The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Iron Druid Chronicles
By Kevin Hearne
First Released May 3rd, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Audible

 


When I was first recommended to read The Iron Druid Chronicles by a fellow reader buddy of mine (shoutout to Lauren from Always Me!), I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to pick it up. The urban fantasy genre is new to me in general, the first real series I read of which was Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. And I. Worship. It. I’ve set Butcher’s work on a pedestal and it will forever be the book I compare all urban fantasy writers to from here on out. So when I read the blurb about Iron Druid Chronicles, I was like, “Eh, this is just going to be a Harry Dresden rip off, isn’t it?” It even says in the Goodreads page that fans of Harry Dresden would love it! So, I picked up the book with cautious optimism. (Well, technically, I listened to it, but still.) It was about Irish lore and had a hot guy on the cover – what’s a girl not to like, right?

Luckily, my worries were unfounded. I was blown away by the world Hearne created. Atticus – a two thousand year old Druid - is snarky and sarcastic, quick-witted and resourceful – overall a hero worth rooting for. He has an adorable Irish Wolfhound companion, Oberon, who I’ve really come to love and adore throughout the course of the series and there are an assortment of friends and allies he’s come across, from vampires to werewolves, to gods and goddesses of many different pantheons.

The characterization in the novels is what really snagged me and kept me engaged through the eight books I devoured in a few weeks’ time. What makes Hearne’s work so special, in my opinion, is the magical world that he’s built. In most urban fantasies, there is usually only one pantheon depicted or a select few mythical beings. In Hearne’s world, though, there are infinite pantheons, from the Olympians to the Norse to the Christian. Just about any magical creature you’d want to read or meet shows up at least once in the stories. Of course, given that the series focuses on Irish mythology, the main focus is on the daoine sidhe (Irish fey). In this tradition, the Sidhe are considered to be ancient Celtic gods, also known as the Tuatha de Danann. Since Irish mythology is largely obscure, Hearne was left with a lot of creative freedom to build the gods and goddess as he saw fit, though they still stick true to their lore, my favorite of which were Morrigan and Flidais.

Morrigan was actually the character that I found most compelling in the series, even above Atticus and the other female lead, Granuaile. Despite being a Goddess of the Fallen and – to put it bluntly – exorbitantly cruel at times, it was profoundly interesting to see someone like a goddess become a dynamic character, one that strives to change and better herself – even if only for Atticus’ sake. It was almost heartbreaking to see her struggling with her true nature and trying to branch out to befriend others. Seriously, I think I shipped MorriganxAtticus more than I did AtticusxGranuaile. And while it was amusing to see Atticus realize what a dumbass he’d been concerning Morrigan’s feelings for him, it was depressing to never see the relationship come full circle. At least I’ve access to FanFiction.net to feed my fantasies…

That brings us to the storyline in general. Over the course of all eight books, there are smaller plots that need to be addressed for each book, though a big, overarching storyline concerning the Norse God of Mischief, Loki, progresses throughout the whole series. In the latest book, Staked, Atticus is confronted with the repercussions of angering an ancient vampire and – as a result – brings their wrath down upon himself and his allies. What was interesting about this book in particular was that it was about so much more than just Atticus’ battle with the vampires. We get to see Owen try to assemble his own apprentices as well as Granuaile’s attempt to finally get even with her step-father. They weren’t just foils to be used when Atticus needed them. They were there to help him when he needed them most, yes, but they were their own active characters, building and living their own lives. They’re dynamic. And much of the love I’ve garnered for this series is surrounded by the characters.

It’s hard to write a broad review of a series, rather than just a single book, but I wanted to share what I thought was a fantastic and imaginative series with my fellow bloggers. If you love urban fantasy, this isn’t one to be missed. With epic battles, loveable characters, and plenty of imagination, you’ll be plenty entertained.

And on a final note, I listened to all the books via Audible. I HIGHLY SUGGEST you listen to at least one. Luke Daniel’s voice is like honey. Definitely one of my favorite narrators I've come across thus far!

21 comments :

  1. I keep meaning to start this series, I really need to! Great review!

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    1. Thanks! It's hard to do series reviews, lol. XD

      You definitely need to get to it when you get the chance. It's so much fun! And be sure to let me know what you think once you do.

