A Test of Mettle (The Iron Druid Chronicles #3.5) - Kevin Hearne This was an interesting short story told from Granuaile’s point of view. As the description states the events in this book occur concurrently to the events in Hammer (book #3), so it’s best to read #3 before this one.

Granuaile is an interesting character in this series considering she’s the only positive female besides the widow in Atticus’ life. Unlike the goddesses and witches in the series she’s not seeking revenge on anyone or using her womanly charms to get what she wants. She’s just a cool, go with the flow kind of chick studying to be a druid. Unfortunately, in the last two books Granuaile has taken a back seat. She’s in the beginning of the stories, but a third of the way through we seem to lose her a bit. Atticus gives her something to work on and off she goes. So this story was a nice way of getting to know Granuaile and see what she’s doing during those times she’s not in the story.

In this particular story Granuaile is helping the elemental Sonora with a pest control problem. It was interesting to see how Granuaile’s studies are evolving and how the whole druid thing works. The druid magic is explained in bits here and there by Atticus, but because he’s been doing it for so long his powers and how they work are never fully explained. In Hammer, readers get a nice lesson on how to talk to elementals, but in this story we get an understanding of how it feels to actually talk to an elemental through Granuaile’s point of view. It’s refreshing to see something through a newbie’s eyes.

It’s also nice to see what it actually takes to be a druid. Let’s face it Atticus is pretty bad ass, but are all druids like this or just him? Since he’s the only druid in the series this has never been answered. However, this short story shows that you have to have some badassness along with some cleverness in order to even pass into the next step of druid lessons. I look forward to more of these short stories and to see what becomes of Granuaile. I think she’s going to a force to be reckon with once all is said and done.