• Michael Pogach

Pogach Reviews: Scourged, by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid Chronicles 9)


They say if you’re an author, don’t read the reviews of your books. Every author, including myself, ignores that piece of advice, and most of us regret ignoring it. I would give that advice to any fan of a series as well: don’t read the reviews of the final installment. I mean, just look at the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

The Iron Druid Chronicles, by Kevin Hearne, are a marathon of fun, unique, and adventurous tales revolving around Atticus O’Sullivan, a two-thousand-year-old Druid who is as snarky as Deadpool and as badass as John Wick. Scourged is the ninth and final book in the series. And when I (predictably) ignored my own advice and read the first few reviews of it, I was concerned. I saw a lot of one-star reviews and unhappy readers with how the series ended. And I never should have read those damn reviews!

Because Scourged is a good book, and a fine wrap up to the series.

Let me repeat: Scourged is a good book. Not a great book. It’s on par with the lesser awesome (yet still awesome) of the nine Iron Druid novels, but that’s not a bad thing. There are no bad books in this series. There are excellent books and good books. I’m fine with good. In fact, I very much like the way things don’t all turn out rosy for everybody. This is a book about Ragnarok, after all (or the new and improved Ragnarok now that Atticus has done fucked up the original prophesized plan for said End Times event). Though the world is reborn after Ragnarok, according to myth, the gods and people suffer great losses, and this plays out well in Scourged, I think. There is damage, there is death, there is anguish, and there is hope, just like in all the mythologies that Hearne adeptly borrows from (and reinvents) throughout the series.

My critique, if I must offer some criticism, is that the pacing is a bit off for me. The key moments and battles seem to go a little quickly at times, with less emphasis and excitement than I had expected. But in a way, if we look at the entire series as a single story, this final entry, like the final few chapters of a novel’s climax, should move very fast. As I said, it’s a good book.

And it’s a wonderful series. If you love mythology, druids, fantasy, urban fantasy, sarcasm, sausages, tattoos, magic, sausages, dogs, redheads, irreverence, or sausages, you should definitely read the whole series. As a whole, the Iron Druid Chronicles are a 5 star adventure.

This final book, Scourged, is solid balance of epic action and Dolofabolo, which any sloth will tell you means: bittersweet.

4 / 5 stars.

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