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Iron Druid #5
by Kevin Hearne
Del Rey, $7.99, 298pp
Published: November 2012

After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.

Twelve years after the events of the last book Atticus is finally ready to bind Granuaile to the earth and make her a full Druid. But now that the gods have discovered he still lives, enemies are coming out of the woodwork to kill him. The actions flows from Colorado to Greece to the cold reaches of Hel as Atticus keeps digging the hole deeper as he promises one god something in order to fend off another god.

The action moves quickly, though there are many passing references to events between this book and the end of the last book which are presumably portrayed in short stories gathered in yet another book.  Oberon is delightful as usual and Granuaile comes into her own as her apprenticeship comes to an end. Atticus, on the other hand, keeps sticking his foot in his mouth, speaking without thinking and blurting out lies and half-truths that end up with others paying the price for his unthinking words.  You would think after 2,000 years he would have learned better and would quit blurting out statements that result in innocent beings dying for his lack of forethought. I am a bit more than half-way through the series and that, combined with a cliff-hanger ending, means I will be picking up book six and continuing the series. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

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