Hounded is the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles written by Kevin Hearne. It’s full of action, magic, and humor, all packed together to make for one entertaining story for any lover of urban fantasy.
Atticus O’Sullivan is a 2000+-year-old Druid, the last of his kind, who now roams the vast lands of Tempe, Arizona thinking that the Tuatha Dé Danann and Fae cannot locate him there. He hides in plain sight, operating an occult bookstore. One reason he’s hiding? The Celtic God of Love, Aenghus Óg, is pissed at him for taking the sword Fragarach. The backstory is quite interesting and unfolds throughout the telling of the story. Aenghus Óg eventually finds Atticus and begins his quest to recover the sword.
Atticus is joined by several unusual friends, his Irish Wolfhound, Oberon, being the most awesome. Atticus has taught Oberon how to communicate with him and the hound becomes the source of many, many laughs throughout the book (and from what I’ve witnessed so far, throughout the series). The druid is also accompanied by a werewolf and vampire (both lawyers, of course), a body-snatching witch, and the Morrigan (Celtic Goddess of War and chooser of death).
The history and background of this story are rich. Hearne utilizes many religions and philosophies in the writing of this story, and he does it very well. Each God or Goddess is explained enough so those who aren’t familiar with the Celtic religion know what’s going on, and not too much that those who already know the background would get easily bored.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book as read by Luke Daniels. And Daniels does an excellent job! His voices and accents bring the characters to life and add new dimensions to the story. Each character has their own voice and vocal mannerisms. The eight hours it takes to get through the book fly by and it’s hard to press “stop.”
The Iron Druid Chronicles were recommended to me because of my love for Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, and I can definitely see the similarities; however, with its rich mythos, Hounded stands on its own and is an entirely different entity. I look forward to the rest of the series!