Monday, May 14, 2012

Tricked by Kevin Hearne

The last time I checked, Kevin Hearne's fourth book in The Iron Druid Chronicles, Tricked, was eleventh on the New York Times Mass Market Paperback Bestseller list, and twelfth on Publishers' Weekly's list. And, deservedly so. Hearne's stories of the Druid Atticus and his wolfhound, Oberon, combine Celtic mythology with other myths around the world in stories of good and evil. However, when the gods and the fate of the world are involved, sometimes it's hard to tell the good and evil apart.

Hearne thrusts Atticus into danger on the first page, and never lets up. Atticus is facing death at the hands of five thundergods. And, the Morrigan, the Celtic Chooser of the Slain had a vision of his death. So, along with Coyote, the Navajo trickster, Atticus sets up his own death. Maybe the gods would let him alone if they thought he was dead. Maybe so, but now he owes Coyote. And, Coyote has a job near Tuba City, Arizona, in the southwestern portion of the Navajo Nation. Coyote SAID he wants to take care of his people, putting money into renewable energy and building infrastructure on the rez so it's all owned and operated by the tribe, so he needs Atticus to find gold on the reservation. But, what he doesn't say, was what he really needs Atticus to do.

Atticus was hiding from the gods, bringing with him his apprentice, Granuaile, and, of course, Oberon. When Coyote introduces the building crew, Atticus is surprised that the team includes Frank, a hataalii, a powerful shaman. Then he learns what Coyote really wants, the destruction of two skinwalkers. And, the building project will attract those skinwalkers, determined to protect their territory. Despite facing a power he knows little about, Atticus owes Coyote, and there's no backing down.

One again, Hearne has introduced readers to a different culture and myth, that of the Navajo. He makes it so easy to learn about it, following along with Atticus as Frank explains the history of skinwalkers. But, Hearne doesn't let up on Atticus. From the moment he faces his death, he continues to face danger. Atticus and Oberon and Granuaile are threatened by vampires. And, when Atticus refuses to help Hel, the Norse goddess of death who wants his help destroying the world, she sends her creatures after him, including the hound of Hel.

Atticus and Oberon, with the addition of Granuaile, are wonderful characters who face danger with that gallows humor common to everyone who faces danger on a daily basis. The puns! The conversations between Atticus and Oberon are filled with pun challenges and humor.

Looking for the best of urban fantasy? You can't do better than Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles. And, Tricked, set in Arizona, is the best in the series yet.

Note: Kevin Hearne will be appearing for Authors @ The Teague on Saturday, May 19th at 2 p.m.

Kevin Hearne's website is

Tricked by Kevin Herne. Del Rey. 2012. ISBN 9780345533623 (paperback), 352p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I bought a copy of the book.


Bev Stephans said...

Great review Lesa. This was another triumph in Kevin Hearne's druid chronicle. I loved the interplay between Atticus and Oberon, especially the minus or plus sausages. You got me reading these last year, and now I look forward to the next one. I wish Kevin would write faster! LOL!

Lesa said...

Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed the books, Bev. I'm sure Kevin is writing as fast as he can since he also has to make a living as a teacher. Well, school's out soon here. Maybe he'll write then. (smile)

Eesti said...

Tricked's action and issues spring primarily from the ramifications of Hammered. Of course, unlike most books that act as a bridge for a significant change in the story arc, Tricked is an amazing book in its own right. That's not to say that readers should not read the previous books in the series first, (being the fourth book in the series, not reading the other three books first would severely harm the reading enjoyment.) No, what is meant is that this book, like its predecessors, is well written, exciting, and full of fantastic characters, making it a must read for any fan of urban fantasy.

While so many things are incredible about Tricked and the entire series, what truly impressed me is how well Kevin Hearne balances humor, action, and a well developed plot. I honestly found myself laughing out loud at parts of Tricked (especially in the conversations between Oberon and Atticus), but at the same time couldn't put the book down because it was too darn exciting.

scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.