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Review: Visions of Vanaheim

Visions of Vanaheim Book Cover Visions of Vanaheim

Visions of Vanaheim by Svartesól discusses the Vanic side of the Northern Tradition – honoring a race of Gods connected with the fertility of the Earth, from life to death and back again.

This book explores the history of the North and the differences between Aesir and Vanir; the Deities known or suspected to be Vanir and those related by marriage or adoption; rites, magic, and devotion in a Vanic practice, and thoughts on the Vanic way from those who live it.

The Vanir have much to offer the 21st century, and by exploring the mysteries of the Vanir, we can find the sacred in our world.

This is the 2nd edition of the book. The original edition was removed years ago, and now has Svartesól has revised the book and re-written sections of the book. This book is more of an explanation of the author’s personal beliefs than a re-constructionist text. If you’re interested in the Vanir, however, it’s an interesting read.

The book starts out reviewing the different gods and goddesses that the author categorizes as Vanir. He pulls from the different primary sources that we currently have for Norse mythology as well as from personal gnosis.

The rest of the book is mostly from a combination of shared and personal gnosis, and describes the structure of the non-divine residents of Vanaheim – the rulers and the different tribes of folk. Svartesól covers information about the different tribes as well as the rituals that they perform and how to interact with them.

The author is quite good at identifying what is from Personal gnosis, shared gnosis, and from primary sources so you can make your own decisions on what you believe.

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Review: Hounded – Iron Druid Chronicles Book 1

Hounded Book Cover Hounded
Iron Druid
Kevin Hearne
Urban Fantasy
Del Rey; 4.3.2011 edition (May 3, 2011)
May 3, 2011

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

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Hounded is definitely in the range of popcorn reading for me.  The author does a great job of blending just enough “real” mythology with new and modern twists to keep you interested.  The characters are well written, showing flashes of their true identity while trying to blend into the modern world.  There are very few purely good or evil guys …. and lots of interesting characters in the range between!  The story takes place in a world that could very nearly be real – including most people’s great ability to explain away the unknown.  Hearne takes the world as portrayed in the modern pagan communities and stretches it just enough to hover on the edge of believable.  Once you pick up the book, it’s hard to put down!

Book Review: Geekomancy

Geekomancy Book Cover Geekomancy
Ree Reyes
Michael R. Underwood
Urban Fantasy
Pocket Star
July 10th 2012

Geekomancy is a fun, light romp through the world of geekdom with a magical twist. There's good guys, and bad guys, and a stranded time traveler, all fighting to save the lives of innocents and friends.

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Overall I enjoyed the book. The writing isn’t particularly amazing, but the characters are interesting and kept me engaged while the story wove its way through my geek memories. If you’re not a geek I’m not sure how much this will appeal; but for geeks who wish they could wield a lightsaber this is a fun romp through fantasy.

Review: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief Book Cover The Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1
Rick Riordan
Disney Hyperion (January 29, 2010)
Amazon Digital

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. With cover art from the major motion picture, this first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.

My Review

Someone stole Zeus’ Master Bolt and it’s up to Percy Jackson to return it.

Having watched the movie a couple times, I was interested in reading the original book that it was based on. Overall, I quite enjoyed the book and finished it in a couple of evenings. The book is fairly close to the movie for the first half, but then diverges into a much more complex story once Percy has reached Camp Half-Blood.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing how Percy and his companions continue to save the world.

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Focus on reading as well as writing!

This year, one of my goals is to do a lot more study.  I’m working on my Initiate Program with the ADF and am on the first class.  There are some of the classes that include work that takes a year from the time you start it, so I’m not targeting on finishing all that work by the end of the year, but I’m aiming on one class per  High Day.

To help with this study, which includes a LOT of reading, I’m joining up with the 2014 Witches & Witchcraft reading!  I’m aiming for the “Maiden” level, with 6 books read (one per 2 months) but hope to get more than that!

2014 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

My first book is:

Graf, Fritz. Magic in the Ancient World (Revealing Antiquity, No. 10). Trans. Franklin Philips. Harvard University Press, 1997.

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What I'm Reading

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Victoria has read 1 book toward her goal of 6 books.