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Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae. But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will b Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae. But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse. But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective – while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive.


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Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae. But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will b Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae. But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse. But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective – while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive.

30 review for Ink & Sigil

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    It’s an entertaining, magical, action packed return to the Iron Druid Chronicles universe with brand new Sigil Agent in his sixties with magnificent white moustache, amazing taste of alcoholic beverages and fantastic skill gives him enough power to fight against Faes. But unfortunately this blessed man is also cursed with his voice: as soon as he starts to talk, anyone hears him starts hating his guts and it ends with dangerous and deadly consequences. So he chooses to be better safe than sorry It’s an entertaining, magical, action packed return to the Iron Druid Chronicles universe with brand new Sigil Agent in his sixties with magnificent white moustache, amazing taste of alcoholic beverages and fantastic skill gives him enough power to fight against Faes. But unfortunately this blessed man is also cursed with his voice: as soon as he starts to talk, anyone hears him starts hating his guts and it ends with dangerous and deadly consequences. So he chooses to be better safe than sorry and use speech apps to fool the people around and his crafted skill about casting spells with magically enchanted ink gives him enough power he needs. But now his seventh apprentice Gordie is killed and he needs to find out the perpetrator which means he needs to take a long trip in Scotland to dig out more and convince a truly batshit crazy hobglobin to be his partner in crime to solve the mystery so let the magical ink games begin! It’s unique, moving and enjoyable reading with so many eccentric characters and I always admire Kevin Hearne’s imagination to open us new and dazzling universes’ doors and enjoy our adventurous ride with him! I had some hard time to decipher the dialogues between Scottish men so it slowed down my pace just a little bit to search for true meanings of their words but overall it was remarkably interesting and intriguing brand new series and I’m in to read more! Special thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey Books for sharing this intriguing ARC with me (I forgot to add how spectacular this cover is!) in exchange my honest review. blog instagram facebook twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/08/24/... Move over, Atticus O’Sullivan, because Kevin Hearne fans are in for a treat with his new series spinning off of The Iron Druid Chronicles starring Aloysius “Al” MacBharrais, Scottish sigil agent extraordinaire. In his sixties and blessed with a fancy mustache, he’s part of an organization responsible for regulating and enforcing the rules of travel for supernatural creatures to and from our mortal plane. As one of only a h 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/08/24/... Move over, Atticus O’Sullivan, because Kevin Hearne fans are in for a treat with his new series spinning off of The Iron Druid Chronicles starring Aloysius “Al” MacBharrais, Scottish sigil agent extraordinaire. In his sixties and blessed with a fancy mustache, he’s part of an organization responsible for regulating and enforcing the rules of travel for supernatural creatures to and from our mortal plane. As one of only a handful of people on this world with the ability to create sigils from special ink, a big part of his job also involves work with magically binding contracts in addition to crafting all manner of spells. But following the fatal accident of his seventh apprentice Gordie, our protagonist begins to wonder if there might be another reason for why all his students seem to meet untimely deaths. So, he starts digging. And as it turns out, Gordie had been living a secret double life, hiding his criminal involvement in an underground supernatural trafficking ring. It seems that fae of all types are being kidnapped and sold to buyers for a mysterious purpose, and Al is determined to find out why. With the help of a mischievous hobgoblin who calls himself Buck Foi, Al sets off on a mission to blow the whole fiendish scheme wide open, all the while trying to stay under the radar of the real world police who are starting to wonder why trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes. To kick off the analysis part of my review, I think it’s only appropriate to first talk about Al and what a unique, entertaining and complex protagonist he is. A sixty-something widower, he is a true rarity when it comes to urban fantasy leads, but I absolutely adored the refreshing perspective he brought to the genre. I also liked how Hearne mostly avoided falling back on clichés about older people, putting artful creative spins on his main character, like the fact he is cursed with a voice that makes others’ hatred for him grow the more they hear him talk. So to get by, he relies heavily on his spells, writing, and speech apps. And goodness, this book was funny, so funny. If you enjoyed the sassy, light-heartedness of the Iron Druid series, I think it’s safe to say you’ll feel right at home. In fact, I often found the humor to be even more appealing in Ink & Sigil, possibly due to Al’s more genuine and down-to-earth personality, and the jokes are maybe just slightly less juvenile. His interactions with his staff are filled with wit and whimsy, and more than once I found myself chuckling at the clever banter. It’ll be tough to top the dynamic duo that is Atticus and Oberon, but dare I say it, Al and Buck might give them a run for their money. The world-building was also intriguing and made me want to learn more. While Ink & Sigil shares its world with Iron Druid, it nevertheless reads like a standalone and feels completely separate—the way a spin-off should, I might add, barring a few cool cameos. There’s a whole new magic system to discover, and in true Kevin Hearne style, it feels both inventive and well thought out. Sigil-based magic is more than it appears, starting from the very specialized ink that sigil agents must make from rare specific ingredients. Once crafted, a sigil can then be used to manipulate the world around them, and some of their effects can be pretty wild. Like a lot of mysteries in UF though, I found this one to be slightly lacking and unfocused in the plot department. There are quite a few distractions and side ventures, but this being the opening volume of a new series, a part of me understood the need to introduce as many aspects of the world and its characters all at once. There’s also the issue of the heavy Scottish dialect, and while I appreciated Hearne’s efforts at authenticity and to make his readers feel as immersed as possible, bottom line, some of it’s just a damn pain to get used to, and slowed things down as a result. Still, as many of my favorite UF series also took a few books to find their feet, I’m definitely willing to give this one more time to smooth out any bumps and dents. All told, while Ink & Sigil is only the first book, I’m already liking where things are going. I believe fans of Kevin Hearne will be well pleased with this humorous and fresh novel, and if you’ve ever been curious about the author’s work, this would be the perfect opportunity to jump on board.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Ink & Sigil features a very appealing cover. Ink & Sigil features a master wizard who makes sigils (paper spells), but is cursed so that he can't speak without being hated. It is told in heavy Scottish dialect and even comes with a short glossary of word usage. However, I'm not a big fan of "urban fantasy," a sub-genre of fantasy where the modern world through some twist of fate is peopled by elves, wizards, fairies, gnomes, and all sorts of imaginary beings. Maybe this would hold more appeal to Ink & Sigil features a very appealing cover. Ink & Sigil features a master wizard who makes sigils (paper spells), but is cursed so that he can't speak without being hated. It is told in heavy Scottish dialect and even comes with a short glossary of word usage. However, I'm not a big fan of "urban fantasy," a sub-genre of fantasy where the modern world through some twist of fate is peopled by elves, wizards, fairies, gnomes, and all sorts of imaginary beings. Maybe this would hold more appeal to fans of the genre. It's just not right for me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tommeh Bell

