Book Review: Grimoir of the Lamb | Clan Rathskellar

Title: Grimoire of the Lamb
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book #0.4
Author: Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Listen Time: 3:16
Read from July 10 to July 10, 2016
Description: From the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles comes a rollicking, all-new urban-fantasy adventure featuring Atticus O’Sullivan. Atticus has a history of messing with the gods, and in this original novella, he’ll have to outfox a deity at her own deadly cat-and-mouse game.

When he’s not vanquishing villainous gods or dodging demons, 2,000-year-old Druid Atticus O’Sullivan can be found behind the counter of Third Eye Books and Herbs in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, literally minding his own business. But when an evil sorcerer – and amateur shoplifter – snatches an ancient Egyptian tome of black magic, The Grimoire of the Lamb, Atticus is not sheepish about pursuing him to the ends of the earth…or at least to the Land of the Pharaohs.

Unfortunately Atticus already has enemies in Egypt – including cat goddess Bast, who wants her own book of mischief back from the Druid. In the streets of Cairo, she sends a feline phalanx after Atticus and his Irish wolfhound, Oberon. With fur still flying, Atticus must locate the sorcerer’s secret lair – where he will face killer crocodiles, spooky sarcophagi, and an ancient evil Egyptian who’s determined to order the sacrificial lamb special tonight.

Includes a bonus recording of the short story “Clan Rathskellar”!

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Review:  So in an attempt to break my reading funk I stumbled across this series on Audible as one of its popular gifting audioboks. The description sounded really interesting and different and I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

First of all this is not like your typical fantasy/magic series. It follows Atticus who is a 2000-year-old druid who lives in modern-day Arizona. He runs a rare books shop and basically tries to fly under the radar, having made quite a few enemies of old gods and the supernatural variety over his extensive years. Apparently he’s quite the thief and had pilfered many books and artifacts from the Library of Alexandria before it burned.

Atticus is hilarious, as is his Irish Wolf Hound Oberon who is magically linked to Atticus’ consciousness and has picked up the human language over the years. He is full of sarcasm, snark and pop-culture references. The writing is so well done, specifically for a series that is told completely in first person. That is usually off-putting unless it is very well written. And not only is the writing spot-on, the narration by Luke Daniels–who narrates pretty much the entire series–is phenomenal. He captures all of the little nuances of Atticus’ personality, as well as Oberon and other characters. In fact Oberon is my favorite character already just because of Daniels’ portrayal.

This story takes Atticus and Oberon to Egypt, a place he has been banished from by the cat god Bast. He’s there to find a wizard that had stolen a very-bad-in-the-wrong-hands spell book from Atticus. A book which Atticus found in the restricted section of the Library of Alexandria that was disguised as a cook book with nothing but lamb recipes. After finding a way to placate Bast to keep her and her cat minions–seriously she controls all of the cats in Cairo–from killing him and his faithful companion, he has to track down book thief, get back the grimoire and practice a little Druidic justice on him, i.e., kill him.

I don’t want to give too much away. This is a short novella so it all gets resolved rather quickly, but there are a few twists and turns that were unexpected. The story did not feel rushed or unfinished, which can sometimes happen with novellas. I am really looking forward to delving into the series; because it seems fun and interesting, and I think it could keep me happily occupied for a good while.

clan rathskeller coverTitle: Clan Rathskellar
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book #0.5
Description: This is a free short story that takes place ten months before the events of “Hounded”, the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, coming 2011 from Del Rey.
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Review: This was a bonus short story at the end of the audiobook for “Grimoire of the Lamb.”

Again Luke Daniels killed it with the narration! This was just a hilarious shenanigans with Atticus and Oberon involving gnomes–“No, not the kind you chew up in people’s yards, Oberon,”–elves, gods, drunk people, shape-shifting, nudity, epic drink brewing, and double crosses.

Basically Atticus and Oberon inadvertently get caught up in the middle of a double cross between the gnomes and the fae. There are elves and other supernatural beings involved, as well as a fair few drunken idiots. It’s pretty humorous with a bit of excitement and action thrown in.

Kevin Hearne’s writing style is so beautifully descriptive that you barely have to put effort into imagining the tale he’s weaving. He has an amazing talent and I am seriously looking forward to reading a full novel from this series. I like Atticus a lot and I think Oberon is adorable!


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