Book 4 ~ Tricked
Author: Kevin Hearne
Category: Urban Fantasy
Tricked picks up the story more or less straight after Hammered. Lots of gods from several pantheons are after Atticus for what happened in Asgard. Atticus decides on extreme action and fakes his own death with the help of Coyote who, of course, wants something in return. And not just a little something so again Atticus is drawn into battles he wouldn’t have chosen. Because he owes Coyote Atticus agrees to help the Navajo people. Coyote has worked things to his advantage and Atticus is obliged to fight shapeshifting skin walkers whose only thought is to kill.
Some new characters are introduced including a Navajo shaman, Frank, who proves to be a great addition to the story. So, the mythology and culture leans more towards Native American which, again, has been thoroughly researched and is very interesting.
Lief makes a minor appearance, his creator, Zdenik is in Phoenix because Lief arranged for him to take over if he was killed or too badly injured in Asgard to continue as leader. It seems though, that Zdenik is planning to take over the territory regardless....
Another solid Iron Druid story, action packed with battles and fearsome creatures. Oberon is back and so is the humorous banter. It was interesting to learn more about Atticus’ back story and I like the way the relationship is developing between Atticus and Granuaile.
I loved Lief, the friendship of sorts and conversations between him and Atticus in the first three books and hope he makes an appearance as the Lief of old...on to book 5 to find out :-)
Book 5 ~ Trapped
Twelve years have passed since Atticus and Granuaile ‘died’ and Granuaile has finished her training and is a fully fledged druid. All Atticus has to do now is bind her to the earth. This involves intricate tattooing and communing with Lady Gaia and takes three months.
The only available place, for various reasons, is Olympus. Not the best place so needless to say it doesn’t go smoothly. The binding gets interrupted more than once because those who believed Atticus and Granuaile dead now know otherwise. They are attacked by several immortals including a vampire, Bacchants and a band of dark elves and have to fight their was round and through them all. Not to mention a battle royal with Hel and her brother, the wolf Fenris.
Finally Atticus and Granuaile find a quiet place to finish the tattooing which is very long…. and intimate. The sparks that have crackled between them from the beginning ignite good style, much to Oberon’s amused bewilderment at 'the mating habits of humans'.
"Now hold on! First, you didn’t have to watch, because I specifically suggested you not do so, and second, it wasn’t grody. It was the stuff Al Green sings about.
< It was you who told me that proverb thingie: ‘Grody is in the eye of the beholder’>
No, Oberon, that was beauty."
The picture of Granuaile on the cover gives away the fact she features prominently in the story. Now she’s a full druid and is bound to the Earth she can shape shift, her animals are brilliant, and perform magic. She comes into her own in a big way and she and Atticus make a great team. Oberon, hilarious as ever, especially now he and Granuaile can communicate through thoughts as well.
The plot is intricate, a lot of Atticus’ past actions and enemies come back to bite him and there were almost too many gods and pantheons to keep track of. Leif returns but his relationship with Atticus is no better, Atticus believes Leif is using him for his own ends again.
The ending is a cliff hanger leaving several threads unresolved. Straight on to book six for me then!