    This is what happens when you give a frat boy a laptop and tell him to write a story. Brawling leprechauns, swearing hobgoblins and a mute ink wizard oh my. It took my a while to get into this story because while the action kinda started right at the beginning I just didn't care about any of it. This had a great cast of characters and I am partial to Nadia. The name Buck Foi was just annoying as hell and wholly immature and not as funny as I think the author wants it to be. This was a fun read, This is what happens when you give a frat boy a laptop and tell him to write a story. Brawling leprechauns, swearing hobgoblins and a mute ink wizard oh my. It took my a while to get into this story because while the action kinda started right at the beginning I just didn't care about any of it. This had a great cast of characters and I am partial to Nadia. The name Buck Foi was just annoying as hell and wholly immature and not as funny as I think the author wants it to be. This was a fun read, but frankly the 'mystery" was sorely lacking. Al didn't actually detect nor uncover anything. He didn't make any grand discoveries. All of his hints and clues were supplied by other people. Saxon should get the big bonus for giving Al every single clue that he cobbled together, with a hat tip to Eli as well. And the reason for all this run around was pretty thin too, but I guess everyone has to start somewhere. There just wasn't enough in between the pages. The story limps along and relies on the by play between Al and Buck a little too much. I will say that I enjoyed the book and I will be looking into any others of the series, but the actual plot bogs them down.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I’ve never read anything by this author before now, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from him. I only knew his other series have been popular, and this book being the start of a new series, seemed fun and like a good place to be introduced to him. And fun it was to read this urban fantasy novel with its interesting magic system and a cast of very likable Scottish characters who are misfits, but fit in well with each other. And the humor, while in turns both silly and rather colorful as far as the I’ve never read anything by this author before now, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from him. I only knew his other series have been popular, and this book being the start of a new series, seemed fun and like a good place to be introduced to him. And fun it was to read this urban fantasy novel with its interesting magic system and a cast of very likable Scottish characters who are misfits, but fit in well with each other. And the humor, while in turns both silly and rather colorful as far as the language is concerned, had me either laughing or groaning, the latter not necessarily bad. So overall, despite it containing some violence, and the inclusion of some tragic subject matter of topical interest, this book was a lighter read and inventive, which was just was I was looking for right now. I also liked that the MC was a man around 60 years of age, but hardly a doddering sort which was refreshing. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series whenever it is released.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I had a really good time with this book! Even though I haven't quite finished reading the Iron Druid Chronicles, I was excited to see that Kevin Hearne was writing more stories set in the same world. I had originally planned to read this book on my e-reader but I ended up with the audiobook since Luke Daniels does such a good job with this author's work. I was not disappointed. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try. This This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I had a really good time with this book! Even though I haven't quite finished reading the Iron Druid Chronicles, I was excited to see that Kevin Hearne was writing more stories set in the same world. I had originally planned to read this book on my e-reader but I ended up with the audiobook since Luke Daniels does such a good job with this author's work. I was not disappointed. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try. This book is set in the same world as the books from the Iron Druid Chronicles. Fans of that series will be happy to be back in the world and will enjoy seeing some familiar characters but this is also a great place for new readers to jump in. I really enjoyed getting to know these new characters and found the whole idea of the sigils to be very interesting. Al is a great character. I love that he is an older guy just trying to do what needs to be done and get through each day. He takes special precautions to protect others from his curse. The more I learned about Al, the more I liked him. Buck added a nice touch to the story. I was quite entertained by this hobgoblin and thought that he added a really fun element to the story. The two of them make a great, but very unlikely, pair. I thought that the story was very well done. I was really invested in the mystery and couldn't wait to see how things would work out. The sigils added a nice element to their quest to get to the bottom of things. I found the police to also be well done. I found the book to be really exciting and quite often hard to put down. Luke Daniels did a fantastic job with the narration. I liked the different voices that he used and thought that he did an especially great job with the voice app that Al often uses. He added a lot of excitement to the story and was able to capture each character's personality in his reading. I am glad that I decided to go with the audiobook for this story. I would recommend this book to others. It was a very well done story with a new spin on some familiar elements. I cannot wait to go on future adventures with Al and Buck! I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing - Del Rey via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook. Initial Thoughts I had a good time with this book. I have quite finished reading the Iron Druid Chronicles yet but I have read enough that I knew the world that this book was set in prior to beginning the novel. I don't really feel like jumping to this series spoiled anything for me in the Iron Druid series but what do I know. I decided to go with the audiobook for this one since Luke Daniels narrates the book and I think it was a good choice. I enjoyed going on this adventure with Al and I found myself completely sucked in by the mystery. Buck helped to keep things from being too serious and was the perfect character to offset Al. I found this to be a great start to a very promising series and I cannot wait to learn more about the curses and what Al will face in the next installment.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    There are two curses on Aloysius MacBharrais, placed by someone who is very good at what they do. Curse one involves Al having to be very careful with who he talks to - and how. Curse two seemed to only manifest itself in one character who wasn't even a character; this character was only a name and had no presence in the book. So here goes Al trying to keep his part of the world's geography clearly marked with who and what can travel here from other planes. Somebody is working some kind of traff There are two curses on Aloysius MacBharrais, placed by someone who is very good at what they do. Curse one involves Al having to be very careful with who he talks to - and how. Curse two seemed to only manifest itself in one character who wasn't even a character; this character was only a name and had no presence in the book. So here goes Al trying to keep his part of the world's geography clearly marked with who and what can travel here from other planes. Somebody is working some kind of trafficking in altered Fae. So who, what and why? That's all Al has to figure out. And fix. I began reading the Iron Druid Chronicles written by this author and loved them until....I didn't. I think this movement to a character completely grounded in the modern world has the chance to become interesting because of the scope available for future stories. However, having Al saddled with that curse made story progression slow down and almost halt at times. He also has to retire to a special place to draw the sigils he will (?) need in whatever encounter he's going toward. Then using each sigil has it's own difficulties. It just felt rather awkward and slow for the special effects to be utilized. If you've been missing Atticus O'Sullivan and Oberon they both make an appearance in this book, but not as actors in this drama, more as a temptation. Seemed like an author pushing their own series within a different series. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House, Ballantine, Del Ray for an e-galley of this novel.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    Hearne has this magical ability to weave stories and characters you want more of. Our protagonist, Al, is in his sixties and cursed. He can create magic using paper & ink. Spells to hide, spells to see, heal and more. As for the curse? Anyone who hears his voice feels an inexplicable hatred for Al. Because of this he communicates through the written word or speech apps, particularly if he plans to encounter that person again. He also has difficulty keeping an apprentice. When Gordie, his latest a Hearne has this magical ability to weave stories and characters you want more of. Our protagonist, Al, is in his sixties and cursed. He can create magic using paper & ink. Spells to hide, spells to see, heal and more. As for the curse? Anyone who hears his voice feels an inexplicable hatred for Al. Because of this he communicates through the written word or speech apps, particularly if he plans to encounter that person again. He also has difficulty keeping an apprentice. When Gordie, his latest apprentice, turns up dead, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. What he finds in Gordie’s home alarms him and dons a detective hat to find answers. That is after he gets his new flat mate situated. 🤣 The world-building is complex and rich, but Hearne allows the reader to enjoy the discovery as the story unfolds. There is magic and keepers of sorts. Al with his unique mustache is a Sigil Agent. He runs a shop and has a manager named Nadia. She also acts as the muscle and I absolutely adored her from her mannerism to snark. There are other agents around the globe who we met briefly. I found them all to be memorable and can imagine tales with them. One of my favorite characters was a hobgoblin named Buck Foi. He enjoys a stolen beer and has recently discovered Netflix. He made me laugh so hard I had tears streaming down my face. The mystery was interesting and introduced us to trolls, pit fighting, and magic. It worked as the perfect backdrop as we met characters and learned of their world. Hearne even treated fans to a brief but memorable encounter with a druid and his dog. I am curious about Al’s curse. Questions were raised that have me looking forward to more stories in the series. Hearne has been contracted for three books in this series but hopes to have nine.(yes, yes, yes) So be sure to snag a copy. I got my pre-order this morning and am waiting for my hardcover edition. I am soooo glad I listened. The language is a wee bit tricky and I slowed my listen down to 1.2x. I would have butchered the pronunciation of these names. Luke Daniel’s narration was superb. I have long been a fan of Daniel’s narration, particularly when it comes to urban fantasy and science fiction. His range of voices and gusto added a whole extra layer to Hearne’s stories. In fact, I have listened to all of Hearne’s books on audio. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    4 stars You can read all of my reviews at NerdGirlLovesBooks. This is a creative, funny, action-packed fantasy about an elderly sigil agent that can craft magical spells using special inks and symbols. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't yet read any of the The Iron Druid Chronicles. I have them all and intend to do so, I just haven't had the time. That said, if you have not read them either, you can still read and enjoy this book. I'm sure that I perhaps didn't fully appreciate certain references 4 stars You can read all of my reviews at NerdGirlLovesBooks. This is a creative, funny, action-packed fantasy about an elderly sigil agent that can craft magical spells using special inks and symbols. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't yet read any of the The Iron Druid Chronicles. I have them all and intend to do so, I just haven't had the time. That said, if you have not read them either, you can still read and enjoy this book. I'm sure that I perhaps didn't fully appreciate certain references because I had not read them, but I didn't feel lost while reading this book. Al MacBharrais is blessed with a fantastic white moustache. He also has a curse on his head that anyone that his hears voice long enough will developed a deep-seated hatred for him. He must therefore communicate in writing or by using a phone app. Al is a sigil agent - one of only five in the world. Al has tried to train a new sigil agent to take his position for when he can no longer perform his duties, but his apprentices have a habit of dying in freak accidents. His latest apprentice, Gordie, recently died, leaving Al in a predicament. Al discovers that Gordie had been participating in a secret life of crime and it's up to Al to get to the bottom of it while avoiding detectives that wonder why Al's apprentices keep dying. He is aided in his investigation by his office manager/ enforcer and a wisecracking, mischief-making hobgoblin named Buck Foi. The book is set in Glasgow, and the characters speak in wonderful Scottish accents that make it fun to imagine what they would sound like while you read. (Sadly, my Scottish accent is atrocious) As always, the author does a wonderful job of worldbuilding and the characters jump off the page. I could picture each one in my mind's eye, and imagine their expressions as they interact with each other. I'm not a huge fan of urban fantasies, but because of the superb writing, I didn't mind it here. The story was entertaining and there was just enough of "other worldliness" that balanced out the urban setting. Having only read the author's The Seven Kennings book series, it was fun to read something a bit lighter from him. I just hope that this new series doesn't prevent him from writing more Seven Kennings books, because I have GOT to know what happens next! Kevin Hearne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend you read it. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and Del Rey in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elentarri

