Published by Del Rey
June, 2011, Mass Market Paperback
In Hexed, the second novel in The Iron Druid Chronicles, Kevin Hearne picks up right after the events of the previous novel Hounded, wherein our hero, Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, confronted the Celtic god who’d been hunting him for the better part of a couple thousand years. Over the course of that novel, he had the “assistance” of some local witches and as one might be able to imply by the title of the second volume, those witches, as well as some visiting witches, factor very much into the plot of this, the novel in The Iron Druid Chronicles.
Here begin spoilers….
After defeating a major god and a minor god in Hounded, Atticus has become a very prominent figure in the magical/supernatural world. One common god many of the other gods who vie for Atticus’s attention wish to see defeated is Thor. The Norse God of Thunder has a very bad reputation amongst other pantheons, and even in his own, as well as a not-so-positive reputation among vampires and werewolves. However, before Atticus can begin to entertain thoughts of confronting Thor, a coven of witches who masqueraded as Nazis in World War II come into Arizona, and Atticus recognizes the flavor of their power. The Arizona witches, one of whom helped to bring greater attention to Atticus from Aenghus in the previous volume, now wish to sign a nonaggression treaty with Atticus. Here, Hearne begins to delve deeper into the political-mythological backstory of his world to show how much politics and power play in conjunction with each other.
Furthermore, at the conclusion of Hounded, Atticus’s rival literally unleashed hell and not all the demons were killed or captured and are still causing havoc, or to put it another way, killing kids. When the Navajo trickster god Coyote comes knocking charging Atticus with responsibility for the deaths, Atticus is obligated to put an end to kids being killed by confronting the demon responsible.
In Hexed, Hearne further fleshes out the supporting cast introduced in Hounded, including Atticus’s new Druid-in-training Granuaile MacTiernan; his elderly neighbor Mrs. MacDonagh; the vampire and werewolf attorneys, and of course Oberon the Irish Wolfhound. Hearne does a great balancing act between moving the plot along briskly while also fleshing out those characters, introducing further complications into Atticus’s life, and keeping a cohesive and logical link of consequences to the actions previous volume. As I indicated in my review of Hounded, I adored the relationship between Oberon and Atticus and more backstory is provided between man and canine, as well as the continuing doses of humor and emotion.
The Iron Druid Chronicles is turning into a truly entertaining series with the first two volumes, one of my reading highlights of 2011. Hammered, the third volume, is (thus far) the final installment slated to be published, but I’m really hoping to see more of Atticus in Oberon in the future.
© 2011 Rob H. Bedford