Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles
Written by: Kevin Hearne
Published by: Del Rey
Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles
by Kevin Hearne
Atticus O’Sullivan and his faithful sausage loving Irish telepathic Wolfhound Oberon are back and I am one happy camper. Shattered is the 7th book in the Iron Druid Chronicles and if somehow you have not had the good fortune to come across them before, do not let that discourage you from picking up this book. The author, Kevin Hearne, has loaded up just enough background on the characters, the history and the rules by which more or less both mortals and immortals are constrained to work within at the start of Shattered to make jumping in at this point possible. That does not mean you should not go out and buy, beg or borrow the first six books (don’t steal, never steal from the one who brings you such clever yummy goodness).
The three lead characters tell the story from their point of view and often change storyteller from chapter to chapter. Recently I was watching a video interview on BuzzyMag.com with George R.R. Martin, and it seems he basically uses the same technique to catapult you through a story. Just when things are heating up, the reader finds themselves either at a cliffhanger, a reveal, a moment of jeopardy, rising tension or perhaps a new connection to a subplot. Sometimes you’ll be seeing the things through the eyes and ears of Atticus. Then you will switch streams to the tale from the point of view of Owen. Other times it will be the tale of Granuaile who began as Atticus’s apprentice but is now a full Druid who can teach her own sensei. A swift current will keep you moving along.
The Iron Druid Chronicles began with the 2,100 year old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan nee Siodhachan O Suileabhain was the last living Druid on planet Earth. He uses camouflage, a sharp (and magical) sword and most of all nimble wit to keep him out of the reach of angry deities who would like nothing less than to eradicate him. One of the coolest things in this series is that Atticus can hobnob with pantheons from every culture the world ’round. Unfortunately he does have the knack for creating blood feuds when all he really wants is peace and harmony with the elements.
This time Atticus and his faithful (telepathic) wisecracking hound Oberon are off and running with the added baggage of a recently defrosted Druid who was the Atticus’s teacher and mentor. This Arch Druid’s name is Eoghan Ó Cinnéide which anglicizes rather nicely as Owen Kennedy. Wake a man frozen in time for 2,000 years and see how well he adapts. It isn’t just a matter of learning English. Druids being persons of learning seem to pick up languages fairly quickly but there are moments that will force a belly laugh out of you as he tells it like sees it and makes the world adapt to him as much as the other way around. All in all I found myself starting to like the big lug even if at first he seemed a little misogynistic I quickly learned that was not the case. He is simply rough and tumble. The sort who grabs life with both hands. He makes me want to hum to hum “Getting to Know You” from The King and I. Atticus is forced to play exasperated teacher to this man who taught him the disciplines that have at least in part kept him alive for millennia.
When you follow along with Granuaile who began as Atticus’s apprentice, you have the bonus of her hound Orlaith as well. They are both fine examples of the Druid acceptance of the Divine Feminine. Granuaile spent the last 7 years or so as apprentice to Atticus but is now a full Druid who can at time have things to teach her own sensei. We find that she has Daddy issues so that is another thing she shares with Atticus.
As the trio of Druids deals with pestilence-spreading demons, bacon-loving yeti, fierce flying foxes, and frenzied Fae, they’re hoping that this time, three’s a charm.“The human heart in conflict with itself makes the story come alive”-Faulkner. Keeping that in mind, Shattered is a story that really came alive for me.
Written by June Williams
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