Review Hexed: The Iron Druid Chronicles: Book Two by Kevin Hearne (Orbit)

Hexed by Kevin Hearne

With no real recovery time Atticus O’Sullivan has do deal with the consequences of Hounded, namely the power gap that’s been created around Tempe, Arizona since he kicked a few demons back to hell. It’s a vacuum that a gang of German witches and a horde of Bacchants are very eager to fill.

In my review of the first one (Hounded) I might not have emphasised how much fun Kevin Hearne is to read. He writes in a way that is fast paced, intelligent (Atticus quotes Shakespeare just to prove a point), and it’s funny. It’s kind of jovial humour in places but I’d say this was very much a geek boys book. Especially given Atticus’s wondering eyes and the general banter he has with his dog Oberon (who he has a telepathic connection with).

Atticus is a very old Druid, the last, but he looks in his early twenty’s, thanks to some very good herbal medicine, which provides a lot of scope. He can know things like reciting  Shakespeare off the top of his head but also act like a lad in his 20s and partly that’s so he mixes in well, skill he’s trying to teach both his vampire and werewolf lawyers. But he wouldn’t be alive this long if wasn’t skilled and powerful.

And it is that melting pot that gives this series its energy. Hearne keeps fulling that with mix of gods (e. g.Roman/Celtic) but also more human evils (German witches) and other magicians (one of Kabbalist origins). This is a book that you’d have trouble getting bored reading.

The only thing that lets it down as a stand alone is that it stands on the shoulders of Hounded and it’s preparing for Hammered. Which doesn’t make a disappointment as such but it suffers slightly from the ‘middle book syndrome’. You know that things are building up to Hammered and that the focus is on the bigger picture.

What might have worked better would have been to draw more into this one and dance around a bit before going in for the kill. As I said this is a very laddish book so it may not be aiming for subtle.

Saying all that I tore through it and enjoyed it. Definitely a fun and enjoyable read.

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