Since Staked is the 8th book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, don’t start here. High level overview of the story: Atticus O’Sullivan is a Druid who has spent the last 2,000 years laying low from the Celtic gods as well as the vampires who wiped out all the Druids for some unknown reason. By the time the reader reaches Staked, Atticus isn’t the only Druid walking the earth, and he’s also very firmly on the radar of ALL THE GODS EVERYWHERE. (This is what happens when you inadvertently upset Ragnarok against the advice of Jesus. Always listen to Jesus, folks.)
If you haven’t read the rest of the series, spoilers below.
Staked alternates POV chapters with Atticus, Granuaile, and Owen. Atticus is enacting his plan to bring down Theophilus and the rest of the world’s vampires, enlisting the help of the Hammers of God for the task (remember those guys? with the tentacle beards? Good times). Granuaile is continuing her revenge quest against her mustache-twirlingly evil stepfather, the profiteering polluter. And Owen finds himself taking on new apprentices to begin to renew the world’s population of druids.
If you’ve read the series, you know it’s all going to go to shit. We get the return of Perun, the lightning god, the Witches, and one big death that puts an end to one of Atticus’s most important relationships.
To be honest, I’m losing steam in the series. While I don’t love the Atticus/Granuaile pairing, I still like Atticus. Owen has been a welcome addition to the team, and of course the dogs continue to bring the humor. But I’ve been feeling the weight of all the bridges Atticus has burned behind him; I worry about these stories that have a lot of lead-up to the climax. I feel like the conclusion is more than likely going to be unsatisfactory (think LOST and How I Met Your Mother). But Hearne is a solid writer and I’m still in this for at least the next little while.