Friday, May 4, 2012

Between the Covers - Book Review #12

Well, another hospital visit for continued health issues has led to more bed rest, pain meds, and me falling further behind in my blogging. I have Godzilla size stack of books to review and while my eyes are half-open tonight, I think I'll get one of these installments out for you, my constant demon hunter/reader.  These three selections are all good, so choose and enjoy!

1) Herb Magic for Beginners: Down-to-Earth-Enchantment by Ellen Dugan was not as good as her other books I've read, but still one for the witchy library. I wish the book had gone into a little more detail on a few topics, but it did broadly cover herbs for beginner magical purposes. And what I really liked -- the herbs she discussed are very common and easy to grow or find at your local health store/metaphysical shop. She uses her by now familiar humorous and conversational tone to discuss herb growing, proper tools and gathering times, and a slew of herbal spells for any practical situation. If you're looking for an in depth read, though, skip this one. But if you're looking for a non stuffy beginner primer, than this one's for you!

2) Naked City is one of Ellen Datlow's latest urban fantasy short story collections. As usual, an entertaining read with lots of my faves in the business, including Holly Black, Patricia Briggs, and Kit Reed. This collection breathes new life into the Fair Folk and I discovered some new authors. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good fairy story, the urban fantasy genre, or is looking for something new.

3) Hedgewitch: Spells, Crafts, & Rituals for Natural Magick by Silver Ravenwolf is written in the same style as her classic To Ride a Silver Broomstick. However, I found this one more conversational and approachable -- basically, less stuffy. The book is intended to be used as a course over two short weeks, but you can pace yourself and take as long as you need. I just read the book. I haven't actually participated, yet, but all the materials needed are easily attainable and not too expensive. This book is also in my opinion, less about ceremony and more about getting in touch with your own witchy self and the earth around you, which I liked. You could easily adapt this for a coven or a grove as well, if you are not a solitary practitioner. It also makes great research for any fantasy writer.

4) The Fairy Godmother, the first Five Hundred Kingdoms fantasy novel, by Mercedes Lackey does not disappoint. I will be reading every single book in the series. The great thing about is this series is that the books stand alone; you can read them out of order and you don't really miss integral plot points. This first one explains how all the fairy godmothers in the kingdoms are selected and trained. There's romance and intrigue and everything a great fantasy novel should have. I recommend it for a good escape. Better yet, it sets gender stereotypes on their head and gives feminine power more oomph!

As always, happy reading and happy writing!

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