This week, I was in the mood for an anthology with multiple authors, and Unfettered, edited by Shawn Speakman, was the perfect book to pull off the shelf. For those of you who have never heard of Unfettered, it's a volume that only exists because of the generosity and friendship of some of the most talented writers in Sci/Fi and Fantasy, who donated stories for the anthology to pay off the medical debt of Shawn Speakman after his second bout with cancer in 2011. There is no theme to this anthology. Instead, the authors were given the freedom to submit whatever short stories they wanted.
Kevin Hearne's story takes place in the same world as his Iron Druid Chronicles and features the druid Atticus as the main character (and Oberon as the usual show-stealing wolfhound). Atticus tells the true story of the quest for the Holy Grail (which he features in heavily...well, pretty much almost exclusively), and in its telling, reveals that the history of the Grail began long before Jesus' time.
I was fascinated by the new-to-me origin story of the Grail (or Celtic Graal). I read "The Chapel Perilous" with the expectation of being entertained, and Kevin Hearne did not disappoint. In spite of Atticus's obvious run-in with the Chapel Perilous (given the title), what could be very dark and macabre tale maintains its lighter mood. Kevin Hearne has a wry sense of humor, and Atticus's interactions with Oberon and with the horse he rides in the story were some of the best (and funniest) parts of the tale. I loved that it ties in with the other Iron Druid books as well, but that you don't need to read them to love this story.
I'd recommend this story to any reader who likes Kevin Hearne, but also to any readers who enjoy a new take on an old tale, or a lighthearted story with a little action, magic, and history mixed in.
Rating: 5 stars!