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Tricked (Iron Druid Chronicles) Signed Limited Edition Hardcover Hardcover – January 1, 2021
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Over the first few books, we've developed relationships with several characters -- Atticus, the POV character (who does appear here, along with his dog Oberon), and his various friends and acquaintances (neighbors, attorneys, a coven of Polish witches, police officers, gods and goddesses, etc.). Although a few of those characters appear in this volume, many are only mentioned as passing references. (Atticus's apprentice Granuaile has a decent role in this one, though, if you liked her. She gets more of a personality as well, and we learn more about her motivation for starting Druid training.)
The mythology in this one is more Native American (Navajo, specifically) as opposed to Celtic. Atticus doesn't always have the strongest tools to deal with the various culture-specific enemies/monsters he comes across and he has to improvise and I like that. Coyote, who has appeared previously in the series, is back. He has made a request of Atticus and it *seems* like his motives here are honest and upstanding, but Atticus is never quite sure, knowing Coyote's trickster history.
In addition to helping Coyote, Atticus has to tie up all the loose ends of his old life and establish new identities for himself and Granuaile. So in the midst of his tasks with the Navajo, he is constantly having to leave to do other things. On one of these tasks, something happens (don't want to spoil it) and Oberon gets hurt. It is agony getting through the next chapter or two -- we want to know what happened to Oberon! Didn't know I could get attached to a dog character like that, whose sole purpose seems to be comic relief, but I did. It was a good place in the series to put a moment like that, too. Atticus's life is changing -- is this small part going to stay the same or is it going to change, too?
There's an interesting new element, and I can't say it surprises me. Atticus and Granuaile seem attracted to one another and Atticus is choosing to take the honorable path of not abusing his power as teacher and avoiding romantic involvement in his student's life (though we get the sense that, under other circumstances, he would like to). I will be interested to see where this goes. And the relationship would make more sense than some other couples I've seen thrown together in fantasy novels recently. But we will have to wait for a future volume for that. Another thing I like is that Atticus has doubts about past relationships (not just romantic ones) -- did people truly care for him as a friend/lover/etc., or did they only want to associate with him for selfish reasons? He maintains a generally positive attitude, but it's good to see those cracks in his shell. He's not as much of a male Mary Sue as he appeared to be in the first volume.
The writing style is similar to past volumes. There's a little infodumping on Navajo culture, but it's more cleverly-disguised than usual. Atticus serves as a proxy for the reader, since this is one culture he hasn't lived as a part of prior to this book. So he is learning and observing along with us. I much prefer this to long blocks of description or background information. The banter with Oberon is back, maybe not at its funniest ever, but still decent. Character development is a little better in this book than in the past ones -- there are more emotional moments and background details offered, even for non-Atticus characters. It's limited by the first-person POV, but it's there.
This book seems to have concluded one arc of the series, but I know there are more volumes left. And I am curious as to what will happen next. I can come up with one carryover from this book and the previous one that may continue on in future volumes, but this was most definitely a book of conclusions and endings, as well. (Kind of nice to have one of those in the middle of an ongoing series. A good change of pace, and there's plenty of room for new beginnings, too.)
I'm enjoying this series quite a bit and I'm planning to continue on to the next book pretty soon. I think Tricked is my favorite of the bunch (so far).
If you're thinking about buying book 4 you've obviously bought into all that. In this book I enjoyed the addition of rich indigenous myths of the American southwest. There are enough twists to keep you guessing what the core characters of Atticus, Granuaile, and Oberon. If you've not yet fallen in love with the idea of being bonded to your own wolfhound this volume will clinch it.
In this book he starts walking home in a dark desert with two supernatural hunters after him, instead of pulling out his cell phone (or budgeting his time better). He also gets attacked on the fourth floor of a hotel, why didn't he try for a ground floor room so he's closer to his source of power, and why didn't he bother to put up any wards? If his paranoia is the only reason he's survived this long, it's just a thin cover for plot armor.
Also, I'd like an explanation for why he can absorb energy from the earth but somehow cobblestone acts as a buffer.
Top reviews from other countries
In this story, Atticus, the 2100 year old Iron Druid, is found in the Arizona desert fulfilling a promise to setup a native American ecological mining operation. He chats to elementals to get gold moved to the unlikely location, and has to deal with a wide manner of mythical entities, whilst maintaining a low profile, having recently faked his own death. The real charm of the storyline, though, is how he interacts with the other characters, especially his attractive female apprentice, and his surprisingly articulate hound, Oberon. There are various visits from deities such as the Irish gods like the Morrigan, the chooser of the slain, who turns out to be not unlike someone's eccentric hot single aunt. There are some casualties and some native American lore. I suspect the author, who lives in Arizona in real life, most likely was especially careful not to offend any native American readers by being disrespectful of their folklore. Oberon is the star of the show in some ways, as he is the funny man to Atticus's straight man.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of the series and readers who like urban fantasy.
The story is paced well and we get further insight to the past, certain characters are fleshed out and after wrapping up loose ends from the last book it's exciting to see where the next book goes.
Recommend this series to everyone I know. It has great humour, delightful characters, believable settings and is such a fun read I almost want to read each book in one sitting. If you like God's, myth, pop culture references, tense fight scenes, comedy, interesting character development and genuine page turners then this is the series for you.
Here we see Atticus repaying a debt to help out some Native Americans and coming up against Native American mythology (instead of the Norse Gods we have met previously) and some bad guys that even he can't deal with. Told as before with both wit and charm and humour from his hound Oberon.
The joy of the previous books was his dealing with a variety of Gods and religions (a brilliant scene with Jesus in the last book) and how they all mingle and share existence (based on the model that Gods gain their powers from belief). Here there is less of that and a story that feels slightly padded, with much of Atticus explaining stuff to his apprentice/the reader. Some of his old friends and alliances are treated rather strangely and even the ending was a little...odd.
So it was okay but not as entertaining or clever as the previous books. Be interesting to see where the author goes next, but he needs to freshen things up a bit and not rely too much on sausage related humour!
If you've read this far in the series, you'll want to keep reading. It really is worth it. Seriously entertaining series!
This is where the series really begins to turn into dedicated fantasy story telling without the urban elements that certainly the first 2 books possessed.
I found coyote and the main plot actually less interesting than the various sub plots and ongoing story arc revelations.
If you enjoyed the first three then you'll enjoy this one but it's not a high point.