Sometime around 1990 I discovered urban fantasy reading Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, and it was a bit of an awakening. Prior to that, I had read fantasy, science fiction, and even some modern thrillers, but until then I'd never seriously considered the merger of fantasy and the modern world. A bit of Anne Rice and Mercedes Lackey solidified my conversion from merely interested to a fan of fantasy crossovers. The mere idea of introducing more real magic into the modern world was enough to get me intrigued, but I began to understand that these were the modern myths for our time - filled with hope, the potential for redemption, and danger in the unknown.
Jim Butcher pushed it over the edge when I first read Storm Front years ago and cracked open The Dresden Files, and since then there have been many others. Neil Gaiman. Carrie Vaughn. K.A. Stewart. But no other series really captured my attention quite the same way that Dresden did. Then a friend of mine introduced me to the book Hounded by Kevin Hearne. Just like with Butcher, Hearne captured an amazing world and tempered it with heart and tons of sarcasm. Atticus O'Sullivan, the Iron Druid, and his faithful Irish wolfhound Oberon, faced off against beings and gods of mythology but did so in Phoenix, AZ--a city I lived in for several years. I knew those locations Hearne wrote about and it made it come to life in unexpected ways.
Over the last few years, I have read every book and novella in the Iron Druid series. So as you might imagine, when Trapped hit shelves this week, I was all over it. Due to a few interruptions it took me about three days to read the book beginning to end and I wasn't disappointed. Atticus and his apprentice Granuaile were almost done with the training. Twelve long years to get from zero to a druid-ready state. Imagine it like graduate school, but involving more PE, languages, common sense, and the ground rules of magic than you usually get in a graduate program.