All good things must come to an end, and when those things end, they don’t always end well. I picked up my first Iron Druid book in May 2015, though the series was first published four years prior. I have not looked back. Since then, I have devoured the books written by Kevin Hearne, loathing the time I had to spend waiting for the next installment. This past weekend I picked up Scourged, the ninth and final installment in the series.
I originally set out to review the conclusion to the series, but it occurred to me that maybe not everyone has been following The Iron Druid Chronicles. And why not? There is no good reason except that you have not been told that you need to read the urban fantasy series. So read closely: you should be reading this series.
In the first book, Hounded, we are introduced to Atticus O’Sullivan, a Druid who owns and operates an occult bookshop in Tempe, AZ. The series is set in our world, but it is an urban fantasy, so later in the series there will be vampires (not the sparkly ones), witches, deities, fae, and more. We meet Atticus after he has been in hiding for many years, avoiding the wrath of Aenghus Óg, a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Irish gods and goddesses. While I mostly enjoy the main character (he is really old – born in 83 B.C. – and has some old ideas of masculinity and their roles), one of my favorites has to be his Irish wolfhound, Oberon. The two can talk through a mental link, and their conversations often had me laughing out loud while reading.
You know all those wizard vaults in Gringott’s guarded by magic?
I bet one of them is just filled with rare dry-cured sausages.
THINK OF THE TREASURE
— Oberon (@IrishOberon) January 6, 2018
Throughout the series, readers can see Atticus interact with deities of other mythologies. While most of the deities are Celtic, there are also appearances by Norse deities, Olympians (both Greek and Roman), and even Jesus and Mary throughout. Atticus picks up an apprentice along the way who challenges him and his patriarchal ideas. There is action, there are laughs, and there is meat, which makes Oberon happy.
“So what is the point?” you may be asking. In the first book, Atticus battles Aenghus Óg, which leads to his ensuing adventures. That eventually leads to him helping to kick off Ragnarok. Yes, you read that right, and yes, Thor appears in the series. Unlike the Marvel version, he is a jerk.
This brings us to the final book. There is an ending; it is not happy because as Hearne warns us on page four, “…apocalypses tend not to include happy endings.” The ending is satisfactory, though. The three main (human) characters had many adventures throughout the series and the short stories that Hearne wrote in-between installments. I learned with them and watched them grow, and their stories end in a way that is fitting for their development. While I hate that it ended, and even grew anxious while reading the last book knowing that it would not end well, I was able to laugh at the quick wit and puns. The fact that the series has ended is bittersweet (or dolofabolo in Slothian), but it was a helluva ride along the way.
Oh, and between your readings of the Iron Druid books, if you fall in love with Oberon like I did, you can follow him on Twitter, sign up for his newsletter, and read his books, starting with The Purloined Poodle. I’m kind of obsessed with this dog. Check out the books. You will understand why.
Have you read the Iron Druid series? What did you think? Tell us in the comments!