fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Demon Barker of Wheat Street by Kevin HearneThe Demon Barker of Wheat Street by Kevin Hearne

When you need your next Atticus and Oberon fix from Kevin Hearne, I recommend The Demon Barker of Wheat Street. This short IRON DRUID CHRONICLES story first appeared in Carniepunk, an anthology devoted to urban fantasy stories about carnivals. It can be purchased separately in a 35-page ebook format for 99c or in audio format for $1.32. The audiobook is narrated by Kirby Heyborne. He does a nice job, but of course I would have preferred listening to Luke Daniels because he’s been doing the IRON DRUID CHRONICLES audiobooks from the beginning and he’s just so perfect for the roles. Whenever I read the IDC stories, I will always hear Luke Daniels’ voices for Atticus, Oberon, and Granuaile. Nevertheless, I can still recommend The Demon Barker of Wheat Street in audio format. It’s still very good.

The Iron Druid Chronicles (9 Book Series) by Kevin Hearne

The story, which occurs six years after the novel Tricked and two weeks after the novella Two Ravens and One Crow, takes place at a carnival, of course. A really creepy one. It’s in Kansas and Atticus, Oberon and Granuaile are there because Granuaile wants to look in on her mother, who still thinks Granuaile is dead. Her mother is out of town, but there’s a carnival going on, so they attend. It’s pretty much like what you’d expect — rickety rides, greasy junk food, hucksters trying to scam the patrons out of their money, trash all over the ground.

But one attraction gets the druids’ attention — a tent to which people are flocking, but only some of them are coming back out. Atticus, Oberon and Granuaile decide to look in on things. They make a gruesome discovery and one of them is nearly lost for eternity. To save the day, Atticus will need to apologize to, and request help from, an elemental spirit that he has offended.

The Demon Barker of Wheat Street is the scariest IDC story I’ve read yet, and I think I’ve read all of them. I’d classify it as horror, in fact. It’s disturbing and grisly, yet still maintains the level of humor and good-natured banter we expect from our druids and their dog. I loved it.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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