Today, several years ago, Rick Riordan’s The Battle of the Labyrinth came into the hands of readers. If you have yet to read it, definitely do, but make sure to start at the beginning with The Lightning Thief. If you have, then perhaps it’s time to consider a new mythology-based book. I present Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles for your consideration. Humor? Action? Adorable dogs? This series has it all. The books follow Atticus O’Sullivan, a druid who is older than Christianity and living in modern day Arizona, hiding from the vengeance of Aenghus Óg, the Irish god of love. Now, in the hopes of sparking further interest, here are a few things Atticus’s world has in common with that of Percy Jackson and related series.
1 – There are gods of different pantheons.
Atticus himself worships the Tuatha Dé Danann, Celtic gods, but throughout the series gods originating all over the world make their appearance, including the Greek gods that Percy Jackson has to deal with (though they are not exactly the same). If you’re like me and enjoy obsessively researching any mythology related topic, there’s a lot of material here for you to investigate, and creative portrayals of some of your favorite gods.
2 – Both can breathe underwater.
Have a fondness for Percy’s powers? Atticus can do it too, sort of. In his case, he has to turn into an otter first.
3 – Awesome Love Interest
We all know about Annabeth. For Atticus, it’s Granuaile, the druid’s apprentice with a strong desire to fight for environmental justice. Granuaile has a strong appreciation for the natural world, and it’s enjoyable to watch her learn about magic and its wonders. While she’s kept out of the action in some of the earlier books in order to keep her safe from forces she doesn’t yet know how to deal with, she still shines, and only becomes more involved from there.
4 – Travel
Percy makes it all over the United States, and to some other places, on his various quests. Atticus remains in Arizona for the most part in the first several books, but he travels around the world to confront his various foes, providing fun details for readers along the way. You could probably use these books for ideas on where to vacation.
5 – Interesting stories about the past
If you’ve gotten around to reading Rick Riordan’s the Trials of Apollo series, you know it’s full of stories about Apollo’s encounters with various celebrities. Atticus does something similar, telling stories about his meetings with Galileo, Shakespeare, and Bigfoot. There are even some short stories accompanying the series that talk about some of these adventures in more depth.
6 – Humor
Both Percy Jackson and the Iron Druid Chronicles are pretty funny. I feel like trying to explain the jokes here would make it seem less funny, so you’ll have to take my word on it.
7 – Shakespeare, sort of
I mentioned Shakespeare already, but while the Trials of Apollo has an arrow (Yes, the archery kind) that talks in the Shakespearian style, The Iron Druid Chronicles applies it a bit more directly. Atticus has the entire works of Shakespeare memorized. This is for druid-related reasons, but it also means he can have quote battles with his other ancient friends. As one does.
8 – Dogs
Percy has Mrs. O’Leary the Hellhound. Atticus has Oberon, the Irish wolfhound. Oberon is a wonderful addition to the book, with his love of sausages and tendency to try to copy whichever historical figure he’s currently obsessed with. For dog lovers, these books have a lot of offer, but squirrels should beware.
Unfortunately, The Iron Druid Chronicles are not meant for younger readers and includes inappropriate content and a decent amount of violence. If this isn’t an issue, then these are incredibly fun books full of wonderful characters, magic, and adventure. Hounded is the first book in the series.