The Iron Druid

Apr 12th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles, Book Reviews, Books for Druids, Books for Pagans

The Iron Druid

by Dr. Frank Malone

  Kevin Hearne signing my copy of Scourged at the Doylestown Bookshop in Pennsylvania

I am aware that not all Druids know of the American author, Kevin Hearne.  He is a former high school English teacher living in Colorado.  This week saw the publication of his book Scourged (Del Rey).  As it is the final novel in the Iron Druid Chronicles, I would like to bring him to the attention to any Pagans who have not yet discovered this exceptional writer.

Set contemporarily (and at a certain point, in the near future), these tales follow the adventures of Druid Atticus O’Sullivan.  He is the owner of an occult bookshop in Arizona and appears to be about aged 21, though he is actually over 2,000 years old.  Deities refer to him as The Iron Druid owing to his having found a way to bind iron to his aura, rendering him impervious to magical weapons, and untraceable to divination.

In unexpected, incremental, fashion Atticus becomes inexorably, and dangerously entangled with gods and goddesses of multiple world pantheons.  This requires playful forbearance for creative license with whomever your patron gods and goddesses may be (especially with the Celtic pantheon).

Atticus has bound his consciousness with that of his Irish wolfhound, and taught him language.  Oberon, the hound, is frequently hilarious.  Oberon has also become the protagonist for Hearne’s spin-off novella series: The Purloined Poodle (2016), and The Squirrel on the Train (2017).

Along the way we meet Granuaile MacTiernan, a twentysomething with a philosophy degree.  Atticus trains her to become a Druid (a 12 year process).  At a book signing this week in Pennsylvania Hearne commented, “Granuaile is really us, the readers.  Because Atticus is incredibly old and has so much baggage.”  Note to authors:  That may have been the writer’s conscious intent, but reader’s psyches will utilize the characters in whatever way the psyche needs.  That is part of how fiction works.

These stories blend a deep and wide knowledge of world mythologies with comedy, adventure, tragedy, and love.  Hearne frequently has me laughing out loud, and sometimes weeping.  I envision re-reading this series for years to come.

The complete Iron Druid stories in chronological order (all published by Del Rey):

“The Chapel Perilous” (short story, 2014)

Grimoire of the Lamb (novella, 2013)

“Kaibab Unbound” (short story, 2015)

Hounded (novel, 2011)

Hexed (novel, 2011)

Hammered (novel, 2011)

“A Test of Mettle” (short story, 2015)

Tricked (novel, 2012)

Two Ravens and One Crow (novella, 2012)

Trapped (novel, 2012)

Hunted (novel, 2013)

Shattered (novel, 2014)

A Prelude to War (novella, 2015)

Staked (novel, 2016)

The Purloined Poodle (novella, 2016)

The Squirrel on the Train (novella, 2017)

Besieged (short story collection, 2017)

Scourged (novel, 2018)

 

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