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A Test of Mettle (The Iron Druid Chronicles #3.5)
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A Test of Mettle (The Iron Druid Chronicles #3.5)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,844 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
This wee story, told from Granuaile’s point of view, takes place concurrently with the events of HAMMERED, book three of The Iron Druid Chronicles. It is available for free on the author's website.
ebook, 10 pages
Published December 2nd 2011

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Tiffany What that generally means is that this book is not technically part of the main series, and you won't miss anything by not reading it. It covers…moreWhat that generally means is that this book is not technically part of the main series, and you won't miss anything by not reading it. It covers events that will be explained in the main series if they come up, but generally from a deeper and more interesting perspective. Alternately, these events won't come up in the series at all, and this is the only way to learn about them. The specific numbering means that this book would best fit if you read it after book 3, but before book 4. Although going back and reading other mini-stories (#0.6, #1.5, etc) probably wouldn't hurt you either.

I just wouldn't recommend reading a mini-story early (book #4.5 before book 4 in the main series) or starting with a mini-story like #0.5 instead of starting with book #1 proper. The first would likely give you a bunch of spoilers, and the second isn't the introduction the author intended, so you'll probably miss a lot if you try it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Mar 08, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it
A Test of Mettle by Kevin Hearne is a short story in his Iron Druid series and is written to be during the same time as Hammered, the third novel in the series.

This story is unique in this cycle because it does not feature Atticus O’Sullivan as the protagonist but rather his Druid student, Granuaile MacTiernan. While Atticus and his troupe are attacking Asgard, Granuaile and Oberon have stayed back to do some good earth work with Sonora the local earth elemental.

In my review of Hammered, I obser
Dec 03, 2011 Mihir rated it really liked it
Original review over at Fantasy Book Critic

This story can be read free over at the author's website

A Test Of Mettle is featured in the e-book version of Hammered. The short story is about 9-10 pages long and occurs side-by-side with the latter half of Hammered. A Test of Mettle is narrated in the first-person by Granuaile MacTiernan, who must perform a task set to her by an elemental, while overcoming the expectations of the pantheon to which her new status is associated with. Accompanying G
Mr. Matt
Jun 27, 2014 Mr. Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-urban, 2014
This was a quick little novella tucked in at the back of one of the Iron Druid books, Hammered. I liked it. It was the story of Atticus' apprentice and her test - was she worthy of being a druid. It fleshed out her back story and let me get to know her a bit more. Definitely worth the time to read.
Oct 31, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
Holy... moly. I'm still shell shocked from reading book 3, so this short story helped bring me back to earth and reminded me that ALL IS NOT FLAILY FLAILY FLAIL HANDS IN THE WORLD OF MY FAVORITE #NAKEDDRUID! It's just, you know, mostly flaily with a tiny side of flail.

Anyway. I loved seeing Granuaile's perspective on what becoming a Druid means to her. Her joy at helping the land heal in even the smallest way was sweet and so... Atticus. I liked being in her head. It was fun. Even when it wasn't
Dec 27, 2012 Eric rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the Iron Druid series
It was nice to read something in the Iron Druid universe that a) wasn't inside Atticus's head, and b) told us more about his apprentice, which we know little enough about, other than that Atticus finds her to be as intelligent as he finds her to be sexy. Don't mistake this three-star review for a drop in quality, it just wasn't long and substantial enough to warrant a "love it!" ranking. It is definitely a must read for anyone that's read the novels in the series, as it gives insight into Granua ...more
Aug 25, 2015 Shinke rated it really liked it
It was interesting to hear the story from Granualie's point of view and I really liked the little back story.
Jul 22, 2015 Majo rated it liked it
Este corto relata, narrado desde el punto de vista de Granuaile, ocurre en simultaneo con los acontecimientos de Hammered.

Luego de la partida de Atticus a Midgard, Granuaile debe realizar su primer trabajo para Sonora, el elemental de la tierra. Acompañada por Oberón, la druida infante deberá sortear una prueba de valor llevada a cabo por los Tuatha Dé Danan.

