
Top reviews from other countries
So what makes a good fantasy? Humour. I don't mean that stories need to be comedic. if you look at real life people humour is always present. if you are in a profession that is tense with great responsibility, like EMTs or Firemen, soldiers, pilots and so on, you'll alwys find humour because it reduces tension. Real people make light of situations.
And so we come to the Iron Druid. a 2100-year-old iron-age man. he is hunted by gods as well as mundane police at various stages.
His appearance is that of a young 20-something but his mind, and thus the internal dialog we hear, is 2100 years old. So his attitudes are necessarily more primitive, though given that he has lived so long, those primitive attitudes have unergone some refining and he embraces most of the modern lifestyle choices.
Hmour is ever present though. In conversations with his dog, Oberon, with the werewolves and vampires and humans. It makes it seem real and thus very easy to submerse yourself in the caharacters and environment. Thats not to say there are no serious action scenes.
There are no super gory long drawn out posturing battles. He's an iron-age fighter, so the idea is, kill them before they kill you. there are no rules.
It's very refreshing.
The quality of writing is escellent throughout. Good characterisation, a plot that you can see has run for millenia and is likely to continue.
The treatment of the druids, history of the old Irish religion, vampires, werewolves, norse gods, graeco-roman gods and sundry others are logically consistent and feel real. And that is what makes a Great Fantasy.
I really recommend getting the entire series (it's discounted) and also the Audobooks as that helps immensely with the pronounciation.
Enjoy yourself with this, and may harmony find you.
Atticus is a 2100 year old magic bearing druid who runs a book and herb tea shop in Arizona. He's been on the run from a god for centuries since stealing his mythical sword fragarach during battle, though the God in question Aenghus, was using it for destruction.
Atticus, as a druid, is about earth and healing. However that doesn't mean he's not dangerous.
This urban fantasy combining nordic and Irish mythology, adventure and sardonic wit, finds Atticus being hunted by the god, but he has allies. His lawyers are both Vikings - one a werewolf, one a vampire, the Morrigan promises not to take him if he dies, there's a very attractive yet unusual barmaid set to help him, and a lovely old Irish whiskey drinking neighbour pensioner who helps him bury bodies.
Best of all though is best buddy Oberon - his Irish wolfhound rescue, who lives sausages and poodles.
Hearne writes the dialogue between the two friends - magic of course - and Oberon is funny, sarcastic but also so loving and adorable.
Atticus is cheeky at times but also honourable.
It's a great cast of characters that fans of Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison will love.
And given the amount of research, which is evident but not info dumped, it works well.
So, I started doing some searches, books like.........
Got a lot of results! Mostly stuff I've read and a lot of stuff I know isn't relevant.
However I spot this gem in the pile and delve deeper. An Irish Druid! The last Druid! And he's an o'sullivan?!!
I couldn't turn back now! What an excellent name choice(truly inspired)
Then I realised the whole pantheon of Irish gods and myths are thrown in too, with Norse werewolves and Icelandic vampires and polish witches? Not to mention mellow Irish widows and smart ass Irish wolfhounds! With a yarn fit for a bard tying the whole thing together.
Overall a quick action packed adrenaline ride from start to finish! Ive got another great series to enjoy😀
My only other slight irritation was that occasionally the protagonist could come across as very male - not ever sexist, but leaning in the direction of that, and that risked losing my sympathy in places. I think much of this came from him being long-lived and occasionally patronising and unsympathetic. Still, I'll definitely read the next one!