Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - , , No comments

Witches and Wizards:

Rating: 3 Stars
Version: Hardback
Authors: Anton and Mina Adams

The full title is "The Learned Arts of Witches & Wizards: History and Traditions of White Magic", but I've shortened it to "Witches and Wizards" for convenience. 

For most of us the practice of witchcraft and the terms 'witch' and 'wizard' are shrouded in myths and mystic rites. Here is a visual almanac that lifts the veil on the story of witchery. This elegant book offers a concise, accessible history of witches and sorcery and also provides a fascinating insight into the world of magic - sacred places, power spots, magic sites, and ways to reconnect with nature through rituals and practices. Lushly illustrated with pictures drawn from medieval to contemporary sources, this beautiful compendium is an informative guide to the history, traditions, and ways of witches and wizards.

I decided to pick this nifty little book up at my local bookstore, to provide a “nonfiction” perspective on the Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge. I didn’t go looking for a book on magic… it just caught my eye as I was perusing the stacks. Not to mention, it was hard to miss with the reflective lettering and colorful design. Seriously, if you’re ever in a bookstore, look for this book. When you find it, check out the pages and layout. I think you’ll see what I’m talking about.

As for the book, it was both very brief and informative, but at times I thought it was trying to test my impartiality. This is the particularly reason I placed nonfiction in quotations, because some sections seemed overly fantastical. Please keep in mind that I’m in no way trying to discredit the authors or their beliefs, just simply stating my honest opinion. Also, I noticed the reviews on GoodReads and Amazon were both lacking in numbers and slightly low on ratings. For example,
GoodReads: 38 Ratings, 3 Reviews
Amazon 6 Ratings, 6 Reviews
This combination of low ratings and reviews, coupled with the first review I saw entitled “The first book on the Craft I ever read, but not very accurate is some areas” did not help enforce this book’s credentials.

One thing I found particularly interesting was the connection between chapters of this book and topics from some of my favorite YA books. For example, “Witches and Wizards” provided a brief run-through of ley lines and ley centers, which can be found in “The Raven Cycle” by Maggie Stieffvater. It also provided an overview of the Egyptian gods that’s key in Michael Scott’s “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series. Other topics of this book touched on real world applications such as breathing exercises and meditation techniques, a few of which I’ve seen in fitness training sessions.

Overall, this book helped quench my curiosity, but I couldn’t take it too seriously.  I think it was a timely selection seeing that Halloween is nearing!


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