Book Review: Kevin Hearne’s Hounded

Posted July 29, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kevin Hearne’s Hounded



Kevin Hearne

urban fantasy that was published by Del Rey Books on May 3, 2011 and has 292 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Hexed, Hammered, Tricked, Trapped, Hunted, "Two Ravens and One Crow", Shattered, Besieged, "The Purloined Poodle"

First in the Iron Druid Chronicles, an urban fantasy set in contemporary Tempe, Arizona centered on an occult bookstore and the 2,100-year-old Druid running it.

In 2011, Hounded was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy.

My Take

It’s an odd mix of debrief and homey. A fascinating group of characters with a lovely, homey life. Atticus runs his occult bookstore selling specially-blended teas and the occasional hardcore magic book. He enjoys some of his neighbors, spends quality time with his dog, Oberon, flirts with the intriguing barmaid, Granauile, at Rúla Búla and enjoys a good run with the local Pack, his lawyers.

It just reads more like a debriefing with more fact than emotion. The history is fascinating with a different perspective on the Irish pantheon…I kept flashing back on Laurell K. Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series. The whole deal with Laksha was just too easy and neat. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Other than that…I loved it. The bit where Atticus explains about Allah, Shiva, Jesus, etc., to Mrs. MacDonagh…too funny. I couldn’t put it down. And I can’t wait to read Hexed.

The Story

Atticus O’Sullivan thought he’d be safe in the middle of the desert. No rowan, oak, or thorn to form a gateway from Tír na nóg for the fae to drop in on him. Still, Atticus sees paranoia as a survival skill, so when a group of fae appear to attack him, he’s ready, willing, and able.

His confidence does take a hit a bit later though ,when the Morrigan flies into his shop with her warning. Seems Aenghus Óg has found him again. Seems he still wants Fragarach, the Answerer, the ancient sword of Manannan Mac Lir. The magical sword Atticus stole during the Battle of Magh Lena.

Turns out, Aenghus Óg has a purpose for Fragarach and it does not bode well for Tír na nóg. Doesn’t turn out so hot for the rangers or police either!

The Characters

Atticus O’Sullivan/Siodhachan Ó Suileabháin likes to tell people he’s 21. He just doesn’t elaborate on the fact that it’s in centuries not years. An ancient Druid, Atticus takes his responsibility for earth seriously. He has four animal forms: stag, owl, wolfhound, and otter. His identity as the Iron Druid comes from the iron necklace laden with special charms that protects him from fae and most other magic powers. A protection that took him 750 years to create.

Oberon is an Irish wolfhound with an obsession for French poodles and specially bound to Atticus. They have a fun relationship speaking to each other via a mind link as Oberon makes the most fascinating pronouncements on movies, historical figures Atticus has met, his love for Atticus, the hunting they share…

Leif Helgarson is an old Icelandic Viking who came to America with Eric the Red turned vampire turned lawyer…yeah, yeah, I can hear the cracks already…what’s the diff. Leif is one of the lawyers Atticus uses. He’s also Atticus’ sparring partner when they work on their swordwork. Hal Hauk is also Icelandic and one of Atticus’ attorneys. And a werewolf. Gunnar Magnusson is also one of the lawyers, but, more importantly, the leader of the Pack.

Widow MacDonagh is one of Atticus’ neighbors. He likes to visit with this lovely, old Irish widow, listen to her stories, drink Tullamore Dew with her, and take care of her yard. In turn, she takes care of him when he needs it.

The Celtic pantheon of gods includes…
Aenghus Óg, the Celtic god of love. Bit of a misnomer if you ask me unless you consider love of oneself adequate. There’s Morrigan. The battle crow. Celtic Chooser of the Slain and the goddess of war who haunts battlefields waiting to take the dead. Flidais is the goddess of the hunt with power over all animals, shifted and normal with a newfound fascination for smoothies. Bres is married to Brighid — goddess of fire, and First among the Fae —; he’s a mean and stupid god with a preference for Fomorians.

The Tempe Coven, a.k.a.
…the Sisters of the Three Auroras, is one with whom Atticus thought he had a friendly relationship. Not that he trusts witches.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a very TV-ish quality to it. There’s a chain of square metal ruins bordering near the bottom with this insanely young man with short curly hair in a tight-fitting t-shirt, his left bicep banded in Celtic bracelet tattoos, pulling a gorgeous sword from a sheath on his back beautifully backlit…just magnificent.

The title is Atticus’ state of being, Hounded by that Celtic god.