Archive for May 11, 2017

New Reviews for the Magically Curious

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on May 11, 2017 by Occult Detective

A couple of years back I reviewed Varla Ventura’s Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires & Other Creatures of the Night and described it as “a delightful little tome, filled with delicious illustrations and wondrous tales, both real and imagined.” Well, I’m delighted to say that Varla is back with a new book, as equally engaging.

varla2Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm is the perfect companion to Banshees.

Utilizing Jim Warner and Deborah Dutton again, Weiser Books has pulled out all the stops, crafting a beautifully designed book, accentuating Varla Ventura’s thoughtful and whimsical exploration of these creatures of the fey.

Varla is one of my favorites, and her books are never far from my reach when I’m in the throes of writing another paranormal thriller. The author is a gifted storyteller and she captures the essence of these folk tales and legends and breathes fresh life into them.

I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

I wish I could say the same for Leanna Greenaway’s Wicca, part of Hampton Roads’ Plain & Simple series. Billed as “The Only Book You’ll Ever Need”, I’m here to tell you that’s about as wrong as wrong gets.

wiccaWicca starts out well enough. Judika Illes delivers an erudite introduction that is personal and heartfelt, but from there Leanna Greenaway delivers a very Wicca-lite and very modern approach to the Craft.

I understand that Wicca and Witchcraft has evolved much over the years, that the 70s and 80s are long past, but I am a child of that era and it’s still a fresh and vivid memory for me.

My childhood was filled with the writings of Gerald Gardner, Stewart Farrar, Sybil Leek, Patricia Crowther, Doreen Valiente, and others. My teeth were cut in an Alexandrian Coven in the mid-80s. Leanna Greenaway’s Wicca just doesn’t speak to me.

As a beginner’s primer, it’s harmless, and it has its uses, but to anyone with a few strands of grey in their hair, this book is best passed over. And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t care for the design of the book. The illustrations and diagrams were lifeless and uninspired, matching, I fear, the intensity of the book.

So, there you have it — two reviews, one thumb up and the other one down. Your mileage might vary. Both are readily available online. I recommend you give Varla Ventura’s Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings a look. As for Leanna Greenaway’s Wicca, well, you’ve been warned.

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