Cover Image: Ink & Sigil

Ink & Sigil

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this series that takes place in the Iron Druid world.  The book moves along at a nice pack and the characters were well rounded. Buck Foi kept me constantly laughing.   I greatly appreciated having the index in the front to help with the pronunciation of the Scottish words.  I can't wait to buy the audiobook version.  

Anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.
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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.
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Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne is a rollicking good read set in the same universe as was the Iron Druid series by the same author. You don’t need to read the Iron Druid series to thoroughly enjoy Ink & Sigil.
The Pantheons are the same, and the Sigil Agents came about because of a shortage of druids.

Aloysius MacBharrais is one of 5 global Sigil Agents, and the protagonist of Mr. Hearne's story. The agents exist to maintain the treaties between the various gods and humankind, at times having to kick the buttocks of demons, minor fae and the like, if they take advantage of (or dine on) humans. 

Al finds that his recently deceased apprentice was involved in a fae-trafficking ring, and it’s his job to set things right.

This is a well-imagined world, and, unsurprisingly, given Mr. Hearne’s past work, the writing is spot on. Mr. Hearne throws in a wee bit of a challenge by writing the Scotland-based dialog like it sounds in Glasgow. It took a couple of chapters to get used to the dialog, but it totally worked in the story, and I’m now convinced I could order a whisky in any bar in Glasgow.

Thanks to the writing and the characters living inside, this book was a joy to read. I highly recommend it.

I realize this hasn’t been officially released yet, but, c’mon Mr. Hearne, where’s the next book in this series?

Oh, did I mention the hobgoblin…
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I love the other series by Kevin Hearne and this new entry is no different. This was a unique premise and the world building was fascinating!
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This was such a great story. I'm not familiar with the world as I am told it is an off shoot to an already established series set in the same world. For me, this is all new and I am enjoying every minute of it's creatively entertaining embrace. I may even read the former story set in this world because I like it so much. A sci fi story that will wow and amaze you.
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I LOVED every word.  No seriously I did.  New characters, new stories to tell in a familiar world.  No unnecessary violence, no sex just for the sake of having sex in a book, just straight up brilliant story telling.
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This is an off shoot of the Iron Druid Chronicle.  It exists in the same story world, so you may be familiar with it.  A new main character is introduced.  He is a sigil agent who is cursed and we meet him when his latest apprentice is found dead.   The story unfolds in a way to keep you reading.  I have yet to find a Kevin Hearne book I did not like.
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A wonderful return to the world of the Iron Druid! This is the story of sigil agents who've filled some of the magical gaps created by the reluctance of the Iron Druid's participation in the world. Specifically, this novel introduces sigil agent Aloysius MacBharrais. The magic of sigil agents comes through pen and ink so Aloysius has more ordinary struggles that are relatable. I look forward to more from this world.
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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 Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine for sharing this intriguing ARC with me (I forgot to add how spectacular this cover is!) in exchange my honest review.
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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.
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Ink & Sigil is a spin off of Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles.  

Al MacBharrais is a complicated man in his 60s. Donning anextraordinary white waxed moustache, and an appreciation for craft cocktails, Al has an extraordinary magical talent--He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from all kinds of baddies from many pantheons, namely the Fae.

For all the good, Al is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice for a prolonged amount of time begins to vehemently hate him. As a work around, Al can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. Another problem is that his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents which might not be so accidental.

But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead, Al discovers that Gordie was up to no good. Now Al is forced to play detective, calling upon a crew of outstandingly funny, strange, and unforgettable allies to break the case. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him on an adventurous journey through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous and very pink hobgoblin if he’s to survive.

This has all of Hearne's expected charm and humor wrapped up in a lovely fast paced narrative adventure. I look forward to the next installment.
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Truly a wonderful masterpiece from the world of the Iron Druid, Hearne once again pulls intricate details from the world around us and overlays a storytelling of Goddesses, mythical creatures and intrigue. The development of a new main character in an established world, but still in a world so different as to change everything the reader thinks they knows about magic, it is always a pleasure to read a book by Kevin Hearn.

While there was one point of inconsistency, when the hobgoblin transports a sigil master wielding two iron blades while previously the hobgoblin was unable to transport the kitchen knives in an earlier scene due to the iron content, it seemed just a momentary lapse. 

The life given to each character, developing personality and quirks, providing a rich and colorful cast for the storytelling, the gradual buildup and layering as Hearn sets out to build the basis for a new series is delightful and  quite masterful. I eagerly await the public release of this volume and look forward to many more to come as we follow MacBharrais and his adventures as a Sigil Master.
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This was a super fun read!  It’s set in the same world as the Iron Druid books but you don’t need to have any familiarity with them to enjoy this book.  (You should read that series too though, Oberon is a very good dog 😁)
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an eARC of this title and it’s been an awesome quarantine read.  The author really excels in writing light escapist fantasy.  They’re the equivalent of a silly action movie, no great classic of literature, but I’ve had a genuinely good time reading them all and they’ve all put a smile on my face.
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Ink & Sigil is a return to the magical world introduced in The Iron Druid Chronicles with all-new eccentric characters to love and a whole new aspect of magic and the Fae to explore. 
This time, our guide is a dapper, older Scottish gentleman who is a Sigil Agent who polices the Fae whenever they deal in the human world. He does this with the help of sigils created by Brighid (Queen of the Fae) and inks made of both magical and mundane ingredients. It all starts when Al MacBharraisis loses his seventh apprentice to seemingly accidental death and it leads to an unpleasant discovery that leaves Al in charge of a crazily enjoyable hobgoblin and a mystery to solve. 
The cast of characters goes from eccentric to insane and are all incredibly enjoyable to read about. From MacBharraisis himself to the various Fae he deals with to the other humans who help MacBharraisis on his quest to solve the mystery, everyone brings something to enjoy to the story. 
There is a small appearance by Iron Druid Atticus, but this story is all about Al MacBharraisis the Sigil Agent and the Fae's interference with our world. I think it can definitely be enjoyed on its own as it presents all the key players and fantastic elements incredibly well.
The only thing that might make this a bit of a challenge to read is that Hearne went incredibly authentic and writes the dialogue as true to Scottish as I've ever seen and if you've ever had a hard time understanding a Scottsman talk, then you're probably going to struggle a bit to read it. There's a pronunciation guide and it helps to try reading the lines out loud, but there was many a time when I had to read something over to make sure I understood it. 
So besides the somewhat hard to decipher Scottish, I found absolutely nothing I did not like and enjoy immensely about Ink & Sigil. Hearne has once again created a world that is both familiar and magical and I enjoyed every word of it. 

