Kevin Hearne: The Chapel Perilous
The Chapel Perilous (The Iron Druid Chronicles)
by Kevin Hearne
(contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy)
This novella is set in the word of the Iron Druid Chronicles, and is a fun addition to that series. It takes place during Granuaile’s training to become a full druid, but in truth it is set much earlier than that. This novella is Atticus’ re-telling of a story from his (relative) youth, before he became the Iron Druid. And it is pure fun.
Since this novella is told as a story that Atticus is telling the others, you know right away that he will survive. Actually, the fact that it’s set in the past compared to the regular Iron Druid timeline tells you that he will survive, regardless of the fact that he’s telling a story. However, it’s still fun to hear how he manages the whole thing. (If anything, I just wish it was a little longer with more adventures. There’s plenty of room for more in this particular topic. When you hear how the whole thing plays out, you’ll know what I mean if you know anything about the subject at all.)
If you know anything at all about the Chapel Perilous in the title, or you do even the briefest of Google searches, you will know that this is part of the Grail myth. And if you know anything about the Grail myth, you will know that (whether you believe it or not) there are historians who claim that the Grail was borrowed by the Christian religion from the Celtic myths and legends which predated it. I knew all of this before I read the novella, though to be honest my most current knowledge of the chapel itself is the parody version in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. (And now that I have been reacquainted with the original, even distantly, through this novella, I want to read some source and/or reference material on it. I do love these stories.)
Anyway: the source material is no surprise. The main character’s survival is no surprise. So why read this novella? Because IT’S SO MUCH FUN. It includes Oberon being Oberon, a talking horse, and zombies. A perfect read for Halloween. I couldn’t have timed this better, even though it was completely accidental. (I probably shouldn’t have admitted to that last part.)