Hexed, by Kevin Hearne

March 31, 2023 Book Reviews 6 ★★★★

Hexed, by Kevin HearneHexed by Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #2
Published by Brilliance Audio on June 7, 2011
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Purchase: Amazon | Bookshop | Audible | Chirp
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Also in this series: Hounded, Hammered, Tricked, Trapped
Also by this author: Hounded, Hammered, Tricked, Trapped

tticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn't care much for witches. Still, he's about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they're badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor's rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.

This book contains mature content and may not be suitable for younger readers.

Demons, witches, and a pair of randy godesses challenge the world’s only living druid in Hexed

Atticus O’Sullivan just can’t catch a break. The world’s last remaining Druid faces a series of unrelated but dangerous challenges in Hexed, book two of the Iron Druid Chronicles. The trickster god, Coyote, wants Atticus to deal with the demon that ran off during the climactic battle in Hounded, which is eating Coyote’s people. There’s a horde of Bachants headed into town, bringing their sex-and-alcohol-fueled mania with them. The Irish goddesses Morrigan and Brighid are both a bit too interested in Atticus’s… assets. And a large coven of German witches is trying to take out Atticus and his friends as well as the remainder of Malina’s coven. A long, detailed story of Atticus’s experiences in World War II punctuates the narrative, offering a chance to catch your breath while giving another glimpse into Atticus’s character (and why he hates witches so much.)

What I loved: Oberon (Atticus’s hound) is always a delight; funny and fiercely loyal, he is easily my favorite character in the books. The book’s cinematic pace and Atticus’s sometimes dry, sometimes snarky narrative tone keep things fun and interesting. And Hearne’s world-building is compelling, particularly the magic systems (yes, plural.)

What didn’t work as well for me: The plot of Hexed is choppier and more episodic than that of Hounded. And Atticus spends a lot of the book reacting to one event after another, rather than being proactive; this makes the plot feel weaker than the first book. I also began to find the casual violence a little uncomfortable in this one. Finally, I would like to see Granuaile do more than call Atticus “Sensei” and provide him with alibis…although given that she is not yet a magic-wielder, I guess it makes sense that Atticus keeps her out of the action.

The audiobook: Luke Daniels’s performance is almost perfect; he maintains clear consistency in terms of each character’s voice, not only within this audiobook but with the previous one. I will never be able to read these books again without hearing his take on Oberon, Atticus, and the Widow MacDonagh in particular. However, one voice just didn’t ring true for me. Daniels’s interpretation of Coyote, the trickster god, does not sound like the Diné  (Navajo) people I have heard in interviews, at least not those from northern Arizona or New Mexico.* I can’t completely place the accent Daniels is using, but I think it’s got more of a Texas or Oklahoma twang, mixed with a hint of Southern drawl. Since Coyote only shows up for the first part of the book, though, I was able to enjoy the rest of story without that nagging feeling of not-quite-right-ness.

*I did search out a few recordings, and came across one individual whose accent is closer to what Daniels is using, but it’s still not as twangy as Daniels’s.


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Audiobook Challenge 2023
  • COYER Upside-Down 2023: Chapter 1
  • Iron Druid Read-Along 2023

6 Responses to “Hexed, by Kevin Hearne”

  1. Nicole @ BookWyrmKnits

    Great review! I didn’t notice this one being more episodic when I read it, but that was a while ago now and I might not have noticed since I was reading it on my commute, which would have made it feel a little episodic no matter how it was written. 😉 I really liked the characters in this one, though! It was one of my favorites in the whole series.
    Nicole @ BookWyrmKnits recently posted…FO Friday: Espira CowlMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Thank you! I’m enjoying it, and I’m glad you chose this series. I should be able to make the chat. I’ll DM you.