Kevin Hearne Guest Post: Vampires as Machiavellian Monsters


Staked by Kevin Hearne // VBCFrom Chelsea/VBC: The VBC reviewers have been long-time fans of Kevin Hearne’s books. I reviewed Hounded not long after it released and was hooked. We’re journeying toward the end of this bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles series. Staked, the eighth book in the series, releases tomorrow (go order your copy now, because it’s excellent), and Kevin is here at VBC to talk about vampires. Yep. We didn’t even have to bribe him with fancy whiskey.

I enjoy the wide variety of vampires in popular fiction today. Their appearance, abilities, and weaknesses are drawn from a large pool of folklore and the details are always entertaining.

The vampires in the Iron Druid Chronicles are mostly focused on the long game, voluntarily controlling their own population and doling out territories in order to graze freely on humans while maintaining their legendary status. They’re not especially bothered by garlic except that it gives blood an unpleasant flavor, and crucifixes and holy water don’t bother them. They do need to stay hidden from the sun and are susceptible to wooden stakes, fire, and Druids. Since they are nonliving and therefore not part of Gaia, Druids can unbind their component parts and end their existences. To end that threat, vampires provided the catalyst behind the great Roman expansion throughout Europe and the British Isles—nominally for the glory and wealth of Rome, but truly an effort to wipe out the Druids on the continent and give vampires the opportunity to expand. Historically, the Druids were pretty much wiped out on the continent by the third century; a few stragglers lingered in Ireland, where the Romans never set foot, but St. Patrick took care of them in the early fifth century (driving the “snakes” out of Ireland is widely regarded as a metaphor for pagan practitioners).

One got away, however—the protagonist of the series, Atticus O’Sullivan. And once he comes out of his long hiding, trains a new Druid, and resumes a war the vampires thought they won long ago, the old ones in Rome are determined to finish what they started.

The vampire story arc has been a long one throughout the series and I’m glad I could give the resolution its proper space in Staked while also juggling the other threads of the series.

I’ll be on tour in support of the book and hope to see you if one of the stops is close enough! If not, please call any of the stores and ask for a signed copy before I get there, and they’ll ship it to you! Hope you enjoy!

—Kevin Hearne

2 Responses to “Kevin Hearne Guest Post: Vampires as Machiavellian Monsters”

  1. Liz S says:

    This is one of my favorite series and is on my auto buy list. Looking forward to reading Staked!

  2. Christina says:

    Ordered my copy this morning. Finishing up Shattered before it arrives.

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