Authors often use Celtic/Druidic/Pagan ideas, beliefs and characters in their writing as merely functions for a broader story manipulation, paying no attention to the actual mythological history of these characters and concepts. Mr. Hearne is one of only two authors I have discovered who has succeeded in bringing these elements together with authenticity, humor and plain ol’ excellent writing. (I guess that’s what happens when you have a degree in English Education!) And hats off to Luke Daniels for almost perfect pronunciation of those almost impossible-to-pronounce Irish names!
Speaking of Mr. Daniels, his dexterity with dialect is delicious. Through the first two books in this series, he accomplishes Irish (Southern), Tamil, Polish, Russian, American South Western, Scandinavian, “Dude”-ian, and Dog! I don’t know that there has been such a good of a match between author and reader since Jim Butcher and James Marsters.
This would be a mildly entertaining story if not for Mr. Hearne’s exquisite sense of humor. As it is, the book (and series) is an extremely effective, enjoyable, addictive and yes, entertaining, experience. There is a scene in this book where Oberon is trying to impress Atticus with his use of language in order to get a treat. It is brilliantly written and brilliantly performed, and I can’t remember the last time – outside of actual live theatre – that I have been so tickled with hysterics. It is classic, intelligently written, and truly comedic – an almost impossible task that has been achieved by Mr. Hearne. Two other humor points to mention: what Oberon learns from the story of the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and the author’s hysterical use of the word “ass” in many different contexts, will be burned in my Funny Bone Memory forever.
The last time a book made me randomly and breathlessly burst with laughter was David Sedaris’ “Me Talk Pretty One Day.” Expect the same thing to happen with you with this book.
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