Monday, 26 February 2018

Book Review: Besieged by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid #8.5)


This addictive and wildly imaginative series stars hero Atticus O’Sullivan: a handsome, tattooed Irishman who looks like a young rock star, but is in actuality a 2,000-year-old Druid with extraordinary magic powers. In Besieged, Atticus’ adventures throughout history are told in a collection of nine new and original short stories. The ancient gods are alive and well in the modern world in this hilarious, action-packed collection of original short stories featuring Atticus O’Sullivan, the two-thousand-year-old Irishman from Kevin Hearne’s New York Times bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles.

• In ancient Egypt, Atticus agrees to raid a secret chamber underneath the library of Alexandria, dodging deadly traps, only to learn that on-site security includes two members of the Egyptian pantheon.
• At a Kansas carnival, fun and games turns to murder and mayhem, thanks to soul-snatching demons and flesh-craving ghouls luring visitors into an all-too-real house of horrors.
• Verily, in olde England, striking up a friendship with William Shakespeare lands both Atticus and the Bard in boiling hot water with a trio of infamous witches.
• During the Gold Rush, the avatar of greed himself turns the streets of San Francisco red with blood and upsets the elemental Sequoia. Atticus may have to fight fire with fire if he’s going to restore balance.

More, you say? Indeed there is—including bogeymen, vampire hordes, wrathful wraiths, and even a journey to the realm of the dead. Prepare to be besieged with nine tantalizing tales—not to be missed, never to be forgotten.


My Review: 
There are nine stories in this anthology and I'll be writing a brief piece on the plot without giving away any spoilers. I do advise reading this AFTER you catch up with the series as there are big plot spoilers in a couple of these stories about events in the main series.

1-The Eye of Horus
Ogma asks Atticus to steal something from the library in Alexandria for him, allowing Atticus to help himself to anything else he likes the look of. This is the story of how Atticus got on the wrong side of the Goddess Bast. The story of Atticus and Bast was released as this novella.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16280685-the-grimoire-of-the-lamb     

2-Goddess at the Crossroads
Posing as a French nobleman, Atticus goes to see Shakespeare's new play Othelloand gets a chance to meet the writer himself. Will tells him he is researching a coven of witches for his new play and Atticus decides to go with him on a spying mission.

3-The Demon Barker of Wheat Street (Revised)
While visiting Kansas, home of Granuaile's mother, she and Atticus stumble upon a visiting carnival. But when they split up to follow the Heaven and Hell paths in one of the attractions, they meet very different fates. I read this story in the anthology Carniepunk and it seems the same to me overall but still a good story to read again. 

4-Gold Dust Druid
During the 1850 Gold Rush, a man summons a demon to gain his riches but it is soon out of control in the town and Atticus has to find it.

5-The Bogey Man of Boora Bog
Owen wants to restore a muddy bog but locals won't cooperate with him until he finds the missing people from their area. The trail leads out into the marshland and Owen is about to discover what is killing people, making him question everything.

6-Cuddle Dungeon
Perun and Flidais go to a bondage club where she is on the hunt for a power stealing nymph and Perun is about to see his lover in a new light. I love the character of Perun but it wasn't a great story. I did like the ending and I hope we see him in the final book.

7-Blood Pudding
Granuaile is working in a bar in Poland while she studies and discovers that not all of the vampires are going to honour the arrangement that they leave the country in the deal between Atticus and Leif. A weaker story as I prefer stories not centered around Granuaile.

8-Haunted Devils
The Tasmanian Devils are dying out from a deadly disease which Owen and Atticus both go to deal with, bringing Atticus into contact with the furious and unforgiving Greta. Can they put aside their differences to heal the animals?

9-The End of Idylls
A sad story about the fate of the wolverine companion that Atticus had before Oberon, as Atticus prepares for the war about to begin.

For me, Cuddle Dungeon is the weakest of the stories despite the wonderful Perun being involved. I didn't like the whole bondage theme of the story. Blood Pudding I didn't find greatly exciting either but as I said, Granuaile is not my favourite character especially on her own in the plot. I much prefer Attitus, Oberon and Owen. The other stories are good though and I liked getting an insight into Owen and how he met Atticus.

Read February 2018
4 stars

8 comments:

  1. Some of these sounds awesome and some seem to have missed the mark. I bet you will be sad to finally finish this series?

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    1. I will be sad to see the end! I liked the Shakespeare story. Oops I see I forgot to do a star rating. Must go and fix that!

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  2. I'm still back at the first book. LOL I really need to get started on this series. I think these would be great for a tv series or movies.

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    1. It would be a good series with the right actors! Hard to imagine who would play Atticus though!

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  3. I have this entire series to look forward to reading, and I'm very excited 'cause it looks like such a good one. :)

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    1. It keeps up a good standard. Lots of action and humour, great characters and fun mythology!

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  4. I love LOVE this series, but I must admit, I've gotten behind on it big time. Your review makes me think this would be a good way to get back into the vibe of the series

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    1. I'd be wary of reading this before catching up with the series as there are spoilers for books earlier in the series.

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