Kevin Hearne: Hounded

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Kevin Hearne Hounded
  • Название:
    Hounded
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Del Rey
  • Жанр:
    sf_fantasy_city / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2011
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    978-0-345-52253-5
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Hounded: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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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 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 sexy 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.

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Hounded

(The first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles series)

A novel by Kevin Hearne

Look, Mom, I made this!

Can we put it on the fridge?

Irish Pronunciation Guide

Let it be known from the beginning that readers are free to pronounce the names in this book however they see fit. It’s supposed to be a good time, so I do not wish to steal anyone’s marshmallows by telling them they’re “saying it wrong.” However, for those readers who place a premium on accuracy, I have provided an informal guide to some names and words that may be a bit confusing for English readers, since Irish phonetics aren’t necessarily those of English. One thing to keep in mind is that diacritical marks above the vowels do not indicate a stressed syllable but rather a certain vowel sound.

Names

Aenghus Óg = Angus OHG (long o, as in doe, not short o, as in log)

Airmid = AIR mit

Bres = Bress

Brighid = BRI yit (or close to BREE yit) in Old Irish. Modern Irish has changed this to Bríd (pronounced like Breed), changing the vowel sound and eliminating the g entirely because English speakers kept pronouncing the g with a j sound. Names like Bridget are Anglicized versions of the original Irish name

Cairbre = CAR bre, where you kind of roll the r and the e is pronounced as in egg

Conaire = KON uh ra

Cúchulainn = Koo HOO lin (the Irish ch is pronounced like an h low in the throat, like a Spanish j, never with a hard k sound or as in the English chew)

Dian Cecht = DEE an KAY

Fianna = Fee AH na

Finn Mac Cumhaill = FIN mac COO will

Flidais = FLIH dish

Fragarach = FRAG ah rah

Granuaile = GRAWN ya WALE

Lugh Lámhfhada = Loo LAW wah duh

Manannan Mac Lir = MAH nah NON mac LEER

Miach = ME ah

Mogh Nuadhat = Moh NU ah dah

Moralltach = MOR ul TAH

Ó Suileabháin = Oh SULL uh ven (pronounced like O’Sullivan, it’s just the Irish spelling)

Siodhachan = SHE ya han (remember the guttural h for the Irish ch; don’t go near a hard k sound)

Tuatha Dé Danann = Too AH ha day DAN an

Places

Gabhra = GO rah

Mag Mell = Mah MEL

Magh Léna = Moy LAY na

Tír na nÓg = TEER na NOHG (long o)

Verbs

Coinnigh = con NEE (to hold, keep)

Dóigh = doy (to burn)

Dún = doon (to close or seal)

Oscail = OS kill (to open)

Trees

Fearn = fairn

Idho = EE yo

Ngetal = NYET ul

Tinne = CHIN neh

Ura = OO ra (make sure you’re not turning this into a military cheer. Both syllables are very clipped and you roll the r a wee bit)

Chapter 1

There are many perks to living for twenty-one centuries, and foremost among them is bearing witness to the rare birth of genius. It invariably goes like this: Someone shrugs off the weight of his cultural traditions, ignores the baleful stares of authority, and does something his countrymen think to be completely batshit insane. Of those, Galileo was my personal favorite. Van Gogh comes in second, but he really was batshit insane.

Thank the Goddess I don’t look like a guy who met Galileo—or who saw Shakespeare’s plays when they first debuted or rode with the hordes of Genghis Khan. When people ask how old I am, I just tell them twenty-one, and if they assume I mean years instead of decades or centuries, then that can’t be my fault, can it? I still get carded, in fact, which any senior citizen will tell you is immensely flattering.

The young-Irish-lad façade does not stand me in good stead when I’m trying to appear scholarly at my place of business—I run an occult bookshop with an apothecary’s counter squeezed in the corner—but it has one outstanding advantage. When I go to the grocery store, for example, and people see my curly red hair, fair skin, and long goatee, they suspect that I play soccer and drink lots of Guinness. If I’m going sleeveless and they see the tattoos all up and down my right arm, they assume I’m in a rock band and smoke lots of weed. It never enters their mind for a moment that I could be an ancient Druid—and that’s the main reason why I like this look. If I grew a white beard and got myself a pointy hat, oozed dignity and sagacity and glowed with beatitude, people might start to get the wrong—or the right—idea.

Sometimes I forget what I look like and I do something out of character, such as sing shepherd tunes in Aramaic while I’m waiting in line at Starbucks, but the nice bit about living in urban America is that people tend to either ignore eccentrics or move to the suburbs to escape them.

That never would have happened in the old days. People who were different back then got burned at the stake or stoned to death. There is still a downside to being different today, of course, which is why I put so much effort into blending in, but the downside is usually just harassment and discrimination, and that is a vast improvement over dying for the common man’s entertainment.

Living in the modern world contains quite a few vast improvements like that. Most old souls I know think the attraction of modernity rests on clever ideas like indoor plumbing and sunglasses. But for me, the true attraction of America is that it’s practically godless. When I was younger and dodging the Romans, I could hardly walk a mile in Europe without stepping on a stone sacred to some god or other. But out here in Arizona, all I have to worry about is the occasional encounter with Coyote, and I actually rather like him. (He’s nothing like Thor, for one thing, and that right there means we’re going to get along fine. The local college kids would describe Thor as a “major asshat” if they ever had the misfortune to meet him.)

Even better than the low god density in Arizona is the near total absence of faeries. I don’t mean those cute winged creatures that Disney calls “fairies”; I mean the Fae, the Sidhe, the actual descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann, born in Tír na nÓg, the land of eternal youth, each one of them as likely to gut you as hug you. They don’t dig me all that much, so I try to settle in places they can’t reach very easily. They have all sorts of gateways to earth in the Old World, but in the New World they need oak, ash, and thorn to make the journey, and those trees don’t grow together too often in Arizona. I have found a couple of likely places, like the White Mountains near the border with New Mexico and a riparian area near Tucson, but those are both over a hundred miles away from my well-paved neighborhood near the university in Tempe. I figured the chances of the Fae entering the world there and then crossing a treeless desert to look for a rogue Druid were extremely small, so when I found this place in the late nineties, I decided to stay until the locals grew suspicious.

It was a great decision for more than a decade. I set up a new identity, leased some shop space, hung out a sign that said THIRD EYE BOOKS AND HERBS (an allusion to Vedic and Buddhist beliefs, because I thought a Celtic name would bring up a red flag to those searching for me), and bought a small house within easy biking distance.

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