Good morning, scamps!
It’s WORLD BOOK DAY!! I’m cosplaying as a book. Not a character. That just means I’m making a lot of “opening” euphemisms/jokes and getting kinda dusty. Later in the afternoon, I may go digital.
Today’s Get Series(ous). was first introduced to me by my platonic soul mate. That crazy nerd is a fount of awesome recommendations. Save for that one time she told me I should shave my head like Skrillex and become a Scientology-leaning fundamentalist. That wasn’t her best moment. We’re both more Pastafarian-y.
FSM+PSM 4L, ramen.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was super dubious about this series. I have no idea why. It may have been the cover of the book, which features a dude with a goatee/flavor savor/nearly Guy-Fieri-as-hot-druid look to him. I hate goatees. I have some pretty severe poorly-tended facial hair prejudices. Let’s look at examples, shall we?
This look says: “I will take your virginity on prom night in the back of my Cavalier, even if I’m 25.”
This picture says:”I want to do dirty things to you. In my bed. In a home I do not share with my parents.”
Should facial hair or Jason Momoa be relevant to this series? Absolutely not. It’s not a fucking romance. It’s a gods damned urban fantasy. I simply cannot truly elucidate my loathing of goatees. Well, maybe I can…
I am pleased to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. It has quickly become one of my favorites, and I eagerly await each new installment.
For whom is this series a good match?
This reader knows who Wil Wheaton is. They were a fan of Labyrinth or A Wrinkle in Time as kids. They once pretended a broomstick was a bow-staff to fight off invaders in their kitchen. They were the wildly imaginative sort who made up elaborate backstories for playing house.
“Ok, so, we’re living in a land of sand dunes made up of beetle shells, and the only thing we can eat is alien grapefruit that makes us extremely gassy! I’ll be the mom slash astrologer!”
This reader is smart. They love the fantasy of far-flung stories whispered on the echoes of the ether, and they want these stories to speak to their intelligence. They don’t want their history dumbed-down, and they want it researched or well-conceptualized.
This reader loves Game of Thrones, but often thinks to themselves: why aren’t there more musical numbers?
Needless to say, this reader loves to laugh. They also may be prone to speaking for their dog and/or cat. Preferably with a ridiculous voice. (FYI, my dog, Montana Wildhack, absolutely sounds like the porn star she is. She’s also really into ass work. “Listen! Billy Pigrim has come…UNSTUCK in…we’re canines, fill in the blank.)
What’s the series?
The Blurb: (from the first book, Hounded)
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
Why I love it:
The thing about this series that I probably love the most is that, in most UF/Fantasy, it’s all about the ascendency of good over evil. That trope gets OLD. Ultimate good and ultimate evil cannot possibly be everything there is in the world. This series deals beautifully in the gray areas. Not everyone is all one thing. Atticus has admittedly done horrible things in his long life, and he acknowledges this, and does his level-best to move beyond that, and works really hard to be better.
Beyond the gray areas, there are so many things to love about The Iron Druid Chronicles. It’s hilarious. Uproarious, even. My favorite character in the series isn’t even human, it’s Atticus’s dog Oberon. Yes, a talking dog is my favorite character in an entire series filled to fatness with lovable and intriguing characters.
But what about the action, right?
The action is so well-penned that you could almost believe author Kevin Hearne has some experience wielding a magic sword against demi-gods. At the very least, he had a broomstick bow-staff. It never falls. The building scenes in The Iron Druid Chronicles are so seamlessly complected with the more actionable interests of the plot, that it creates a tapestry of a story arc that lays like the finest kilim.
Also, this series has also been the source of two of my favorite quotes of the entire year.
This is full of truth.
I adore that the love of this series is something my husband and I share, and I think this could be true of many friends/couples. In fact, every time there’s a new one released, the man and I start bribing one another as to who gets to read it first. As I’m the owner of the ladyflower, and the chief cook, I tend to win.
The Iron Druid Chronicles is the kind of series that brings people together to talk about at the end of the day, over a pint or cup of tea. (Incidentally, Atticus owned a bookstore/tea shop where he sold things like “mobili-tea” to people. I wonder if he also had “infertili-tea”? I like non-hormonal alternatives.;))
As for me and mine, my PSM and I have discussed this series at great length, and it was one of the series of which I used to throw her off the cliff of audiobook love–ok, more like–audiobook obsession.
The audiobook for this series, narrated by Luke Daniels is so stupidly good, it makes me want to drop the mic for him. It’s absolutely a case where the perfect book found its way into the voice of the perfect actor, and I absolutely cannot imagine the two separated. His Oberon, sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster, his Oberon, holy fuck.
Below the .gif are two different samples of his Oberon. The first is from Hounded, the second is from Shattered. It’s sort of wonderful to see how the character has evolved and changed over the course of the series. Luke Daniels recognizes that, and makes no apologies for it. As we continually do what it is we’re best at, we improve, we evolve, and so do the products of strengths. As an actor/singer, I know that my voice is definitely different from that of ten years ago. I am still a mezzo-soprano, and still have all my octaves, but I know that as I’ve aged, my upper register isn’t the same. And I really believe my alto tones, which used to be less-than, have steadily improved. Likewise, I think you can really see a beautiful growth in Luke’s work.
absolutely a five star series and a two thumbs up read.
The recipe inspired by the series:
ok, so, OBERON, ahhhh, Oberon. Sweet puppy loves his meat–especially sausage–and in the latter part of the series, he decides he’s going to write a standard. This standard will be The Book of Five Meats. I knew that I needed to make:
The Sandwich of Five Meats(loaf).
AKA, the best meatloaf and gravy sandwich you’ve ever eaten. It features several favorites from the series, such as bangers, ale, and bacon. And all of the ingredients are available at Trader Joe’s, save the rolls, which are Rhodes.
The Sandwich of Five Meats(loaf).
Prep Time: 45 minutes-1 hour total
Cook Time: 15 minutes (if you cook the gr
Keywords: bake entree
for the meatloaf sliders
- 1 lb 85/15 ground beef
- 3 Irish Bangers (TJs) or 3 Pork Sausage links
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 3 tbsp HP sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- pancetta or prosciutto for topping
for the gravy
- 1/3 cup bacon fat (about 6 slices worth of rendered fat)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 cups of veal (or beef) stock
- 1 cup dark, malty beer (think a Brown ale or Chimay Tripel)
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 dashes Worchestershire sauce
- 12 oz sliced mushrooms
- salt and pepper
- crispy capiccola (just heat it in the skillet)
- sunny side up egg
- sturdy lettuce
- chopped red onion
for the meatloaf
Preheat oven to 375
spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray, set aside
slice prosciutto into 14 squares
combine all ingredients in a large bowl, save prosciutto, and work together with your hands
place evenly in 14 muffin indents
top each with a piece of prosciutto
bake 15-20 minutes or until center is 145F
for the gravy
heat the bacon fat and butter on high heat, it will JUST begin to smoke
add mushrooms and stir/cook until browned
toss in flour and stir
pour in remaining ingredients, slowly and stir until thickened and smooth. (save the mushrooms.)
I think it’s easiest to have the sandwich go as pictured.