Posted by: Nyxks | September 5, 2007

The Song of an Emerald Dove

The Song of an Emerald Dove
by Xanna Vinison © 2005
Harvest Shadows
342 pages
paperback
ISBN 0-9741740-5-X
$15.95 (U.S.) $21.95 (Canada)
reviewed by: Mike Gleason

This is a work of fiction about a rather unique coven. It has been written by an individual who is knowledgeable about both Wicca and magick. That makes it a pleasure to read. I don’t necessarily agree with some of the techniques used by these Witches in their magick, which is heavily ceremonial in many ways, but it rings true and, since, this is not intended to be an instructional book, that isn’t an important factor.

For those individuals who have been, or are, fortunate enough to be part of a coven and to have attended a multi-group (but not open to the general public) campout, there are images and events which will spark your own memories. If you haven’t had this experience, trust me when I say that this author is writing from personal experience.

This is a book full of reality. The characters do not live solely in other-worldly expoe4riences. There are spouses and children, grocery shopping and trips to the local craft stores, books to buy and budgets to worry about, as well as meditations and rituals to be done. It is, in short, a book about real people who are Witches and not about a group of “special” people out to save the world.

If you are seeking a book of epic battles, with magick flying between opponents, you would be better to pick up Harry Potter. If you want a book that will show you the finer points of spell-casting you would be better off with Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard. If, on the other hand (Wait a minute, that’s three hands. What’s going on here?) you are looking for an enjoyable escape (okay, there is an undercurrent of gloom and doom in here, so it isn’t all sweetness and light) from your day-to-day existence this book would be an excellent choice.

Even though this is a book about a “women’s group,” it includes much that will be familiar to Witches of both genders – from pathworkings to chants which are part of our common heritage. I could fully identify with the experiences and even if I, personally, couldn’t identify with the paranoia experienced by the group, I do know members of the community who share it.

The actions, and reactions, of the women involved, and those who interact with them, are believable. Whether you choose to believe the message contained herein, there is plenty to be learned.

I appreciated the fact that, unlike many novels I have read, the events cover a wide span – of time and space. It doesn’t all happen in broad, dramatic events, but rather in small, incidental, day-to-day activities. Although it hasn’t happened to you, you will believe it could happen to you.

Is this a “page turner”? No, it isn’t. Is it well-written and believable? Certainly. Do I recommend it? Whole-heartedly. Go to the website (www.harvestshadows.com) and order this book. Or have your local bookstore special order it for you. You will NOT regret the time or money spent on this book.

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