    After Hearne lost in interest in the Iron Druid series and botched up the last book, I swore I wouldn't touch another one of his book... only this one sounded so interesting. But it turned out to be bland, with juvenile potty "humour", a muddled plot and an old man (Sigil Agent) who can magic away any injuries (how bloody convenient!) and a rather ineffective detective - but then again it was a rather ineffective mystery to be solved. The side characters were the most interesting part of the boo After Hearne lost in interest in the Iron Druid series and botched up the last book, I swore I wouldn't touch another one of his book... only this one sounded so interesting. But it turned out to be bland, with juvenile potty "humour", a muddled plot and an old man (Sigil Agent) who can magic away any injuries (how bloody convenient!) and a rather ineffective detective - but then again it was a rather ineffective mystery to be solved. The side characters were the most interesting part of the book. I would rather have read about them than a mute wizard glued to his phone app. Most of the characters also need their mouths washed out with soap. In short, a decent concept with juvenile execution.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    Aloysius “Al” MacBharrais is a Sigil Agent. Only five such people in the world exist and it is their ability to create sigils from special ink that make them special. These sigils work like magic spells and can be used for both offensive and defensive and even for more mundane purposes. But when Al’s apprentice dies by choking to death on a scone, Al is convinced it isn’t really an accident. Perhaps that is because his previous six apprentices have also all died in various accidents. His investi Aloysius “Al” MacBharrais is a Sigil Agent. Only five such people in the world exist and it is their ability to create sigils from special ink that make them special. These sigils work like magic spells and can be used for both offensive and defensive and even for more mundane purposes. But when Al’s apprentice dies by choking to death on a scone, Al is convinced it isn’t really an accident. Perhaps that is because his previous six apprentices have also all died in various accidents. His investigation into the death leads him to another crime, this time a large-scale fey trafficking ring being run by what appears to be some sort of governmental organization. He manages to free a mischievous hobgoblin who was next to be sold off and who then acts as a sidekick throughout the rest of the story. This first-in-a-series novel takes place in the same universe as the author’s Iron Druid Chronicles although it’s important to note that it is not necessary to have read those books in order to enjoy this one. The character of Al MacBharrais is well developed in this first book along with his sigil craft and several of his closest friends and allies. Some of this is told through brief flashback sequences but the author does this in creative ways to avoid dreaded info dumps. At one point he even remembers back to when he met Atticus O'Sullivan, the Iron Druid himself, as well as his loyal dog companion Oberon. This book does have a fair bit of dialog that reflects unique Scottish terminology and accents (specifically Glaswegian, or “Weegie"). When I read that in the author’s note at the beginning of the book along with a pronunciation guide, I was plenty worried. That sort of thing often yanks me out of any kind of immersive storytelling experience. But here, it didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I think it helped me see and hear these people better. There is quite a bit of humor in the novel, perhaps even more than can be found in the Iron Druid stories. Some of it is a little juvenile, especially from the hobgoblin, but then that seems totally in character for a hob anyway. Most of it is actually quite clever and original. Recommended. Keven Hearne fans will not be disappointed. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free ARC in return for an honest review

