A couple of new reads to report on.
First up, Hounded, the first in the Iron Druid series. I LOVED this book (5 stars) and I'm so excited it's the first in a series, since that means I can extend the fun! The book is set in Tempe, Arizona, and our hero is a modern-day Druid who looks like a nice 21-year-old Irish dude with his red curls and a few well-placed tats, but is actually 2100 years old and has spent a LOT of time perfecting his craft. The opening book features a centuries-old argument between him and Og, the Celtic god of love, who frankly, isn't lovely or in love, or anything to do with love. He's pissed that our hero has kept a battle sword Og believes belongs to him.
In the course of the book, we're introduced to Oberon, faithful irish wolfhound/companion and comic foil, a host of other Celtic goddesses, including the Morrigan (who appears as a huge raven of death most of the time, but also shapeshifts), members of the local wolf pack who double as lawyers for our hero, a cranky coven of Polish witches, and what I hope will be a recurring character in the form of a druidic apprentice. Whew! Seems like a lot, doesn't it? But the author does a great job pulling the story together. It's not all magic and sword-thwacking either (although there are both of those things) - there's a great dry sense of humor and wit throughout the book, and I had a great time reading this one. Highly recommended if you like any of the topics/themes I've noted. I should note I also read this as a multi-duty book for three challenges this year. It's off the top-100 list I'm working on, plus it fulfills one of my "new to me series" category, and it checks off a non-traditional shapeshift character book.
Next up, is The Selkie. This was another challenge read, again for a non-traditional shapeshifter. I had read another one of Rosanna Leo's books earlier this month for the Gods/Goddesses challenge which featured Dionysus and enjoyed her writing very much, so I decided to give this a try on the recommendations of some other group members. It's sort of a retelling of the classic Selkie legend where seals can shed their pelts and walk on land as a human, but if their pelt is captured, they are bound to the person who holds the pelt. The heroine of the book winds up on Orkeney after the death of her grandmother (who is a smart lady and winds up winning the hero - the selkie's - pelt in a poker game from him, but binds him to her granddaughter through a bit of smooth talking). A sweet romance ensues, and while this isn't Great Literature, as my da would say, it is an entertaining and quick read (4 stars).
Next up, I've started Ilona Andrew's On the Edge. Just a few chapters in on this one. I loved her Kate Daniels series, which I read last year, so I'm hopeful I'll enjoy this one as well.
All for now...