Topic 2 Posts


Shamanic Pixie Desi Girl

Ink & Sigil urban fantasy series by Kevin Hearne, in the Iron Druid universe, has a Goth, Mohawked, lesbian British Asian sidekick with supernatural powers—a Shamanic Pixie Desi Girl :)

As love child of an Indian god, “Nadia Padmanabhan,” battle seer, can see and avoid bad events right before they happen.

She’s a trope like “Kali Prasad” on Stranger Things (Linnea Berthelsen 🇮🇳🇩🇰). Always South Indian. Never white-passing—deep brown exotic.

The Iron Druid series sets several pantheons against one another in an Avengers: Endgame-style story, framed by the Norse Ragnarok.

Main characters are from Irish myths. Norse are next most prominent because they’re metal, and popular in the West. Olympians are present, but treated as boring and overdone.

Indian and Japanese myths are just chopsocky stereotypes, used initially as pure backdrop for Euro characters, the novel version of Hollywood yellow filter and ululating Arab score over India.

Hearne writes Indian witch “Laksha Kulasekaran,” a Kali stand-in, who possesses “Mhatini,” a woman in an abusive marriage: trope squared, written glibly.

As the series wears on, Hearne tries to improve. He humanizes Laksha, who sacrifices herself to save Ireland. It’s probably a noble savage trope, but could be a reference to Savita Halappanavar, whose completely unnecessary death got abortion rights passed in Ireland.

The teen-boy perv vibe of early books turns into chapters written in a powerful female character’s voice.

The Monkey King runs a boba tea shop, a good Buddhist joke. It’s in Taiwan, which avoids trouble with Chinese wingnuts :)

Hearne either isn’t interested or deft enough to pull it off entirely, writing Durga, Ganesha and Japanese myths as Orientalist cardboard cutouts.

(In his tale, the Himalayan yeti are secretly Irish. He’s Everything Comes from Ireland uncle, lol.)

Which may be why later books are warded with completely gratuitous leftie sigils: solar, Prius, anti-T•••• refs jammed in where they don’t fit the plot.

Or they may be genuine. Hearne emigrated to Canada in ’17, after T••••.

All that said, the Iron Druid series is an irresistible if pulpy read, it’s fun reading Durga going nuts on asuras astride her lion, and the repetitive, NPC-fight formula gets better in later books.

Druish-American princess

“Hounded,” Iron Druid book 1 by Kevin Hearne: Fun urban-gods pulp fantasy based on Irish myths. Goes down easy.

The modern setting deflates the pompousness of the genre, turning each old god into a fish out of water. Each one’s an immigrant comedy on legs.

Key ally in this tale is a Tamil witch, Laksha Kulasekaran, who’s dreadfully Orientalized. Written thinly with all the Kali tropes (demonic, unclean) as well as bud-bud dialogue: “I am not knowing,” “I was not thinking so.”

I’ve never heard any desi misuse continuous tense that way. Feels like concocted exotica, like Johnny Carson’s Carnac.

Extremely formulaic: each chapter is a cut scene with a different mythical creature, mostly fights, a little sexytime. Each ends on a cliffhanger. Every female is a goddess, most literally. Gets old fast.

A Druid version of “Reacher,” where he takes down all attackers cleverly and surgically describes each kill like the slo-mo “Fallout” VATS.

Way too in the weeds on low-level plot mechanics, stuff that doesn’t matter.

There’s a running gag where gods from all mythologies hate Thor for being an a-hole. But he’s even harder to kill after Marvel creates comic and movie avatars :)

Compulsively readable until you tire of the formula.