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    Is there anything better than a book that not only transports you to another reality, but does so while with a fresh and unique flair? Al MacBharrais is not your typical magical user. He isn’t young and dashing, he’s been cursed, but his ability to create magic out of ink and paper. Kevin Hearnes’ INK & SIGIL is part mystery and mayhem and one hundred percent entertaining as Al attempts to discover why his apprentices are dying and what evil is lurking in the shadows. Let go of reality as you kno Is there anything better than a book that not only transports you to another reality, but does so while with a fresh and unique flair? Al MacBharrais is not your typical magical user. He isn’t young and dashing, he’s been cursed, but his ability to create magic out of ink and paper. Kevin Hearnes’ INK & SIGIL is part mystery and mayhem and one hundred percent entertaining as Al attempts to discover why his apprentices are dying and what evil is lurking in the shadows. Let go of reality as you know it, embrace a world filled with magic, hobgoblins and a quirky group of allies as Al becomes his own brand of detective in a world many couldn’t imagine even exists, while avoiding the real detectives around every corner. Prepare for some humor, some unusual characters, a lot of darkness and a look into the world of magic, power and plenty of action. Entertaining, well developed and set at a pace that will keep readers turning pages. I received a complimentary ARC edition from Del Rey! This is my honest and voluntary review. Series: Ink & Sigil - Book 1 Publisher: Del Rey (August 25, 2020) Publication Date: August 25, 2020 Genre: Fantasy Fiction Print Length: 336 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    I was incredibly excited when I learned that Kevin Hearne was going to jump back into his Iron Druid world and publish a side story. Ink & Sigil immediately jumped onto my "I have to have this book'' list. I love the Iron Druid series, and I was very sad when the series concluded. I love Hearne's Seven Kennings series, but Atticus and Oberon hold a special place in my booklover's heart. I will always read a book set in their world, even if they aren't in it! Al is both blessed and cursed.....lite I was incredibly excited when I learned that Kevin Hearne was going to jump back into his Iron Druid world and publish a side story. Ink & Sigil immediately jumped onto my "I have to have this book'' list. I love the Iron Druid series, and I was very sad when the series concluded. I love Hearne's Seven Kennings series, but Atticus and Oberon hold a special place in my booklover's heart. I will always read a book set in their world, even if they aren't in it! Al is both blessed and cursed.....literally. He uses his magical powers to protect this world, but it comes at a cost. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to hate him....really hate him. So he writes his words and uses technology instead of his voice. When his apprentice is killed, Al finds himself embroiled in a murder investigation. Its not easy to investigate a death in Scotland's magical underworld, but Al is determined to discover the truth. I loved reading the story of another sigil agent. Al is a great character and Hearne is a great storyteller! I read my review copy and immediately purchased the audio book. I have all the Iron Druid books in audio format, so had to have this one as well! I can't wait to find out what is in store for Al and his magnificent moustache next! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Random House publishing. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ink & Sigil (Ink & Sigil #1) by Kevin Hearne was one of my most anticipated books of August and I'm so lucky to have received an ARC via NetGalley. Luckily, it mostly lived up to my sky high expectations. This series is a spin off of The Iron Druid Chronicles which is one of my all time favorites. It's set in the same world as that series and I enjoyed seeing more of the wider world and how our new cast and this series opener conn I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ink & Sigil (Ink & Sigil #1) by Kevin Hearne was one of my most anticipated books of August and I'm so lucky to have received an ARC via NetGalley. Luckily, it mostly lived up to my sky high expectations. This series is a spin off of The Iron Druid Chronicles which is one of my all time favorites. It's set in the same world as that series and I enjoyed seeing more of the wider world and how our new cast and this series opener connect into it. It's just as funny as that series which is another aspect I was looking forward to as well. I seriously laughed out loud a few times at some of the things Al had to say, or his thought process. I should mention that it's not necessary to have read The Iron Druid Chronicles to understand or fully enjoy this series, but there are some moments like that awesome cameo that would make it all the more entertaining if you had.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This Review will run Today May 11, 2020 through the Book's Publication birthday on August 25, 2020 and Beyond here on my goodreads account here at this link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Al MacBharrais is a sigil agent for the Fae Queen Brighid but is a cursed man. All of his apprentices die in freak accidents and no one can hear him speak so he has to refer to ty This Review will run Today May 11, 2020 through the Book's Publication birthday on August 25, 2020 and Beyond here on my goodreads account here at this link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Al MacBharrais is a sigil agent for the Fae Queen Brighid but is a cursed man. All of his apprentices die in freak accidents and no one can hear him speak so he has to refer to type to talk applications on his cellphone. When his former apprentice Gordie dies and he discovers a hobgoblin named Buck in his flat, Al discovers that someone has been trafficking the fae and experimenting on them. Can he stop this sinister plan before it is too late? Read on and find out for yourself. This was my second read by Kevin Hearne but my introduction to the Iron Druid Chronicles universe. I enjoyed it. This book was action-packed, full of magic, magical creatures and more. If you are a fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles book series and fantasy novels, be sure to check out this book when it officially hits bookstores and wherever books and ebooks on August 25, 2020.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    I love the Iron Druid series and jumped at the chance to get an ARC of Kevin Hearne's new series debut Ink & Sigil from Net Galley. I did enjoy it, but I hope the next one might have a little more pizzazz. I was nervous about the thorough guide to dialect and pronunciation at the beginning of the book as I was already reading a dystopian book that is told in deteriorated English that was wearing on me. Not the case here, it was easy to follow and pronounce in my head. The characters are likable I love the Iron Druid series and jumped at the chance to get an ARC of Kevin Hearne's new series debut Ink & Sigil from Net Galley. I did enjoy it, but I hope the next one might have a little more pizzazz. I was nervous about the thorough guide to dialect and pronunciation at the beginning of the book as I was already reading a dystopian book that is told in deteriorated English that was wearing on me. Not the case here, it was easy to follow and pronounce in my head. The characters are likable enough, the villains a little flat. It was pleasant enough reading and moved quickly. I'd like to see something a little stronger for the second outing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Book Barbarian (Tammy Smith)

