A Test of Mettle (Iron Druid Chronicles #3.5) by Kevin Hearne

ATestOfMettleThis wee story, told from Granuaile’s point of view, takes place concurrently with the events of HAMMERED, book three of The Iron Druid Chronicles. It is available for free on the author’s website.

This is definitely a short story, but it is a perfect glimpse into Granuaile. It made me like her even more.

Reading A Test of Mettle was also a perfect way to recover from the events that took place during Hammered. Things were so intense during book 3, it was nice to see how Granuaile spent her time while Atticus was away. I also like her take on things. I think she will prove to be the perfect balance for Atticus.

You can pick up A Test of Mettle on Kevin Hearne’s website. It’s so short, I actually read it there. It doesn’t give anything away as far as Hammered is concerned, so if you aren’t quite up to book 3 yet and you want to learn a little bit more about Granuaile, sneaking a peek won’t hurt or spoil a thing. Enjoy!

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I read A Test of Mettle as a free read offered on Kevin Hearne’s  website on March 6. 2013. 

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By creativedeeds

Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles #3) by Kevin Hearne

HammeredThor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.

I’ve loved every installment of the Iron Druid Chronicles. It’s smart, witty, loaded with Mythology, action packed and just plain fun to read. Hammered was no exception. If anything, this book took everything up a notch.

Atticus knew that going to Asgard with Leif was a really bad idea, but being the upstanding Druid that he was, he couldn’t break his oath to Leif. His plan was to remain on the side lines and basically be a means of transporting Leif and Gunnar so they could seek their revenge by taking out Thor. It was no surprise that the journey turned out much more complicated than he expected. It was also no surprise that he Atticus became neck deep in the action despite warnings from more than one person that things would not end well for him if he went up against Thor.

I can’t even begin to explain what one thing about this book made me like it so much. Of course there was Atticus and Oberon. I can’t get enough of that lovable, comical Wolfhound. Even though Oberon was absent throughout much of Hammered, he was in true form when he was around. The world building involved in the journey between Tempe and Asgard was phenomenal. This included not only the worlds themselves, but the creatures that were encountered. There were several new characters introduced, including one deity that I didn’t expect, but loved. The banter between the characters was hilarious. There were even some heart wrenching moments in Hammered that caught me off guard. Kevin Hearne used his characters’ emotions to the fullest to give readers very personal historical accounts. Those glimpses into those characters’ pasts were more than enough to paint a very vivid picture of how cruel and heartless Thor really was.

The humor in Hammered was over the top this time, which was good because it became a much needed and welcome diversion. The Star Trek references, complete with a ‘Druid’s Log’ were some of my favorites. Nothing compared however to the fact that I will never be able to listen to ‘Farmer in the Dell’ or ‘It’s a Small World’ and keep a straight face….ever. I dare you not to crack up when you get to that point in the book.

This is one time I’m glad that I started a series late. Hammered left readers hanging… almost literally. The fate of several characters hang in the balance. Thank goodness I have both Tricked and Trapped on my shelf ready and waiting. I think it’s safe to say that I won’t waste much time picking either one up. If you haven’t started the Iron Druid Chronicles yet, you really should pick up Hounded and give it a try.

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By creativedeeds