A lot happens in this book. So much, that I frequently had to return to the beginning to remember that yes, that event *did* take place in this book.
We've fast-forwarded another 6 years in the book, so we start 12 years after the 1st book. Which means that Granuaile is ready to e bound to the earth.
Problem is, before they can get started, Atticus and Granuaile run into Loki, who's loose and out to destroy Perun for killing Thor. Go figure.
They get Perun safely to Tir na nOg, only to be commanded to Brighid's Fae Court. She's none too happy to discover that Atticus is still alive, when the Morrigan notified her that he was dead. There are a lot of politics still in play between Brighid and the Morrigan, so Atticus seeks to leave as soon as possible. Problem is, he learns that he and Granuaile can't hole up anywhere in America for her binding ceremony; only land touched by the Eurasian plate can create the binding. AND Atticus discovers that something or someone has blocked all his paths to Europe, except for the portal closest to Olympus.
Knowing that Bacchus is still out for his head, Atticus and Granuaile employ the help of Olympia, the local element. She protects them the best she can, but they're interrupted twice during the 3 month ceremony of Atticus creating the necessary tattoos. Gaia lays the pattern, but Atticus must use a thornbush (still attached to the Earth) and create the tattoos one little stab at a time.
As Atticus unravels the mystery of who's after them and why, he and Granuaile come across Leif. And Leif is likely up to his old tricks of getting Atticus to help him be the primo vampire. Of course, Leif provides his aid, especially against the dark elves who are known assassins and likely hired by one of the Fae, not Bacchus or another Olympian god. Problem is, which Fae and why?
A sense of FINALLY in this books for a couple of events.
BUT, while we learn a lot more about the Fae and the Norse myths, especially Ragnorak, the book tends to drag, even as it quickly switches us between places and characters. There's a lot of action. And, unfortunately for Atticus, a lot of guilt. Things that he set in motion to get the apple for Lashka and to get Leif to Asgaard to kill Thor are still costing him and bringing chaos to the world. Like Loki being free, and his daughter Hel wreaking havoc.
Atticus pays his blood price to the Norse gods with Granuaile's help and some of Freya's help. But Atticus learns that he's brought quite a price to the dwarves, when he set Loki on them in the name of Eldhar. So many more deaths and so much more destruction on his head.
We do get some respites here and there. And, of course, Oberon provides a lot of the humor. But in this book, Granuaile is quite the source of humor, too. When she changes into her panther and roars, and then helps Oberon and Atticus hunt had me laughing out loud.
(A) We failed miserably to find any dik-diks, but Oberon wasn't the least bit disappointed. He was highly amused by the entire trip, because Granuaile kept sneezing and didn't get used to her new sense of smell.... Once we passed near an impressive pile of rhino feces, she gagged and tried to run away from it, but her gagging turned the normally smooth mechanics of a jaguar into a jerky, trembling dance. Oberon chuffed so hard he fell over and pawed helplessly at the sky.
(O) "You know, I've basically been bored for three months while Granuaile was getting bound, but now I'm good. I feel repaid. Never thought I'd see a jaguar brought it its knees by rhino sh*t. And it probably dumped that here when she roared."
As usual, some of the best lines are associated with Oberon:
"Hey! Who did that? Mother clucking chicken!"
"Alert! Much fear apprentice shows! Adopt Yoda syntax you must!"
"Great Lord Sirius, Atticus, this is the best suasage ever! Mannan could rule the world with this sausage. Why he could probably even teach a rottweiler manners with sausage like this....This is the Sausage of Great Price."
(O)"I could refute that easily by pointing out that there is, in fact, no poodle bitch trotting along beside me now, but let's see if you'll give me this: Will you type out my holy writ if I dictate it to you?
(A) Sure. What's this religion going to be called?
(A) And the name of the holy write I will be typing for you?
(O) "The Dead Flea Scrolls: A Sirius Prophecy."
"Okay, for the record, what you're doing is nothing like dogs barking, and I object to the whole bow-chick-bow-wow meme in principle."
"Fine. But human mating habits are stupid."
Anxiously awaiting the next book, due out June 25.