    Thank you to Little Brown Book Group UK for the review copy. All opinions are my own. Recommends it for: I have no bloody idea? I have never read anything like this but if you need a much less serious LOTR this could be it. Funny, fierce and a little bit over the top. You’re in for a ride with this one. I was laughing out loud at some parts of this but Kevin has a winner in Ink & Sigil – full of action and colorful characters. A spin off series from The Iron Druid Chronicles (you don’t have to read Thank you to Little Brown Book Group UK for the review copy. All opinions are my own. Recommends it for: I have no bloody idea? I have never read anything like this but if you need a much less serious LOTR this could be it. Funny, fierce and a little bit over the top. You’re in for a ride with this one. I was laughing out loud at some parts of this but Kevin has a winner in Ink & Sigil – full of action and colorful characters. A spin off series from The Iron Druid Chronicles (you don’t have to read them to read this FYI) Ink & Sigil is about Al MacBharrais, a Scottish magician able to cast sigils using crafted ink, and only a handful in the world that can do this. Al also has to use speech apps because he has been cursed – anyone that hears his voice starts to hate him(included his own son). Al’s apprentices also have a habit of dying , including his latest apprentice Gordie, but it seems he was living a life of crime. He must now investigate with the help of a mischievous hobgoblin who named himself Buck Foi. I really enjoyed this book; it was light-hearted and funny throughout. The characters were cheeky and colorful and although the mystery element was rather weak, it was engaging and entertaining throughout. I did struggle with the Scottish pronunciation and Kevin does explain how to pronounce everything in the begining, (without which I would of put this book down immediately) it was still complicated but of course that did add to the charm and had to be true to the setting, but it reminded me of that time I tried to read trainspotting and failed. I did feel the need for some more world building and explanations so at times I just felt that was off. Although entertained I did not form a connection to any of the characters, probably because they are so cartoon like and part of me thought this would make a bloody brilliant graphic novel. For me it just had a lot of elements that did not suit my sort of reading but I can see how this would be a hit with others so I suggest giving this a read if you love old school fantasy but with a humorous and modern twist. Rating: 3.4 Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne Series – Book 1 Publish Date: Cover Rating: 9/10 Adult – Fantasy – Magic – Mystery – Urban Fantasy- Paranormal - Humor

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trike

    The story is a fun Fantasy Mystery, but the narrator, Luke Daniels, is *incredible*. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone do so many accents. The main character is a Scottish wizard, so there’s that, but he’s been cursed so he can’t hold conversations with people he’s in any kind of relationship with lest they die, so he has to use a text-to-speech app on his phone, but it only comes in a robotic British accent, so Daniels is doing that half the time, too. Then there’s an Irish fae, wizards from The story is a fun Fantasy Mystery, but the narrator, Luke Daniels, is *incredible*. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone do so many accents. The main character is a Scottish wizard, so there’s that, but he’s been cursed so he can’t hold conversations with people he’s in any kind of relationship with lest they die, so he has to use a text-to-speech app on his phone, but it only comes in a robotic British accent, so Daniels is doing that half the time, too. Then there’s an Irish fae, wizards from Central American, China and Australia, various other Scots, and the main character’s office manager from Nova Scotia. He makes it seem effortless. The story is light fun and exactly what I needed to cap off a week of bad news.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

    A refreshing take to urban fantasy and magic genres. We follow Al MacBharrais, a blessed and curse man that can cast spells with magically enchanted ink which he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheon especially the Fae, who teams up with his sidekick—a mischievous hobgoblin (and probably one of my favorite characters in the entire series) to seek the truth as to why all his former apprentices keep dying from peculiar freak accidents, the secre A refreshing take to urban fantasy and magic genres. We follow Al MacBharrais, a blessed and curse man that can cast spells with magically enchanted ink which he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheon especially the Fae, who teams up with his sidekick—a mischievous hobgoblin (and probably one of my favorite characters in the entire series) to seek the truth as to why all his former apprentices keep dying from peculiar freak accidents, the secret to his curse, and the investigation to his latest apprentice’s death that will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld. This was different but a good kind of different. First of all, the lead character was unlike anyone I have read in a long time. He was older than most, (50-ish) with a curse I'm sure no one would wish for. A curse that would make anyone who hears his voice begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for him so to prevent that, he typically communicates using text or speech applications. Al does break that habit when put in situations where he or someone he knows is put in immense danger and he doesn't quite have the time to sit back and text away. Now with the plot/storyline, it did at times was a bit drawn out which I believe may have just been me attempting to decipher the dialogues here and there with the strong accents that had me saying 'whaaaaaaat?', hence the skimming that was brought upon. But the magical creatures, eccentric characters, action packed scenes, and the magic itself surely made up for it so it's a no-brainer that I'm down to read more of Al and Buck and their next adventure.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Aloysius MacBharrais (great name!) is a Sigil agent with a battle seer as a CMA office manager named Nadia. You will have to read about her and her bad assery. Too much to go into in a review but wizard van and cheese fondue. We open on Al discovering his apprentice dead from a raisin scone (I take offense I like raisin pastries) and he uncovers a bunch of illegal dealings that were going on behind his back. In the process of finding out who was in charge we go on a grand adventure full of ghost Aloysius MacBharrais (great name!) is a Sigil agent with a battle seer as a CMA office manager named Nadia. You will have to read about her and her bad assery. Too much to go into in a review but wizard van and cheese fondue. We open on Al discovering his apprentice dead from a raisin scone (I take offense I like raisin pastries) and he uncovers a bunch of illegal dealings that were going on behind his back. In the process of finding out who was in charge we go on a grand adventure full of ghost dogs, tricky hobgoblins, bean sidhes, and many other creatures including Americans! Also, I want to add Al who is in his 60's btw seems like hes a good boss and person. Not many men that age would be cool with a wizard van. I would love some of these sigils! They are used for all sorts of purposes like gaining strength, healing, agility, etc. I would just like some put in an envelope maybe the Sigil of restful sleep for my 6 yo who keeps me up every night. I love Irish, Scottish and English lore centered around Druid and Fae story telling. And the recipes of inks and sigils and magical whimsical elements. I want to go hunt ingredients and meet interesting characters. I loved that the writing was in the accents they spoke. It helped me try to test out my linguistics and speech patterns in Scottish, I'm still shite but that's fine. I haven't read the other Druid Chronicles books and this is the start of a new series. I didn't feel lost or like I needed to catch up. I recommend for those that love fantasy, fae, adventure, intrigue, and cool guys.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)

