Review of “Katy Hunter and the Magic Star” by Moira Hodgkinson

Moira is a superb author and I was not disappointed when I picked up this delightful little tale of magic. It might well have been written for children and young people but I couldn’t put it down!

Katy Hunter is an inquisitive young person intent on exploring her world and figuring out what’s going on around her. What is going on around her though? Strange happenings lead her to play detective as any awesome nearly teen would and has a blast exploring her new home while she’s at it.

I thoroughly enjoyed Katy’s story and would recommend it to any young person. Moira brought Katy and her family to life right there on the page and I (my inner child especially!) really hope there’s more instalments to come in the future.

Bright blessings,

Sarah x

Review of “Otherworld: Ecstatic Witchcraft for the Spirits of the Land” by Chris Allaun

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up. I hadn’t read any blurb nor seen any of Chris’ previous three books. The only thing I did know was that the title intrigued me and I wanted to know more. Following spending most of the last year in lockdown with my son who has been shielding from the current pandemic situation, my own path has definitely become more focused on the land immediately around me and so I was interested to see what I could learn.

I was led on an interesting journey of discovery thanks to a great combination of useful information and practical exercise that helped me to focus on discovering, working with and honouring the spirits of the land from Mother Earth to faeries and dragons. There’s something here for everyone whether they have lots of experience or are a complete beginner and the exercises really help you to explore the possibilities presented in a practical way.

I particularly enjoyed the chapters on ecstatic dance and Seidr sorcery, both of which contained techniques for deeper and more enriched relationships with earth spirits all explained in plain language that is easy to understand and follow.

I may not have encountered Chris’ work before now but I can say that after reading this I will definitely be buying his other three books.

Bright blessings,

Sarah x

Review of “Tales of Witchcraft and Wonder” by Candia and Tony McKormack

I absolutely love the music of Inkubus Sukkubus and so when they wrote a book exploring their lyrics I was excited to give it a read. I can tell you I was not disappointed!

The book came with a 13 track CD and I was also fortunate to have it signed and receive one of their hand-printed bookmarks along with the book which is super cute! 😊

The 13 chapters take a walk through some of the most fabulous tales taken from around Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds with all the stories in the book linking to a track on the CD. It makes for a hauntingly good read if you listen along at the same time as reading the book.

I loved every tale in this book, each one enchanting and rich in magic, perfect for captivating the imagination and sense of wonder. My particular favourite is The Datura Dreamer, tale number 6. It tells the story of Lucida, her garden and a summer of wild abandonment which ends all too soon but I highly recommend you give it a read/listen and choose your own!

Review of “Doomseer” by S.P.H. Young

I was fortunate to get to read this as a review copy and I was not disappointed! It was a great story that was very well written, featuring well developed characters interspersed with historical information and some supernatural treats.

The story was the perfect balance of real life and magical aspects, neither one overwhelming the other but both being integral to the tale. It’s clear that the author has done his research when it comes to the lives his characters would have lived and I love the factual references that feature all the way through about the Norse peoples and their ways of life.

The author has really achieved quite a lot with his work here and while it makes a great story on its own, it is also clear that this could become a well-loved series and so I hope that I will be able to travel with Halfdan and Thora again someday soon.

In short, if you like fantasy/historical stories then I recommend you pick it up!

Bright blessings,

Sarah x

Review of “Rosemary and the Witches of Pendle Hill” by Samantha Giles

This is the first children’s novel from Emmerdale actor Samantha Giles. I had high hopes for this story and it is indeed a fun, magical adventure that explores the world of magic as much as it does the everyday worries of lots of families but I also found it a little hard to get through just because I’m an adult and it is a story for younger children.

It has everything a 9-12 year old would want in a tale including an exciting mission and smelly farts but I also found it had some small problems. Rosemary’s language is sometimes exactly that of a 9 year old and at other times it is way above that age and understanding.

I absolutely loved the approach to talking about mental health and Samantha got it just right as to how a child of Rosemary’s age might see problems like these and try to deal with them. I also liked that the adults in the story were totally human and trying their best to juggle their messy lives and everything in them.

I think children of the right age group will absolutely love Rosemary and the Witches of Pendle Hill.

Bright blessings,

Sarah x

Review of “The Folklore and Magic of Dolls” by Moira Hodgkinson

The Folklore and Magic of Dolls gave me several hours of happy reading. I have always found dolls to be fascinating so was intrigued to find out what was within the dark green covers of this book when it arrived, and I wasn’t disappointed.

It is filled to the brim with stories, ideas and ways of bringing dolls to life through myth and magic. From the earliest known dolls all the way to the most modern, I enjoyed learning about the history of dolls and their importance to our lives as humans, whether we’re children or adults. Then I delved into some amazing stories about dolls from the most beautiful to the strangest and scariest and finally was taken on a journey to discover how to make several different kinds of dolls so that I could bring dolls into my magical practice. It has knitting patterns and paper templates to work from as well as recipes for making salt dough dolls and tips on using correspondences to make your creations more personal and even more magical.

I have loved this little book from beginning to end and I can highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in bringing these magical little beings into their world.

Bright blessings,

Sarah x