Goddess at the Crossroads • 2015 • Fantasy short story by Kevin Hearne

★★

 

Druid Atticus O’Sullivan tells a short adventure at a campfire to his disciple and his faithful dog: Shakespeare needed inspiration for his Scottish play, aka Macbeth. Together, they found some witches in the woods outside of London right in the process of summoning Hecate, the Greek goddess of witchcraft and crossroads.

I’ve read the author’s novelette Chapel Perilous, and his novel Hounded, both very entertaining stories in the same Iron Druid Chronicles series. This story is not as good as those two by far – it is predictable. And very heavily formulaic, as well – all of his series elements like the typical behaviour of his mind-connected dog, or his magic absorbing amulet, his barefoot fighting style make their appearance here.

Once you’ve read other stories in the series, you know all that stuff.

Some readers might exactly want to have this once again as a kind of comfort read. For others it will be the first read of the author and they will find it a nice read and a good introduction to the series. But I found it absolutely boring, as there are nearly no new elements in the story, and those tropes take away too much space for my taste. Whimpering Shakespeare and dirty London were stereotypical. There was no real turning of events that could bring up at least a bit tension.

Two stars rounded up.

Meta: This short story appears 2015 in A Fantasy Medley 3. It is set in the Iron Druid Chronicles series.

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