    As a huge fan of Kevin Hearne’s writing, especially his Iron Druid Chronicles (IDC), I was very excited to get my hands on his new series which kicks off with Ink & Sigil. The story is set in his IDC world, with overlapping characters; however, it’s something wholly unique, and one need not have read IDC to utterly enjoy Al and his adventures. At the start of the book, we are introduced to Al MacBharrais, a sigil agent; one of only five in the world. He is able to create magic using special ink, As a huge fan of Kevin Hearne’s writing, especially his Iron Druid Chronicles (IDC), I was very excited to get my hands on his new series which kicks off with Ink & Sigil. The story is set in his IDC world, with overlapping characters; however, it’s something wholly unique, and one need not have read IDC to utterly enjoy Al and his adventures. At the start of the book, we are introduced to Al MacBharrais, a sigil agent; one of only five in the world. He is able to create magic using special ink, writing specific sigils on paper. This gift was granted by Brighid, First among the Fae. He helps keep dangerous fae and other creatures off the human realm and brokers contracts for the fae who want to come to the human realm. In the beginning of the story, we learn that Al’s apprentice, Gordie, is found dead. When Al investigates Gordie’s flat, he discovers that Gordie was involved in illegal fae trafficking and had many sigils and inks that are well behind what Al had taught him. Here Al meets the hobgoblin Buck Foi, who ultimately becomes his hilarious sidekick. Mr. Hearne is a master storyteller. He creates amazing worlds and interesting characters, bringing it all to life through action and dialogue. Character attributes and world rules/dynamics are seamlessly woven into the tale, giving readers a complete picture without being spoon-fed details. Hearne also works in an impressive backstory using Al as the story teller. Through this, he gives readers an extensive understanding of the creation of sigils and a tutorial on the Tuatha Dé Danann. It is entertaining and helpful to both new and existing readers of the IDC series. Hearne provides a “history” lesson to readers without anyone really knowing it was happening. At the heart of the story is a mystery - who is behind the trafficking. Al, Buck, and a few other close associates/friends, work together to bring down the operation. The plot is complex, but easy to follow as Al and his gang go from point A to point B. The motley crew works well together, each bringing a unique talent to the fight. Intertwined into the mystery are snippets of side plots that will span the series - to include a human police inspector who seems partially immune to the magic and a curse placed on Al that impacts his relationships with all those around him. While the action is intense at times, it is tempered by Hearne’s amazing humor. Some of it is outright silly slapstick, but other times it’s just a sly, offhand comment. In the end I absolutely LOVED Ink & Sigil… it is so much fun. It’s familiar in that I know general mythology and world, but there is so much new - the characters, the sigils, inks, and agents… And there is more humor than the IDC because Al is a fairly well-adjusted human rather than Atticus, an ancient Druid. Hearne’s storytelling is off the charts and there is enough left dangling out there to make me want to know more right away. It’s a wonderful start to a new series, and I hope it is followed with many books to come. My rating: A Review copy provided by publisher/Netgalley Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ky

    A wonderfully funny story that was just a pleasure to experience. Rich in detail with plenty of hilarious moments while still educating and leaving you as a better human... truly beautiful.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karissa

    Series Info/Source: I got this as an eGalley from NetGalley for review. This is the first book in the new Ink & Sigil series. This series is set in the same world as the Iron Druid Chronicles but some time after that series. Story (5/5): I loved the idea of Sigil Agents and enjoyed being introduced to Al MacBharrais’s world. In addition to Al’s fascinating day to day life there is an excellent mystery here that encompasses the strange deaths of many of his apprentices and a curse placed on Al him Series Info/Source: I got this as an eGalley from NetGalley for review. This is the first book in the new Ink & Sigil series. This series is set in the same world as the Iron Druid Chronicles but some time after that series. Story (5/5): I loved the idea of Sigil Agents and enjoyed being introduced to Al MacBharrais’s world. In addition to Al’s fascinating day to day life there is an excellent mystery here that encompasses the strange deaths of many of his apprentices and a curse placed on Al himself. There is also a more contained mystery involving fae trafficking, which Al’s most recently deceased apprentice Gordie was involved in. I love urban fantasies that have a contained mystery/story that is solved in one volume but also have an overarching story that carries across multiple volumes. Characters (5/5): I was a bit skeptical that I would like and engage with an “old-man” character but found myself pleasantly surprised. I loved Al; he is capable and humorous and has a lot of depth as a character. I really enjoyed the hobgoblin he contracted and his bad-ass battle goddess office manager, Nadia. The characters in here are fun and interesting and just a hoot to read about. I loved them all and they were incredibly well done. We also have run-ins with characters from the Iron Druid Chronicles and it was intriguing to see them from a different point of view. Setting (5/5): I loved the world of the Iron Druid Chronicles so it’s no surprise that I continue to love this world. Here we see this complex world of gods, goddesses, and different realities through a slightly different viewpoint...that of a Sigil Agent. This is an intricate and well thought world that I absolutely love! Writing Style (5/5): This book is engaging, well-paced, and very easy to read. The writing flows seamlessly and I love how the mystery of Gordie’s fae trafficking is blended seamlessly with the mystery around Al’s curse and his constantly dying apprentices. I always enjoy Hearne’s writing style but feel like this book was even more polished and well written than previous books in his Iron Druid Chronicles. My Summary (5/5): Overall I ended up absolutely adoring this book. I think I like it even better than the Iron Druid Chronicles so far. I approached this a bit tentatively but I shouldn’t have. I loved the characters, the mystery and the idea behind the sigil agents. This was so much fun and so well put together, I can’t wait to read more books in this series!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sissy Lu {Book Savvy Reviews}

    Same humor as Iron Druid, but lacks the pacing. I'm a huge fan of Kevin Hearne and devoured the Iron Druid Chronicles, so when I picked up Ink & Sigil, that's what I was expecting. The wit, the cynicism, the pacing of a modern tale of adventure. It wasn't, but let me explain. Al is an interesting character, cursed with the ability to make anyone hate him if he speaks, and blessed with the ability to work a spell with ink. And when his apprentice shows up dead, he uncovers unsavory aspects of his l Same humor as Iron Druid, but lacks the pacing. I'm a huge fan of Kevin Hearne and devoured the Iron Druid Chronicles, so when I picked up Ink & Sigil, that's what I was expecting. The wit, the cynicism, the pacing of a modern tale of adventure. It wasn't, but let me explain. Al is an interesting character, cursed with the ability to make anyone hate him if he speaks, and blessed with the ability to work a spell with ink. And when his apprentice shows up dead, he uncovers unsavory aspects of his life, which throws us into the main plot of the mystery, and Al working to find out the who behind the why. Each component of the story was interesting enough, but I didn't find myself entirely smitten with it. In comparison to the Iron Druid books, I was left a little unimpressed, but this isn't to say it isn't a GOOD book. It's funny, quirky, has interesting characters with unique traits and flaws. Each character can stand on their own. But for me, something was missing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hobart

    ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- The biggest challenge to writing about this book is choosing what not to talk about, I really feel like I could go on and on and on about it. Then the pendulum swings to the point I don't say much at all... WHAT'S INK & SIGIL ABOUT? Aloysius MacBharrais is a Sigil Agent—one of five on the Earth. They're tasked with preserving the various treaties that supernatural creatures had set up throughout the world to keep th ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- The biggest challenge to writing about this book is choosing what not to talk about, I really feel like I could go on and on and on about it. Then the pendulum swings to the point I don't say much at all... WHAT'S INK & SIGIL ABOUT? Aloysius MacBharrais is a Sigil Agent—one of five on the Earth. They're tasked with preserving the various treaties that supernatural creatures had set up throughout the world to keep the peace and govern the activities of the various pantheons on the mortal plane. They've been equipped with the barest magical tools necessary to get the job done—largely by Brighid of the Tuatha Dé Dannan to make up for the work that her Druid wasn't doing when he was hiding for centuries on end.* Thre's more to it, but that'll work for starters. * See everything that Atticus O'Sullivan was doing before the first of the Iron Druid Chronicles. Al has horrible luck when it comes to apprentices, they keep falling prey to accidental death. The most recent is Gordie, who died after choking on a raisin scone. Before I get into things, can I say how wonderful it is to have a magic-user—even an apprentice—die by such mundane means (and you have never, I mean ever, come across this many jokes about raisins or scones in your life)? As Al goes to Gordie's house to clean up all traces of his magic tools, he discovers that Gordie's been up to some pretty dark and criminal stuff right under his nose. This book takes Al and his associates around Scotland and even to the U.S. finding out just what Gordie was into and trying to set it right. A NEW KIND OF UF There are outliers, but largely, Urban Fantasy series deal in variations on a theme—I'm not complaining, I'm into most of them. But basically, you've got a wizard (or something like that), a vampire, and/or a werewolf doing a P.I./Private Security/Hunter thing. There are different kinds of magic users, or vampire types, or were-species, but really, that's about it. Lately, some variations have come from using different kinds of protagonists, like whatever Nell Ingram is or...(I had another example when I started this paragraph), but you get the point. Here our variation comes in the type of mage—he uses sigils, particular designs in particular (and strange) inks which give a temporary effect to the bearer or beholder. Also, Al's an elderly Scot who wears a derby and has an immaculately-styled mustache. He's about as far from the grizzled hero in a leather jacket/trenchcoat as you can get. Outside of supporting characters or Marley Jacobs from A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark, you don't see that (outside of characters who are supernaturally old, but appear young) . Al's associates aren't standard either, but I'm going to resist using 3-4 paragraphs talking about them. I'm just going to say I enjoyed them all and can't wait to spend more time with them. IRON DRUID TIE-IN As indicated above, this takes place in the same universe as The Iron Druid Chronicles, sometime after Scourged and contains references to some of the series' events and characters. Al himself shows up in a short story in Besieged as a minor character. There's a brief appearance by Atticus and Oberon, and a longer one with Brighid. Both were a lot of fun, and the Atticus one was pretty sweet. I enjoyed seeing Brighid from someone else's point of view. The door is open for more IDC characters to show up, but it's not necessary, which I appreciate. You do not have to have read the IDC to get into this, and not catching all the allusions/references/cross-overs will not diminish anything for you. It's a spin-off, but isn't dependent on the original. DID HEARNE REGRET THIS CHOICE? Al's a Glaswegian and most of the book takes place in and around Glasgow. Hearne made the choice to write all the dialogue (and even Al's first-person narration) in the dialect. Most authors wouldn't have gone this far, and I have to wonder how often Hearne questioned this choice as he wrote—talk about making things hard on yourself. I enjoyed it—and it really helped me "hear" Al and everyone. SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT INK & SIGIL? While the IDC contained more than it's share of laughs (and even The Seven Kennings had amusing moments), this seemed like a better merging of jokes and story. It feels like a natural outgrowth of The Tales of Pell (but not as humor-focused as those). For sheer enjoyment value, this was fantastic. The story was pretty strong, too. But a lot of space was devoted to introducing us to this particular corner of the world and the cast of characters. I'd like to see what Hearne does with a novel where he doesn't have to do that. The world is familiar, yet Hearne's doing something new in it. The characters are just not what you're used to seeing in the genre. The plot was great—and speaks clearly to our current situation. And I laughed a lot. There's little to complain about here and a lot to commend. I had a blast and I think most readers will, too. I can't wait for the sequel. Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley in exchange for this post—thanks to both for this.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! 4.5/5 This book was so much fun! I haven't read any of Hearne's previous books in this series -- this is a spin-off from his Iron Druids Chronicles -- but it was easy to understand and pick up. Also, it was so hilarious. Like, I found myself laughing so often and I had such a great time with the book. It was hilarious, fun to read, the characters were utterly captivating, and I already can't wait for the next book. I'm definitel I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! 4.5/5 This book was so much fun! I haven't read any of Hearne's previous books in this series -- this is a spin-off from his Iron Druids Chronicles -- but it was easy to understand and pick up. Also, it was so hilarious. Like, I found myself laughing so often and I had such a great time with the book. It was hilarious, fun to read, the characters were utterly captivating, and I already can't wait for the next book. I'm definitely going to be picking up the original series at some point so I can enjoy it even more, as well as continue with this series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)

    It had raisins in it, so that was bloody daft, as raisins are ill-omened abominations and he should have known better. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne was a damn delight! The characters were well-developed and had some of the best personalities. It's been ages since a book made me laugh this much! Al is in his 60 It had raisins in it, so that was bloody daft, as raisins are ill-omened abominations and he should have known better. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne was a damn delight! The characters were well-developed and had some of the best personalities. It's been ages since a book made me laugh this much! Al is in his 60's and I absolutely adored him, Buck Foi is my new favorite hobgoblin, and Nadia is someone I want to be besties with (she's hilarious and can kick some serious ass). The world-building was complex without being confusing, and I cannot wait to dive back into this series in the future. Thank you, Kevin Hearne for delivering an epic story with dirty jokes, unrepentant magical creatures, and weird wizard vans. ;) I also enjoyed the author's not-so-subtle references to the current world we live in, regarding things like phones and politics. They were relevant without feeling forced. A few examples: 1) "How much magic and wonder was missed while people were distracted by something flickering on their screens?" 2) "Most of the time such news just bounced off them, the way horrific shite about a candidate bounces off a party’s faithful because they can’t face the fact that they voted for a monster and they may in fact be monsters themselves. Easier to just deny it all, call it fake news. No introspection required." I thought the mystery was interesting, if a bit underwhelming (just the teeniest tiniest bit). It didn't take long for Al to discover who was likely behind the fae trafficking, but it did take him a while to unravel the messy situation. He had to travel and hunt down specific people, do a lot of investigating (while drinking quality beer, whisky, and gin), and solve a problem without actually solving it. It was like putting a band aid on a broken leg, so maybe the problem will be revisited in the future. I know there wasn't much he could've done against his potential adversary, but I wish there had been more conflict on the fey side of things. I loved the Avatar: The Last Airbender and Lord of the Rings references, and how excited Buck was when he discovered them for the first time. Nadia makes a comparison towards the end that had me laughing despite the seriousness of their situation. The language was a bit tricky for me even with the author's help at the start. Hearne tries to explain how certain words are pronounced (in a very humorous way), but it wasn't always easy for me to remember them as I was reading, and I didn't want to keep dragging my e-ARC back to the beginning. I think Ink & Sigil would make one hell of an audiobook though! I know I butchered a lot of the words, but a narrator would likely do a much better job (therefore increasing a person's overall enjoyment of the story). Unless you're already familiar with a Weegie accent! Illegal pit fights, trolls, sigils - - there's no shortage of fun and entertaining material in this book! I'm very interested in Al's particular curse(s) and really wanted more information on their origins before the book's conclusion. Unfortunately, we just learn a little more about what they do instead of who actually put them there or why. I have a feeling it will be addressed later on down the road, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that particular thread plays out (especially now that Buck's life is intertwined with Al's, and I'm already super attached to the thieving trickster). If you're looking for something new to read, Ink & Sigil was a blast and a half! Mad scientists, secret government facilities, modified fey, and a fantastic fantasy with no romance whatsoever (looking at you, Chuckles), this book is easily a new favorite! I'm happy I had an opportunity to read it. (★★★★⋆) Additional quotes I liked: 1) "Live long enough and people from your past will echo, calling back to you years after they have left you behind." 2) "Five stars for defying expectations and coming out swinging with the batshite.” Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin' | Amazon | Pinterest

