Genre: urban fantasy
Pages: 294 (paperback)
Published: June 2011 by Del Rey
Series recommended for: all fantasy fans
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.
With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.
Hounded, the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, made a fangirl out of me. Having finished Hexed, I am officially a total Atticus O'Sullivan fangirl for life. I hope very much that these books are the first in a very loonng series (we're talking Tarzan of the Apes series long, though hopefully the plot points won't include anyone discovering Atlantis just yet). As it is, I could not be more excited for the next book.
A myriad of mythological figures and characters make an appearance in this volume...I'm a sucker for witch stories-- the more folkloric their brand of magic, the better--, so let's start there. There are two covens in this book: the local Tempe coven are a half-dozen Polish witches who we met in the last book and who Atticus is currently trying to negotiate a peace treaty with. (These ladies are all right, unless they happen to get a hold of a strand of your hair for their collection... ahem.) And then there are the aforementioned new witches in town: Die Tochter der dritte Haus, or the Daughters of the Third House. Atticus has a rocky personal history with these particular witches, and we get to learn about another little piece of his extensive lifetime. But there's really no time to reminisce about the past, because the Daughters of the Third House are determined to take Atticus down for good this time... and if they can't have him, they'll start with some of his dearest friends.
Atticus's werewolf attorney Hal makes only a brief appearance in this second book, but Atticus's vampire attorney Leif soundly steals the spotlight and steps in as Atticus's cohort in his most uncanny art of scaring-the-shiz-out-of-the-local-authorities. Time and time again, Atticus avoids trouble with the mortal authorities more creatively than any urban fantasy hero out there! Let's see... Oberon the Irish Wolfhound is back and packing a still more hilarious obsession-- this time the lovable pooch is ready to hop on the Magic Bus with Ken Kesey, and is all about sticking it to the Man. (You just have to read the book, I swear ;) Granuaile, Atticus's newly-adopted Druidic apprentice, is really starting to grow on me. Not so much Brigit, sexy and, yup, fiery Celtic goddess of fire and the forge, as well as one of Atticus's main love interests. I have this long ground-in image of Brigit as this saintly, Virgin Mary-like figure (except, y'know, pagan and armed with blacksmith's tools and what not), but her character in this series is as wily and deadly as she is admirable. Devastated the archetype for me, but I'll give her a break. I also loved the character of Coyote, the Native American hero of countless stories in the flesh, and here a wily, hilarious badass.
The conclusion of this book promises a battle to the death with Thor, everybody's least favorite resident thunder god himself, in Hammered. I recommend this series to every mythology freak out there, as well as anyone who loves a fun urban fantasy adventure.
Overall Rating: 5/5 all around