Rummanah Aasi
    I got a nice double dose of the Iron Druid Chronicles thanks to the series's publisher and Netgalley. Both the novella and the fifth book, Trapped, are now published and available. The Iron Druid Chronicles is a great urban fantasy series, especially if you love mythology.

Description (from Goodreads): Six years into the training of his beautiful apprentice, Granuaile, a large crow swoops down and transforms into none other than the Morrigan, a goddess who insists that Atticus come with her at once. He must leave his apprentice behind, along with his Irish wolfhound, Oberon—and he must also leave his sword. The Morrigan has always taken extreme pleasure in pronouncing the Druid’s mortal danger and imminent doom, so the fact that she won’t reveal the purpose of their journey makes him very nervous. Of course, any time the Celtic Chooser of the Slain drops in unannounced, it’s never good. When she does let slip that she’ll be saving his life in the near future, Atticus is left to wonder . . . will he soon be giving his legions of enemies something to crow about?

Review: Most novellas are fan service materials, things readers would love to read but overall don't really add much to the larger story arc. Thankfully, Two Ravens and One Crow moves the story along from book four, Tricked, to book five, Trapped, quite nicely. The novella gives the reader an intimate glimpse on Atticus's feelings toward his apprentice, Granuaile, as well as a closer look at the truly terrifying and captivating Morrigan.
  Atticus and Granuaile's relationship is extremely sweet. Both are clearly attracted to another yet are afraid to take the next step. While Atticus sounds like a man suffering unrequited love, not because he isn't sure of Granuaile's feelings but more of his fear of letting someone in, Granuaile is on the search for someone temporary, which is becoming more and more unfulfilling for both of them.
  The novella also does a good job in showing all the different angles to the Morrigan's personality. Personally, she scares the hell of me but I'm am drawn to her and want to know more about her. Death and dark omens cloak her like clothes, but we also see a lighter side of her that jokes and flits with Atticus. She becomes a bit more human in this novella though she bears ill news of Atticu's pending death. 
  Though reading the novella isn't required in order to enjoy the series, it is a nice bonus story filled with action, humor, and surprising tidbits about our favorite characters.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language and violence in the book. There is also crude sexual humor and  sex is implied. Recommended for mature teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: Trapped (Iron Druid Chronicles #5) by Kevin Hearne, The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman,  Child of Fire by Harry Connollly

Description (from Goodreads): After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave. Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.

Review: I love the cover for Trapped. It's so nice to see Granuaile take center stage along with Atticus. Unfortunately, this was my least favorite book in the Iron Druid Chronicles so far. I had a very hard time trying to wrap my head of the plot. After twelve grueling years of training and learning, Granuaile is finally ready to become a druid. Atticus, Granuaile and the ever loving and lovable Irish wolfhound Oberon try to find a safe a quiet and place to bind Granuaile to the earth as a new Druid. The ceremony will take three months to complete (it involves extensive tattooing), so it's important to find somewhere they won't be interrupted. Easier said than done as deities bent on vengeance and hatred have caught on to the fact that neither Atticus nor Granualie are dead as they led everyone to believe, which is something a few people would like to swiftly rectify.
   I loved learning about all the intricate details of the the druid ceremony and seeing Granuaile kick some butt. Then suddenly the plot is severely interrupted by new characters and new mythologies. I know some readers have criticized Hearne by being too much of a teacher of mythology than writer, but now I can understand their concern. Hearne is undeniably a lover of mythology of all cultures and I loved learning the different myths and the Norse and Celtic pantheons, but in Trapped I felt like I was forced to sit in a classroom where the teacher droned on and on about these great tales without really experiencing it. I endured the lesson but was impatient to get back to the druid ceremony. Normally I would want to learn more about the new characters that Hearne includes in his books, but in Trapped I had very little interest about the dark elves and other beings.
   I was also very disappointed in seeing the budding relationship that teetered between romantic and partners wrap up so quickly in a matter of paragraphs. While I know that the Iron Druid Chronicles is primarily an urban fantasy where romance takes a back seat, I would have liked a little more excitement and build up. Readers have waited for 12 years in the story to have something happen between Atticus and Granuaile and what we got was very anticlimactic. I'm hoping the next book, Hunted, is much better and reminds me why I love these characters and books.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language and violence in the book. There is also crude sexual humor and  sex is implied. Recommended for mature teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: Hunted (Iron Druid Chronicles #6) by Kevin Hearne, The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman,  Child of Fire by Harry Connollly
3 Responses
  1. I know Maja didnt care for this one either she had the same criticisms you did. I am finishing up Tricked and then I will be heading into Trapped, I hope that this is just a fluke and that the series returns to the brilliance I love!

  2. *sigh* Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. This is my least favorite of the series, and I think Hearne made a huge mistake with their romance, not because it finally happened, because it really needed to, but because he did it like you described. We've waited so ong for Atticus to find someone worthy of him, and then it all just sort of happens in a heartbeat.
    But the plot was too complicated as well and there were, in my opinion, too many flaws to count.
    Great review!

  3. Candace Says:

    I haven't read the novella yet, bad me. I would Trapped was my least favorite but I still loved it. I guess I missed the history lesson but it did feel a bit slower paced and repetitive. And I would have liked a bit more of the romance as well.

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