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    I owe Hachette Australia a huge thanks for sending me Ink & Sigil. I very rarely make a direct request of publishers but upon learning that Kevin Hearne was authoring a spin-off of one of my favourite urban fantasy series - The Iron Druid Chronicles, I asked on the off chance, and Hachette generously responded with a finished copy. Ink and Sigil is set in the same universe as The Iron Druid Chronicles, though some time after the events of the final series book, Scourged. Here Hearne introduces us I owe Hachette Australia a huge thanks for sending me Ink & Sigil. I very rarely make a direct request of publishers but upon learning that Kevin Hearne was authoring a spin-off of one of my favourite urban fantasy series - The Iron Druid Chronicles, I asked on the off chance, and Hachette generously responded with a finished copy. Ink and Sigil is set in the same universe as The Iron Druid Chronicles, though some time after the events of the final series book, Scourged. Here Hearne introduces us to Aloysius “Al” MacBharrais (pronounced Mac-Vare-Ish), who appeared in a short story in Besieged. A Sigil Agent based in Glasgow, Scotland, he is one of just five worldwide helping to manage and enforce the conduct of all manner of otherworldly creatures, spirits and deities who want to visit Earth, with the creation of magical binding contracts. In his early sixties, Al, who is human, maintains a print shop as cover, employing Nadia, a goth battle seer as his manager/accountant/bodyguard/muscle, and a receptionist known to all, except his customers, as Gladys Who Has Seen Some Shite. Al’s a fabulous character with a Scottish brogue, a love of fine whiskey, and not one but two curses on his head, one of which requires him to use a text to speech app to communicate, as extended conversation with anyone causes them to form an irrational hatred of him. The mystery begins when Al’s apprentice, is found dead, having choked on a raisin scone (which Al later finds is not because raisins don’t belong in scones, but because of his second curse). Inside Gordie’s flat, Al discovers a caged hobgoblin and learns that his apprentice has been trafficking fae, a serious breach of the treaty between fae and humans, and making use of Sigils and inks he should not yet know. Determined to put a stop to the trafficking and learn who had been sharing secrets with Gordie, Al takes custody of the hobgoblin, who introduces himself at Buck Foi, and begins an investigation that leads to an ugly conspiracy. I liked the premise of the mystery, but unfortunately I did feel the execution was a bit weak, with not a lot of suspense or intrigue. Nevertheless, I delighted in almost every other aspect of the novel. Hearne merges the mundane with the magical well so that the story feels grounded in the here and now, helped by a few pop culture references, yet the magic system overlays convincingly. The humour, though occasionally puerile, regularly made me snicker, and the insults are creative. I enjoyed the sprinkling of Scottish brogue and appreciated Hearne’s guide to pronunciation. Without a doubt I’m looking forward to further adventures with Al, Buck, and Nadia, and answers to the few threads left unfinished in this novel. Funny, fabulous and fantastical, Ink & Sigil is the start of something promising.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    It was great going back to the world of the fae, and druids, while focusing on a whole different type of characters - sigil agents. When created correctly, sigils can do things like enhance battle prowess, make a person believable, or increase sexual prowess. Our main character is an agent, and it is good he doesn't have to read his work aloud since those who hear his voice quickly learn to hate him. At the death of his apprentice, Al discovers that the apprentice was involved in some shady deal It was great going back to the world of the fae, and druids, while focusing on a whole different type of characters - sigil agents. When created correctly, sigils can do things like enhance battle prowess, make a person believable, or increase sexual prowess. Our main character is an agent, and it is good he doesn't have to read his work aloud since those who hear his voice quickly learn to hate him. At the death of his apprentice, Al discovers that the apprentice was involved in some shady dealings, and the majority of the book involves this investigation. Al soon gains a sidekick, Buck Foi, who is great comic relief (although Oberon in the first series will never be topped :) ) My favorite scenes in this book involved Buck and his creations. You'd be fine reading this book even if you've never read the Iron Druid Chronicles, although I'd certainly recommend reading them because they are great. Thanks to netgalley for giving me a review copy!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marta Cox

    Having only read a couple of short stories from this author about a Druid I came into this book hoping to enjoy it but with no preconceived perceptions and I can only say that I'm exceedingly impressed. Giving us a hero who is sixty three years old and unapologetically human meant that it was original and turned out to be very entertaining. Al has learnt to draw magical sigils and he's part of an elite team wielding this magical gift to control the balance between Fae and Humans. Set largely in Having only read a couple of short stories from this author about a Druid I came into this book hoping to enjoy it but with no preconceived perceptions and I can only say that I'm exceedingly impressed. Giving us a hero who is sixty three years old and unapologetically human meant that it was original and turned out to be very entertaining. Al has learnt to draw magical sigils and he's part of an elite team wielding this magical gift to control the balance between Fae and Humans. Set largely in Scotland we follow Al as he investigates exactly what his late apprentice was actually doing and believe me this journey was extraordinary, fabulous and just sheer fun to read. I really liked Al as he is pragmatic, insightful and ready to do whatever it takes to protect others. The characters that surround him are just too funny for words and yet felt real. There's bawdy humour to offset the truly vile things that Al discovers but there's also poignancy as he struggles with the loss of those who he has cared for. This book was a joy to read and I will certainly want to read the next in this series. This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

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