“Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles)” by Kevin Hearne (Del Rey, 352 pages, in stores)
As a Druid who has lived for more than 2,000 years, Atticus O’Sullivan has seen no small amount of trouble in his life. That’s not surprising, given that his circle of friends and enemies includes werewolves, vampires, elves, Fae (fairies) and even the ancient gods and goddesses themselves.
“Shattered,” the newest installment of The Iron Druid Chronicles (seven books and a novella), opens with Atticus helping his former teacher and mentor adjust to the modern world. Eoghan O’Cinneide (Owen Kennedy) had been held in stasis for two millennia on a Time Island and was recently released by Atticus. Finding himself two-thousand years ahead of his time requires a fair bit of adjustment, to say the least, and many of the results straddle a line between humorous and precarious.
There are only three Druids left in the world: Atticus, Owen and Granuaile, former apprentice of Atticus who is now bound to the earth and a full Druid.
Trouble is brewing once again, and Atticus and Granuaile each have their issues to deal with. Atticus is beset by assassins on an almost regular basis. Somebody has it in for him, but who? He and Owen work on trying to determine who keeps sending the killers.
Meanwhile, Granuaile heads to India at the urging of Laksha, an Indian witch. Granuaile’s real father, an archaeologist, has found and opened a strange clay vessel and is now possessed by a demon intent on spreading pestilence. Laksha believes they can overcome the demon if they can get the help of the goddess Durga.
Atticus discovers a consortium of sorts amongst some of the deities. They are willing to offer advice and assistance when they can — and as long as it serves their interests, too. Atticus is told that a familiar foe is the instigator of his recent troubles, and Owen’s inquiries lead him to suspect that someone in the Fae Court may be involved, as well.
Inevitably, lines are drawn, threats are made, and battle is met. Resolutions are rarely perfect, however, and a success today could very well become a stumbling block tomorrow. Kevin Hearne has given us another skillfully crafted story layered in magic and action and blanketed in webs of deceit. A last-moment surprise will have fans of the series clamoring for more.
— Jim Basile, for The Oklahoman