Protagonists being chased from place to place while antagonist nearly always has one-up on them has never been a favorite plot of mine, so this book wasn’t ever going to be my favorite in the series, but surprisingly it does work better than I thought it would. Maybe because it’s so short, less than 300 pages, or maybe because I’m already invested in the characters.
The central plot here is that after twelve years of secret training, because everyone (mostly everyone) believed the druid Atticus and his apprentice Granuaile dead, Granuaile is finally ready to become a full druid, and be bound to the earth. This is a months-long process, where they will need uninterrupted safety while Atticus completes Granuaile’s druidic tattoos, and it can only be done in Europe. Atticus’s enemies know this, and soon after the book starts, all but one place becomes inaccessible to Atticus by shifting, and that’s the area around Mt. Olympus, the home of the Greek and Roman pantheons. And they want him dead (well, mostly the Romans, and mostly because of Bacchus).
Atticus and Granuaile quickly understand that someone in the Irish faery court is leaking information, but that resolution is saved for a future book, presumably. Here, it’s a fight just to get Granuaile bound to the earth, and not be killed in the process. Along the way, they run into old friends and enemies, including Leif the vampire, who Atticus had sworn to kill the next time he saw him.
Also, with their student/teacher relationship out of the way, Granuaile and Atticus become a romantic couple. I didn’t hate this development, but I wasn’t really into it, either. These book are so slight and full of action, it’s hard for me to really get emotionally involved with any of the characters, let alone a romance. Granuaile is an extra badass here, and I like her, but nothing that happened between them particularly moved me. I could have done without it and been just as happy. Oberon the dog continues to be the best part of these books.
This felt like a transition book. Presumably now that Granuaile is a full druid, things are going to get more complicated from here.
[3.5 stars, rounded up]