Book Review of “Hounded” by Kevin Hearne


Cover art for the mass market paperback edition of “Hounded”

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I admit that I only read Kevin Hearne’s novel Hounded because my twelve-year-old grandson enjoyed it along with the rest of the Iron Druid Chronicles.

Actually, for a long time, my grandson and I have played a two-person “role playing” game of one sort or another just for the run of it. In our current game, he based his character very heavily on Hearne’s protagonist Atticus O’Sullivan, a two-thousand year old man and last of the Druids posing as a twenty-year-old bookstore owner in Tempe, Arizona.

I can’t swear to the lore in Hearne’s book, but he did add more than a little whimsy to his tale. Speaking of “tail,” Atticus also has a rather intelligent wolfhound named Oberon who likes sausages and French poodles and the two manage some interesting conversations.

In the book, an ancient Irish love god named Aenghus Og wants a magical sword named Fragarach back from Atticus and has employed the Fae, demons, and a coven of Polish witches to help, all with deadly results.

I know a lot of this is rather tongue-in-cheek, but I did find it hard to believe the Irish widow down the street would be okay with Atticus decapitating one of his foes right in front of her just because the widow’s husband was IRA (Irish Republican Party) and killed by the British Army and Atticus claimed the supernatural being was a “lousy Brit.”

Also, she seems to be pretty tolerant of, if annoyed by, the local pack of werewolves who are O’Sullivan’s friends as well as one being his attorney (his other lawyer is a vampire) and another his doctor. In fact, this book contains all manner of fantasy creatures, many from pantheons you wouldn’t think would interact with each other.

It’s basically a fun urban fantasy romp as long as you don’t take it too seriously, although I thought a few of the more “adult” scenes weren’t necessarily appropriate for a twelve-year-old.

I’m not going to scour my local public library to see if they have the other eight volumes, but the next time I play the game with my grandson, I’ll have a much better handle on who my characters are facing.

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