From the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles comes book two of an “action-packed, enchantingly fun” (Booklist) spin-off series, as an eccentric master of rare magic solves a supernatural mystery Down Under!
There’s only one Al MacBharrais: Though other Scotsmen may have dramatic mustaches and a taste for fancy cocktails, Al also has a unique talent. He’s a master of ink and sigil magic. In his gifted hands, paper and pen can work wondrous spells.
But Al isn’t quite alone: He is part of a global network of sigil agents who use their powers to protect the world from mischievous gods and strange monsters. So when a fellow agent disappears under sinister circumstances in Australia, Al leaves behind the cozy pubs and cafes of Glasgow and travels to the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria to solve the mystery.
The trail to his colleague begins to pile up with bodies at alarming speed, so Al is grateful his friends have come to help—especially Nadia, his accountant who moonlights as a pit fighter. Together with a whisky-loving hobgoblin known as Buck Foi and the ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, along with his dogs, Oberon and Starbuck, Al and Nadia will face down the wildest wonders Australia—and the supernatural world—can throw at them, and confront a legendary monster not seen in centuries.
With this sequel to 2020's Ink & Sigil—which also acts as a continuation of the Iron Druid Chronicles series—Hearne continues to explore the intersection of the mundane and the divine with his typical mix of humor and adventure. Scottish sigil agent Al MacBharrais receives word that his counterparts in Australia and Taipei have vanished during an investigation in Australia's Dandenong Ranges. MacBharrais and his hobgoblin assistant, Buck Foi, head to Melbourne, joining apprentice sigil agent Chen Ya-Ping and the immortal Iron Druid, who currently goes by Connor Molloy, on a hike to the missing agents' last known location. Along the way, they encounter a series of monstrous chimera and magical booby traps that take all their skill to survive—but they still find time to share campfire stories at night. Meanwhile, MacBharrais seeks to dispel the twin curses placed upon him, which all but guarantee that Buck will die within a year. Though the foul-mouthed Buck steals the show, the rest of the cast hold their own—even if Hearne's fans will recognize some eerily familiar patterns in the relationship dynamics. By throwing well-loved characters into a deadly mystery and moving each one's story along, this entertaining installment is sure to please fans.
Engaging and joyous.
I basically binged these books like a tv series I couldn’t put down. The story grabs you in the first book and never lets you go. The magic style that is described is fascinating and leaves me with nothing but curiosity I cannot wait to read about Al and bucks next adventure.
Kevin Hearne leaves you cackling
The last time I laughed this much at a book was when I read the first book in this series, Ink & Sigil. This one has a lot more action, and an even crazier new mystery that I hope we get to the bottom of and aren't just left hanging. The original mystery of who/what cursed Al MacBharrais is still unsolved, but I'm hopeful that by the end of the series we will learn at least why it happened. All of the characters were still incredibly nutty and we got to see a lot more of Atticus and his show stealing dogs Oberon and Starbuck. If Kevin Hearne just wrote books about Oberon and Starbuck alone I would read those all the time! Highly recommended!