A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

July 23rd, 2018 Kimberly Review 38 Comments

23rd Jul
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
A Plague of Giants
by Kevin Hearne
Series: Seven Kennings, #1
Narrator: Luke Daniels, Xe Sands
Length: 22 hours and 14 minutes
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 5 cups

In the start of a compelling new series, the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles creates an unforgettable fantasy world of warring giants and elemental magic.

In the city of Pelemyn, Fintan the bard takes to the stage to tell what really happened the night the giants came . . .

From the east came the Bone Giants, from the south, the fire-wielding Hathrim - an invasion that sparked war across the six nations of Teldwen. The kingdom's only hope is the discovery of a new form of magic that calls the world's wondrous beasts to fight by the side of humankind.

fantasy magical EPIC Fave Narrator

A Plague of Giants is the first novel in the Seven Kennings fantasy series by Kevin Hearne. This baby is just over twenty-two hours on audio, but with Luke Daniels and Xe Sands, at the wheel I knew the journey however long would be an adventure. Giants, elementals and battles unfold as we listen to the bard and others share their perilous tales.

For fans of the Iron Druid series be forewarned the Seven Kennings series is pure fantasy, and the world is complex. While the writing style is different, I would recognize this as Hearne’s work. He has an ease of storytelling that is ever present. Expect multiple POVS, although a great deal is shared through the bard, along with singing. The timeline itself goes from present to past as different voices share battles and tales.

Fintan, Bard of the Poet Goddess Kaelin, gathers folks in the town and retells stories and invites others to share those. The stories surround the folks of Teldwen, whose lives have been uprooted by armies of giants who invade their lands bent on conquest. I loved these stories, and I had to laugh because I began this audiobook on vacation. My thought process was that I’d listen over the 14 days we were away. Ha. I finished as the fourth day began. The four-hour flight had a lot to do with that.


  • Hathrims -They are masters of fire. They realize their land is in danger from a volcano and use the opportunity to move to resource rich lands. While they had good reason to leave, and chose lands in Teldwen that were unoccupied they upset the Fornish, who border its lands. They are masters of the forest, woodcraft and lore. The Hathrim use the trees the Fornish see as scared for fuel and thus the fighting beings.
  • Bone Giants- a fearsome bunch who make land in search of the seventh kenning. They lay waste to the cities and lands of Teldwen.

People of Teldwen

The people of Teldwen live where their kennings are most useful.

  • Fornish- reside in Forn and are masters of wood, forest, woodcraft and lore
  • Raelach-  live in Rael and are masters of earth
  • Brynts- reside in Brynlon and are masters of water
  • Nentians- live in Ghurana Nent and are masters of air
  • Hathrim -reside in Hathria and are masters of fire
  • Pelemyn- this is where Fintan the bard shares the story of the “Giant Wars” to the people.

The Kennings are gifts or magic individuals hold. The magic comes from the elementals and mythology which quickly made me feel at home. Those who are gifted the kennings, use them with care as doing so drains their lifespan. When the story begins there are five known kennings, and they will soon discover a sixth. No one knows what the seventh kenning offers. I liked the magic and rules established within the world. We get to see a few characters come into their powers and witness them trying to master skills.

While the story contains multiple POVs and shares both present and past accounts, I felt the bard and scholar Dervan Du Alöbar who is transcribing the story being told, pulled all of it together. Kind of like a giant play with intermissions by Dervan. The stories surround the invasion of the Hathrims, the Bone Giants invasion and political unrest or indecision among those in Teldwen. I quickly became connected to the multiple characters and felt their happiness and loss.

Luke Daniels narrates much of the story and as always he is a masterful storyteller with a wide range of voices. He brings Hearnes charters to life, I even heard a little Oberon, and it made me grin.  Xe Sands was a new-to-me narrator, but she compliments both Hearne and Daniels wonderfully. She typically took on the female roles and her pacing, tone and connection to the characters only enhanced Hearne’s story.

Our story is far from over and I cannot wait to return. A Plague of Giants is perfect for those who love epic fantasy, magic and fantastic world building all narrated by a masterful storyteller.

Giants, elementals and battles can be found in A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne. Narrated by Luke Daniels and Xe Sands I quickly became swept up in this epic #fantasy. #loveaudiobooks Click To Tweet

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

38 Responses to “A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne”

  1. Olivia Roach

    I don’t think I could read this book now because I just finished a fantasy binge read and raced through three fantasy reads. But I do love fantasy and would want to read it in the future! It might be a mammoth book, but I live for great world building and multiple POVs to add complexity and perspective to the plot.

    Olivia Roach recently posted: 6 Mini Movie Reviews!
    • Kimberly

      I feel you. I like to mix up my genres and while I would not call this high fantasy, it was addictive!

  2. MarthaE

    This sounds like one (another one) to add to my Audible Wish list. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Heidi

    I wanted to read this but I haven’t had time lately to carve out the necessary time to devote to this. I will definitley try and visit it in the Fall when things settle down. I am interested to see where Hearne goes from here.

  4. sjhigbee

    This is an amazing, ambitious book – and I reckon Hearne pulled it off. I’m guessing it sounds fabulous in audio mode:). Thank you for your review.

  5. Greg

    Sounds like a pretty good epic fantasy! I remember thinking this looked good when it came out. I like the sound of the elemental stuff, that always catches my interest. Glad this was good- definitely adding this to my TBR!

  6. kindlemom1

    Wait, is this a new series by him then? For some reason I thought it was part of the Iron Druid series. I’m so behind and so confused apparently! I’ll have to grab this one.

  7. Melliane

    I’m so so so so late and I have a book to try by this author! Everyone love this author so I need to try too

  8. tylerhjolley@gmail.com

    This is so interesting, it seems like the learning curve might be a bit steep with all the different types of people. You broke it down in a really nice way. If I start it, I’ll check this out for a guide.

  9. Lizzy

    Wow! This sounds like an entirely absorbing read…also very complex. Added it to my TBR for future consideration.

  10. Christy LoveOfBooks

    I need to read this! I want to listen to it because Luke freaking Daniels! But I know I would do much better reading it because it’s fantasy with complex world building. Ugh. Read and then also listen, you say? Okay, great suggestion. Thanks, Kim. lol. I bet people who see my comments and don’t know me, think I’m a weirdo. And they’d be correct! 😀

    Christy LoveOfBooks recently posted: All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover