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The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts
I greatly admire Robb's THE DISCOVERY OF FRANCE and his biographies of French literary figures of the 19th century. Unfortunately, his latest work sho...more
Nov 2013
Dec 03, 2013
Cold Steel (Spiritwalker, #3)
Don't be put off by the length of this volume. The complexity of the series -- its characters and underlying ideas, not merely its plot -- demand the...more
Jun 16, 2013
Jun 29, 2013
Madame Blavatsky's Baboon: A History of the Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits Who Brought Spiritualism to America
Washington crams an awful lot of information into this survey, which at times gives it a cursory feel. It is, however, a good introduction to the subj...more
Feb 05, 2013
Dec 03, 2013
Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation
It's important to review a book for what it is, rather than what you wish it were. Judging its intent by a publisher's attempt at a snappy sub-title i...more
Dec 08, 2013
Dec 09, 2013
The Black Sea: A History
One of the newish trends in the writing of history might be termed "regional studies." Rather than limiting themselves to a particular nation state, w...more
Jan 02, 2013
Jan 03, 2013
Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity
What a puzzling book! Goodrick-Clarke was an academic, a scholar and the head of the Esoteric Studies program at a British university. He wrote severa...more
Feb 02, 2014
Feb 03, 2014
The Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical Introduction
A very good, if somewhat dry in spots, historical overview of the Western "esoteric" tradition, that is, of magic systems, magical studies, and their...more
Feb 19, 2014
Feb 21, 2014
The Magical World of the Inklings
At first glance this book appears to be composed of summaries of the authors' works and little else, but don't be fooled. Gareth Knight is a noted occ...more
Jan 16, 2014
Jan 17, 2014
Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)
Overall, very well written and enjoyable as Aaronovitch further defines and refines the direction the series will take. The wordplay is as strong as e...more
Jan 28, 2013
Feb 01, 2013
The Barbarian Plain: Saint Sergius between Rome and Iran
Fowden puts a small slice of history under a microscope and sees plenty of interesting material in this monograph. Her meticulous research into the m...more
Jan 14, 2013
Jan 15, 2013
The Quest for Dion Fortune
Back in the '70s, Chapman set out to collect material for a biography of Dion Fortune. Although she never wrote the book (she explains why), she reali...more
Dec 18, 2013
Dec 24, 2013
Beguiled Again
I found this book to be entertaining. Burroughs tells her story with a light touch and a lot of humor. Good characters, too! I'm particularly fond of...more
Jul 18, 2013
Jul 21, 2013
John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery: Original Sourcebook of Enochian Magic
The editor, J. Peterson, has produced a clear, readable transcription of a portion of the surviving "angel conversations" of John Dee, the Elizabethan...more
May 27, 2012
Jun 01, 2012
Priestess: The Life and Magic of Dion Fortune
I waffled over the rating for this book. Richardson has done a good, solid job of researching his subject -- which could not have been easy. After her...more
Dec 20, 2013
Dec 21, 2013
428 AD: An Ordinary Year at the End of the Roman Empire
Traina's basic concept works very well. In a series of short chapters he takes the reader on a quick trip around the Mediterranean world in Late Antiq...more
Jan 24, 2013
Jan 25, 2013
Summoning (Moon Wolf Saga, #1)
A very polished, fast-moving debut novel from a new author to watch!

Amber's on the run from an abusive step-father. She has a big secret to hide as w...more
May 04, 2012
May 08, 2012
Point of Honour
I very much enjoyed POINT OF HONOR and have, in fact, acquired a copy of PETTY TREASON, the next book in the series. Sarah Tolerance, the heroine, is,...more
Jun 08, 2011
Aug 24, 2011
Foucault's Pendulum
Let me start by pointing this out: if you prefer fast-moving books with a simple plot line, you do not want this book. If you want a clear-cut,unambig...more
Dec 19, 2012
Dec 25, 2012
The Grass King's Concubine
This is an exceptionally well-written fantasy that offers something different from the usual themes and characters. Sperring's heroine, Aude, comes fr...more
Jan 2012
Aug 19, 2012
Scholastic Magic: Ritual and Revelation in Early Jewish Mysticism
This interesting monograph has an oddly misleading title. "Scholastic Magic" sounds like it should be an overview of a medieval approach to magic base...more
Mar 05, 2013
Mar 07, 2013
Grimoires: A History of Magic Books
This book is an unfortunate victim of its publisher. The content itself is fascinating, and were I rating it on that basis alone, I would have given i...more
Feb 22, 2013
Feb 24, 2013
Resurrecting Hebrew (Jewish Encounters)
Ilan Stavan was born in Mexico City to a Jewish family that had emigrated to Mexic in the 1920s. Thus his first language is New World Spanish. His sec...more
Jul 14, 2011
Jul 11, 2011
The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1)
If this review only discussed worldbuilding, I'd give this book 5 stars. Wells has done a brilliant job of delineating the landscape, flora and fauna,...more
Jul 13, 2012
Jul 19, 2012
Living With Ghosts
I love rich, detailed worlds and complex characters. I am not a "fun fast read" person. Keep that in mind when I say I loved this book. Sperring has c...more
Feb 05, 2010
Aug 31, 2011
The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki
I've heard these Icelandic sagas described as the historical fiction of their time, the 12-1400s AD. The "fantasy fiction" might be a more accurate de...more
Mar 04, 2012
Apr 04, 2012
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3)
This review is mostly about the edition, not the stories, which hold up remarkably well. (I first read them back when I was a teenager. In the Dark Ag...more
Feb 03, 2013
Feb 07, 2013
Goat Foot God
I first read this book when I was a 20-something. I thought it was thin and corny. I just re-read it as a 60-something, and gosh, it's improved a whol...more
Dec 26, 2013
Dec 27, 2013
History of the Goths
I read the second edition, a hardback that I own. It's a brilliant work, though somewhat outdated by further specialist research. Wolfram reorganized...more
Feb 12, 2012
Jan 29, 2012
John Dee's Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature
I found this book well-written, well-researched, and extremely interesting. Harkness is an academic who's done a great deal of original research in di...more
Apr 03, 2012
Apr 04, 2012
Pigs Have Wings (Blandings Castle, #8)
In his long life, PG Wodehouse published over 90 books, a statistic that stuns me when ever I think of it. Some ingrates will tell you that he really...more
Sep 26, 2012
Sep 30, 2012
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