Me agrado el punto de vista de Granuaile, ella ve poesía y magia en la naturaleza, todo es novedoso. Un gran cambio con respecto al experim
Dec 31, 2011 Laurel rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
I like the purpose of this story, it is a very important part of the Druid lore. My reason for 3 stars instead of 4 is that I believe it needs to be flushed out a bit more. Such an important trial deserves a more thorough handling. Still, a good read!
Jun 24, 2013 Brad rated it really liked it
Quick coming of age story for our druid's apprentice, giving us a pov we haven't seen before. Interesting to see from her eyes.
Jan 23, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Though A Test of Mettle is listed as 3.5 in this series, it can be read after Tricked (as I did) without issue. In fact, there were references to what happened to Granuaile (i.e., the events of A Test of Mettle) in Tricked, and it only served to pique my interest in this short story. And you should read it, too!

I think one thing that I appreciate about this story--and Kevin Hearne's writing ability in general--is that it has a different feel and tone than the stories that Atticus narrates. It ma
Nov 30, 2012 Jackie rated it liked it
This was an interesting short story told from Granuaile’s point of view. As the description states the events in this book occur concurrently to the events in Hammer (book #3), so it’s best to read #3 before this one.

Granuaile is an interesting character in this series considering she’s the only positive female besides the widow in Atticus’ life. Unlike the goddesses and witches in the series she’s not seeking revenge on anyone or using her womanly charms to get what she wants. She’s just a coo
Dec 25, 2011 Bry rated it liked it
This is a short story told from Granuaile’s point of view and takes place while Atticus is off in Asgard during the 3rd book Hammered.

This is a fantastic little foray into her adventures and mindset while helping the Earth elemental Sonora and involves a major stand off between her and some of the members of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
Oberon cannot communicate directly with words in this story since Granuaile doen't have that ability yet so it was a bit less humorous but still very good.

You also ge
Nichole Mohler
Aug 05, 2015 Nichole Mohler rated it it was amazing
I really liked this short story. I want Granuaile to succeed, I think she would make a great Druid, and let's face it, Atticus needs all the friends he can get. I was soooo happy that she made it, and a little surprised because I don't really trust the 2 giving the test, especially Flidais.
May 27, 2015 Katie rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
This story is another short one, available on Hearne's website.
It's from Granuaile's point of view & it kind of sucks. She's helping remove some invasive species (crawdad, of all things) & waxes poetic about it. Blech. I don't know if it's because he's trying to write from a woman's perspective & that's how he thinks women actually think, or what. (Other reviewers have accused Hearne of sexism, & I can see their point)

Another point of order: you do not need to wear a friggin WET
The Flooze
An interesting story, but odd in that Granuaile's voice switches between deep formality and the still considered but more modern tones I'd be inclined to assign her.

I'm not overly surprised though. This is in line with my persistent issues with Atticus' voice. Though I like him and I am enjoying the series, I find him hard to connect to. It's as if the distance he maintains from the people in his life is extended to the reader, despite the series being first person narrative.

I'd love to see a
Yukimaru Hatake
May 11, 2015 Yukimaru Hatake rated it liked it
YA estoy ansioso por saber que tiene que ofrecernos en un futuro esta chica. :D
Mar 10, 2013 Bea rated it really liked it
A short story that takes place concurrently with Hammered, it was a quick read. The beginning is very poetical, which I wasn't expecting, but then the style quickly changes to Hearne's usual style.

We get to see more of Granuaile, Atticu's protege. Atticus is absent and Oberon is mostly absent, but Granuaile holds the story. She makes for a fine protagonist and we really get to see what she's made of. As always, I enjoyed Hearne's take on gods. While not essential to the series, this is a fine a
Cyn Armistead
Jul 24, 2012 Cyn Armistead rated it really liked it
I didn't expect anything so good from a short story distributed free on the author's web site! This is a wonderful addition to the series, and required reading for anyone following the series. I can only hope that Kevin Hearne gives us more from Granuaile's point of view!
Cathy (cathepsut)
Short story told from the perspective of Ganuaile, Atticus' apprentice. Ties in with Hammered, book 3 of the Iron Druid series. It complements one of the book's subplots nicely, but is not necessary reading to understand the series. I recommend reading it after Hammered.
Jun 14, 2013 dblue rated it really liked it
How did I miss this one?
This is a really short story about Granuaile MacTiernan and told from her POV. I enjoyed how the story flowed. It gave an interesting look into Granuaile's training as a druid. Love this series.
Aug 22, 2014 Steven rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Interesting little story about Granuile. I missed her and Oberon's presence in book three, Hammered, and this was a nice little glimpse of one thing they were doing while Atticus battled Thor and his ilk.
Traci Haley
Feb 18, 2014 Traci Haley rated it really liked it
I guess I need to stop saying I'm not a fan of short stories within series. The Dresden Files and the Eve Dallas books have quite often proven me wrong. So I thought it was high time I caught up on the Iron Druid stories. I remember trying to read a couple of these back when I first started the series and I remember not being impressed. I'm not sure where my mind was back then because WOW. I love love LOVED this story! What a great little taste of action from Kevin Hearne... I'm sorry that I wai ...more
Timothy Boyd
Feb 08, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing
While I am not an eBook fan, OK I really hate them, I couldn't resist reading this one from my favorite Urban Fantasy series. Highly recommended
Short(ish) story, set concurrently with the tail end of the events of 'Hammered', this is unusual in that it focuses on Articus's apprentice Granuaile rather than on Atticus himself, and on her undergoing - unknown to Atticus - a test that all Druids must go through.

