Urban Fantasy Spotlight: Iron Druid Chronicles

by KP

Big city life with a side of the supernatural.

Have you ever been curious about urban fantasy? Exactly what is it? In general, urban fantasy novels are set in contemporary times, and contain supernatural elements. One Friday out of each month, I’ll highlight an urban fantasy book for the curious.

Fun Facts about Arizona:


Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

1.) Turquoise is the official state gemstone

2.) The original London Bridge was shipped stone by stone and reassembled in Lake Havasu City

3.) At the Four Corners Monument, a person can stand in four states at the

same time (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah)

4.) Fairies hate the desert

Welcome back for our fourth installation of Urban Fantasy Spotlight wherein we abandon Las Vegas, shamefaced and broke, to recover amidst the arid beauty of Tempe, Arizona.

Available in book/ebook, and audiobook formats

Hounded by Kevin Hearne is the first novel of the Iron Druid Chronicles and follows the (mis)adventures of Atticus O’Sullivan entrepreneur, tea lover, and 2,000 year old druid. Sometime during a bloody first century battle, Atticus “acquired” a magical sword from the immortal Tuatha De Danaan. When an angry Celtic god demands the powerful sword, Atticus will need all the luck of the Irish, and a motley group of allies, to save his arse and the world.

I was hungry for an urban fantasy male hero aside from Harry Dresden and came across Atticus. His dorky sense of humor and roguish charm instantly lured me in. In urban fantasy, it’s common to have brooding and jaded lead characters so Atticus’ optimism is refreshing. Rarely does a book make me laugh out loud, but Hearne achieves such a feat regularly.

I enjoy how Hearne incorporates deities from diverse cultures and gives them complexity through human failings and competing agendas. They often interact with the mortal world in an unexpected whirlwind of mythic versus modern.  Long after I’ve put the book down, I find myself wondering:

Is that rude neighbor passed out on his front lawn really Thor (who has a reputation for being a drunken jerk)?

Could the woman who shows up around the holidays to ring the Salvation Army bell outside of retail stores actually be the Madonna?

Is that infamous masked group of hacktivists lead by Anansi?

The Iron Druid Chronicles is a series that I love listening to as well as reading. You can’t go wrong either way, but the Irish words and phrases are a delight to hear, and narrator Luke Daniels does a fantastic job of delivering Atticus’ terrible (but funny) “dad jokes” and capturing his quirky personality.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Urban Fantasy Spotlight where we go local, sipping coffee in one of Seattle’s many cafes while our car gets a much needed tune up by a very unusual mechanic . . .

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