Huge thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the awesome sneak peek!
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I loved this book. I have to mention that I am biased because I loved the Iron Druid Chronicles so much. I went in hoping to see my favorite characters from the druid series but there were only a few references to them and it turns out that I loved it because of that. I loved this book because it has lots of humor and action and new characters. It explores the life of a Sigil Agent named Al and his group of friends that begins to form from those that seem unlikely to do so. When is the next one??
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The cover for this book is so amazing!!! I've caught myself drooling over it multiple times. It's 100% the reason I picked this book up to read. Didn't read the blurb or who the author was, just had to read whatever was behind that cover. 

Thank goodness what was there was awesome! Loved this book so much! From the sigil magic to the lizard wizard van to all the hierarchy. ugh. I'm ready to reread it. 

I'm a sucker for inks & pens, and the research the author put into the main characters craft is high five worthy. The book is life like and mystical. You can feel the time put into to making sure the setting is culturally accurate, and all lore lines up. Some books fail at sinking in real world dialect into a fiction novel but this book works so freaking well. I feared i was going to be referencing the authors notes and half confused at the crazy spellings, but it never happened. The flow of the sentences supported the dialect perfectly. 

All of the characters are well crafted, and the personalities of each are distinct and compliment the story perfectly. The grey of the 'villains', to the grey of the 'good guys' so much yes for this one. I'm also here for the commentary on 'human' trafficking, and how the magical world is dealing with the same problems we are dealing with in humanity. 

Book one hasn't even released yet, but I'm ready for book two. Also a poster for my wall of this cover *drooling*

I received this book via NetGalley.
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Ink and Sigil is a spin-off of the Iron Druid Chronicles. You can start with this series and not miss anything.  I'm already looking forward to the next one. As usual for Kevin Hearne it's full of great characters, wit and a compelling story.
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"Ink & Sigil" is the first book in a new series set in the same universe as Hearne's "Iron Druid Chronicles."  It introduces a new main character, Al MacBharrais, a Scottish Sigil master, trained and contracted to act as mediator between the Fae planes and our world.  It's his job to enforce the laws that regulate Fae passage through the human world, and to report to the Fae gods when those laws are broken.  We're also introduced to Al's office manager and bouncer Nadia, new hobgoblin acquaintance Buck, and a host of colorful side characters.  

This was a fun, quick read that--much like the Iron Druid books--keeps a light comedic tone while occasionally touching on darker themes.  I have to admit that I sometimes found the Iron Druid books a bit too flippant for my taste, but the tone actually works a bit better for me here where the stakes for the books are less world shattering and more personal.  Al is a solid new main character, a sixty year old widower who enjoys gin and whiskey and has some flexible views on following human law.  As a first book in a new series this works quite well.  There's a solid plot that is wrapped up in this book, though with definite hints that things might flare up again in the future.  There's also a more longterm mystery dealing with Al's backstory that is obviously going to be explored in future installments.  

Anyone who enjoyed the Iron Druid books will almost certainly like this one as well.  For those who didn't read Iron Druid but are interested in seeing whether they would like it without committing to a such a long series right now, this is a good entry point.  I don't think it's necessary to have read Iron Druid before tackling this book, although it does of course give you some background on how this world works.  I also really want to go to the gin bar in Glasgow that Al frequents.  

(just a minor quibble, and this might be rectified in the future, but despite frequently thinking about how the death of his wife was the worst thing that ever happened to him, and how much he misses her, the wife is never given a name or any character details in the text.  She's always referred to internally as his "dear wife" or some such, and we learn literally nothing about her except that she's dead now.  It's a kind of strange omission.)
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As a fan of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, I was pleased to see that he was starting a new series set in the same world. This series focuses on a Scottish sigil master, Al MacBharrais. 

Al uses special inks to create sigils to enforce contracts with various deities visiting our plane. His sigils can also be used to do things like make the holder invisible. Important when Al discovers that what he first thought was the accidental death of his apprentice (choking on a raisin) is actually part of a curse.

Al also discovers that his apprentice was trafficking in fae - luring them here to this plane, then selling them.

Ink & Sigil is more of the author’s humorous urban fantasy. Instead of an Irish wolfhound obsessed with sausages and poodles, Al has a hobgoblin named Buck Foi with a love for pranks. Since the dialogue is mostly Scottish dialect, I needed and appreciated the pronunciation guide. Very enjoyable and I hope there are more books in the series to come.

Thank youNetGalley and Del Rey for the ARC.
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I’ve read some of the books in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, but not the one that Al MacBharrais (MacVAREish) appears in. I enjoy their shared world but wasn’t sure what to expect from this new series. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters. Once, the story got rolling, I had a hard time putting the book down and I disk to want it to end. I look forward to visiting these characters again and getting to the bottom of a lingering mystery from this book. The pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book was helpful both for pronunciations and getting me into the accent of the story.
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