In this case, that test is being administered by two of the Tuatha de Danaan: Flidais and Brighid, without Atticus knowledge (or consent), while he is off elsewhere and while Granuaile (and Oberon, Atticus' Irish Wolfhound) is trying
Jan 30, 2014 Lynne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Granuaile fans
Granuaile's test, the Baoloach Cruatan, which was alluded to as having been passed with flying colors in Tricked, is treated in detail here and from her point of view, which is refreshing (see my review of Hunted or any of my other reviews of this series to find out what I think of Atticus's voice).

While ridding a stream of an invasive species (save-the-earth freaks who have seen the havoc invasive species wreak on an ecosystem totally dig this--some other reviewers found it bizarre), she is pla
Sep 21, 2014 Jesus rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This short story was on the Hammered ebook, is about Granuelle, if I wrote that correctly, and the task the elemental Sonora gave her, I find it estrange she decided not to tell her sensei Atticus what happened, Oberon maybe will let it slip in Tricked, the way we the reader have a view into Atticus mind in the main story we know he never thought about it which makes the events here suspicious and definitely hope this gets addressed in the next book, hope I remember about it too and this little ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
While Atticus leads a merry band of misfits to Asgard to deal with the Thunder God, his apprentice sets about cleaning up some rivers from unwanted species. An unexpected challenge arises which creates a life-or-death confrontation with an old god. A good sidebar exploring the development of one of the series' main supporting characters.
Jan 24, 2015 Kayleigh rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Definitely my favorite of the Iron Druid short stories so far.

Some of Granuaile's inner monologue felt stilted to me, but it was nice seeing a story through her eyes instead of Atticus' for a change. Up to this point she's mostly been a sidekick or a tagalong, so it was pretty cool to see how resourceful and levelheaded she can be when she has only her own skills to rely upon.
I took advantage of the free story and read it now instead of with the relevant novel. It's written in the style of the character, I think, (since I'm reading book #1, and have only been just re-introduced to her) to make it more personal. It's lovely. I'm looking forwards even more to get to books #3 and 4 so I can properly place the events.
This is definitely a short story, but it is a perfect glimpse into Granuaile. It made me like her even more.

Reading A Test of Mettle was also a perfect way to recover from the events that took place during Hammered. Things were so intense during book 3, it was nice to see how Granuaile spent her time while Atticus was away. I also like her take on things. I think she will prove to be the perfect balance for Atticus.

You can pick up A Test of Mettle on Kevin Hearne's website. It's so short, I actu
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Kevin is the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, an urban fantasy series published by Del Rey Books. The first six books of the series are now out as well as a novella that's book 4.5 and some other short works. The seventh book, SHATTERED, will be released June 17.
More about Kevin Hearne...

Other Books in the Series

The Iron Druid Chronicles (9 books)
  • Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)
  • Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #2)
  • Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #3)
  • Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #4)
  • Trapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #5)
  • Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #6)
  • Shattered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #7)
  • Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #8)
  • Untitled (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #9)

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“On a Creep Scale from Hello Kitty to Cthulhu, I award it a Freddy

Granuaile MacTiernan”
“Flidais nods in approval. “Respect for life. Good.”
I want to ask where her respect for life is, why she thinks it is all right to treat animals like puppets and force me to kill one of them in some sort of sick game.”
More quotes…