This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Del Rey
Released on May 3, 2011
Drawn in by the promise of an exciting magic-filled adventure starring a modern-day druid, I eagerly snatched this story up when I came across it. No disappointment here after reading it, either. As always, I was taken with a new to me author creatively introducing me to his version of the modern world where everything of myth and legend really exists and lives side by side and amongst the humans. It was a refreshing novel take on it because the hero wasn’t a vampire, a werewolf or an angel, but a wise-cracking and witty druid who just wanted to be left alone to do his thing while instead he has a veritable queue of magical types lined up to make the last druid all dead. And it was one exciting adventure after another to see how he craftily got his way through it.
Atticus, though that’s only the name he is stylizing himself as these days, is the owner of a specialty shop of all things natural and some things magical for the variety of residents of Tempe. He has chosen to settle in Arizona for a very practical reason. The more than two thousand year old druid is tired of living the vagabond life and just wants to be left in peace. Arizona’s locale is refreshingly devoid of ancient gods and the truly powerful nasties that walk the earth so Atticus shares his turf primarily with a vampire, a wolf pack, a witch coven and one minor mischievous local god, Coyote. All this starts to change when he slips up and gets discovered. Now an Irish fae god set on vengeance and acquisition has set his sights on Atticus forcing the druid to repel attack after attack while cunningly balancing traded favors with other fae gods and local magic users for help. It was pretty exciting to see him in the role of the underdog hero.
The plot was exciting, well paced and strong. It was fun figuring out who was allied with whom and what they were all up to. The story is told in first person point of view. Slainte to Atticus who was a strong, engaging character with a fun, bantering ‘voice’ even when his back was up against the proverbial wall. There is the refreshing addition of a great sidekick Irish wolf-hound named Oberon whom Atticus has taught to mindspeak and several other well-written minor characters that I really enjoyed meeting. There is the mysterious Granuaile who is the bartender at Atticus’ favorite Irish pub, Leif the Viking vampire who is his night-time lawyer and sparring partner, Hal the werewolf his daytime lawyer, his old Irish lady friend Mrs. MacDonagh who hates the British, and the bevy of freaky scary strong Irish fae goddesses who seem to either want to bed him or behead him. Needless to say, I think the characters are the strength of this book to me.
The main conflict of the story was resolved, but as is the beauty of Urban Fantasy there is the evidence of long range story arcs to enjoy as the series progresses with the blend of wit, danger and a little cunning.
I caution those whose tastes lean toward the paranormal romance and heartily recommend this one to those who enjoy an Urban Fantasy that is strong on action and world building with a solid group of recurring characters led by a worthy character hero.
Thank you to Net Galley for providing the book for review purposes.