Artan, an ancient Irish King of Kirkfall, defeats his brother Cael and his army of gargoyles by sacrificing his humanity to get close enough to Cael to break a magical ruby, the Eye of Balor, from which Cael draws his evil power. Thousands of years later, an archeologist brings the ancient Celtic world alive inside a museum, highlighting what he believes to be an ancient myth. His daughter, Rhianna, cuts herself on the edges of the split ruby, thereby healing the Eye and awakening the gargoyle hoard that has been locked in stone for centuries.
Artan awakenings from his prison of stone in a New York City park, fully aware after centuries of watching the world pass by around him. Unfortunately, his brother Cael also awakens and he's on a hunt to uncover the Eye of Balor and finish what he started all those centuries ago - bringing the demon-god Balor into our world.
Artan is a heroes hero. He loses all those he loves, sacrifices for his people, and even in serving up the winning blow, he is punished along with this brother in the form of a centuries long internment in stone. As I was reading, I had no trouble following along with the story as is, and enjoying every minute of it. The ending came upon me too quickly and didn't give me enough Artan/Rhianna. As the only real contributions to this story from Rhianna was bleeding on the ruby and helping Artan find a mystical sword, I really felt like there should have been much more of the romance angle played up. The girl barely gets a kiss in this book.
After I finished the story was when I thought about how things would have played out if this had been written by a couple of my fave urban fantasy writers and I can tell you, this story would have been twice as long, with some hot and heavy scenes written into it. When you bring back a muscle-bound bad boy with more than a hellishly cool accent and a magic sword, Mary Jane should get more out of it than tied to an altar as a sacrifice. I'm just saying.
Still, very cool premise. Loved the story and the mythological history twist into the contemporary world. I wish the ending had been longer, but the book was well worth my time.