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  2. Hehehe! I'm so glad you love this series - and you're right, Luke Daniels is one of my favorite narrators, too! I could seriously hear his voice in my head while I was reading the fourth book in print! :D

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    1. I looooved the series! Thanks so much for pointing me in the direction! Have you read (or listened) to the novellas yet? I especially liked Two Ravens and One Crow. Marrigan!! <333

      Also, I wish I could hire Luke Daniels to read me bedtime stories. The man has a gift!

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  3. Oh! This series sounds so good! I want to read it now. Irish lore. Lore from all over the place. Loki. *nods* I'll be on the lookout for it. Awesome review!

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    1. It definitely is! Be sure to let me know if and when you read it - I'd love to know what you thought!

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  4. This series is on my TBR. I love UF, and I love getting lost in the worlds. I'll have to grab these from my library.

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    1. Ooh, if you love UF, then you definitely need to read these! And of course write a review, so I can see what you thought. ;)

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  5. Omg I LOOOOOVE The Dresden Files so much! I want to read this series as well. Honestly, I keep seeing people who love Dresden enjoying this series so I must need to read it ASAP. Fantastic review!!! Headed now to follow you on Twitter. :)

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    1. Yay! Another HD far! =D Hopefully you enjoy this series just as much once you get around to it! ^-^

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  6. This sounds amazing, Lauren talks about it a lot but I've never felt so convinced to read it until now! I find the cover a bit offputting, and I had no idea it was based on Irish folklore, but that Celtic aspect just grabs me! I will have to pick this up sometime :)

    PS Thanks for your lovely comment on my review!

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    1. But, but... There's a hot guy on the cover. >.> Lol. XD
      I hope that when you pick it up, you love it just as much as me and Lauren! They really are a lot of fun. ^-^

      And no problem! I'm pretty sure that review was a shortened version of an English paper or something, it was THAT awesome. =P

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  7. Hmmm... So that's how these books look like? With hot guys and girls on the cover? And with modern clothes, at that?
    XD

    I'll have to take a look to this series, I haven't forgotten it! Since you first talked to me about it, some months ago, I started searching for it. But it looks like it's not available in my country... :-(
    I might be luckier in some independant libraries; I'll keep you informed. ^^

    Also, I'm delighted to see your blog is back online!

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    1. Hey you! *Hugs*

      Actually, this isn't a cover for the book, just pictures of the main characters, seeing as I did a whole series review rather than just one book. It's a shame to see the series isn't available in most other countries - it really is underappreciated, in my opinion. Do you have a Kindle or tablet? You might could download an ebook copy, or if you have audible.com, you could listen to it. That's what I did and the narrator is fantastic!

      And thanks! I'm also happy to see it's back online, too. I missed reading and reviewing things. =)

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    2. *Hugs*

      I don't have this kind of tablet, but it might change in the future; I'll see if I can find something interesting, if I really don't find the books in paper. ;-)

      And by the way, I'm happy to get a few words back from you. You've been very silent lately. :-p
      I know you're very busy, but still...

      Anyway, I'm looking forward to your next reviews! ^^

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  8. I'm also hesitant to pick up urban fantasy, they're usually hit or miss with me. I love what you say about the world building. It sounds so interesting and intricate. Will have to check into this more, thank you for the review!

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    1. UF is still kinda new to me, but I've really loved the ones I've read so far. I was surprised that I liked Iron Druid as much as I did! Maybe you'll feel similarly if/when you give it a shot. ^-^

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  9. I'm glad that in the end this one didn't turn out to be a rip off - I can't stand it when books are like that. Instead, I'm happy to hear it was a book that managed to blow you away and stand on its own right with its uniqueness. It sounds like the characters were wonderful and individual and the plot was a whirlwind of crazy action and fun. I need to try this one for myself!

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    1. It indeed was a whirlwind, to say the leave! So much action and awesomeness and the characters really make the books. Hopefully you like it if you get around to it! ^-^

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  10. I'll be the first to admit that I'm sexist when it comes to picking up books. I tend to favor female authors. But I've been trying to be better! The Dresden Files and the Iron Druid Chronicles might be a good place to start! :D

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    1. Haha, I've noticed that a lot of the books I pick up are female authors, too. XD Butcher and Hearne really are talented, though, and they are indeed great places to start if you're looking to either branch out your author list or looking for fun UFs.

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