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Shattered
Iron Druid Chronicles #7
by Kevin Hearne
Del Rey, $26.00 HB, $7.99 Kindle, 352p
Published: June 2014

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For nearly two thousand years, only one Druid has walked the Earth—Atticus O’Sullivan, the Iron Druid, whose sharp wit and sharp sword have kept him alive as he’s been pursued by a pantheon of hostile deities. Now he’s got company.

Atticus’s apprentice Granuaile is at last a full Druid herself. What’s more, Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time, a father figure (of sorts) who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy.

And Owen has some catching up to do.

Atticus takes pleasure in the role reversal, as the student is now the teacher. Between busting Atticus’s chops and trying to fathom a cell phone, Owen must also learn English. For Atticus, the jury’s still out on whether the wily old coot will be an asset in the epic battle with Norse god Loki—or merely a pain in the arse.

But Atticus isn’t the only one with daddy issues. Granuaile faces a great challenge: to exorcise a sorcerer’s spirit that is possessing her father in India. Even with the help of the witch Laksha, Granuaile may be facing a crushing defeat.

As the trio of Druids deals with pestilence-spreading demons, bacon-loving yeti, fierce flying foxes, and frenzied Fae, they’re hoping that this time, three’s a charm.

The action here again starts pretty much where the last book ended. Owen and Atticus go off together to repair Atticus’ tattoos while Granuaile is off to India to try and rescue her father from possession by a demon. For most of the book the three Druids are off on their own, reuniting towards the end when we find out who has been behind trying to kill Atticus.

There is shock and betrayal, some humor as Owen adjusts to life 2,000 years on from when he last walked the earth and a poignant moment where Granuaile realizes the cost she has paid for becoming a Druid.

Yet again, Atticus’ words cost another innocent his life. Sure enough, having reached an agreement with Werner Drasche in Hunted  to “not trouble each other or conspire to do so with others. Live and let live in peace” Atticus deliberately breaks his word in this book sending the Manticore to either kill or be killed by Werner never stopping to think that if Wener came out on top he would come after Atticus again, not considering how many innocents would pay the price for Atticus breaking his word. And that is how Shattered ends, with yet another innocent being killed being killed because of Atticus’ words. This time it cannot even be semi-excused as a desperate ploy to save his life as Atticus quite coldly thinking that if the Manticore escaped and “he went searching for the arcane life leech, the result would work out for me regardless of who died”.

The first 3 books were published in short order in 2011 and really read very much like one continuous book broken up into smaller bits.  The next two quickly followed in 2012 but showed, for me, the beginning of a change in the character of Atticus, and not for the good.  Having kept reading through book 7 and with only two books to go in the series I will persevere to the end of the series but  more at this point to see how Owen, Granuaile and the hounds get on than to see if Atticus lives. Granted living 2,000 years would likely make a person jaded but it should, hopefully,  also imbue a certain amount of maturity. It is hard to reconcile Atticus’ lack of concern for how his words harm others with his Druidic tenets of respect for life. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For more books in this series click here
For more books by Kevin Hearne click here

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