Well, it finally happened. After six years of “Have you read the Iron Druid?” “Is your IW named Oberon?” and various other questions from patrons at the three renaissance festivals where I work (with the Hounds of East Fairhaven), I have finally started this series and NOW I GET IT.
I found it hard going at first because urban fantasy is not usually my jam – I’m more into elves and dwarves and dragons that live in the magical forest than I am ancient Irish gods and monsters and druids that live in Arizona. Sticking with it, though, was one of the best decisions I’ve made in awhile. If you are a fan of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, this series is for you – though it’s a little easier to focus, since it is only one pantheon, more or less.
There are also werewolves and vampires as well as witches – but our main character is Atticus O’Sullivan, a 1000 year old druid currently hanging out in the guise of a 20-something owner of a book and tea shop. But let’s get to the most important character – that amazing wolfhound, Oberon! He and Atticus communicate with each other in a way that I wish I could communicate with my girls!
Atticus has made an enemy of the Irish god of love, Aengus Óg, and this novel deals with the fall out from that misunderstanding. You almost need to be familiar with the Tuatha Dé Danann, the first folk of Irish mythology, or at least be ready to google. I might recommend Mythopedia – it is one of my go-to references these days. (Or if you are a language nerd like me, you will want to stop every time you have a name like this to find out how to pronounce it and then you’ll get waylaid saying it out loud over and over…but I digress). There are other fantastic characters that are lesser known, such as Flidais and Bres who will be easily recognized by those familiar with Irish mythology.
Atticus is a likeable enough character – but he is also very well written. There are times that I would forget that he was really over 1,000 years old, and other times that it was very clear. The entire novel is a tight, raucous ride that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I need to grab my wolfhounds and go get the next book in the series.
Faugh a Ballagh!