Monday, August 15, 2011

More about Melusine!

Book Review: The Romance of the Faery Melusine by AndrĂ© Lebey  [from Inner Light Journal]
Translated by Gareth Knight
ISBN 978-1-908011-32-9 Publisher: Skylight Press 
We owe a debt of thanks to Gareth Knight for making AndrĂ© Lebey’s work available to us, in what I found to be a vivid and readable style. It is the mediaeval legend, of course, as we may have learned from Mr. Knight’s previous work, but written as a novel, a very French novel. The style may be seen as florid, in the sense that the French “Great Encyclopaedia of Faeries” may also seem florid, but this attention to detail, colour and romance….and this IS a Romance…bring the tale uniquely alive, the imagery is so vital that it is like watching a film.

As you can probably tell, I loved this book. I read it with the music of French folkies “Malicorne” playing in the background, and I savoured every word. Yes, the descriptions are so evocative that one can almost taste them!
Lebey/Knight have achieved a hyperrealism through an almost hallucinatory pageant of minutiae which build and heighten the sense of time and place, of mood, of emotion, creating from the bare bones of legend a world entire. And it’s action packed! All human life is there, love and loss, bravery, betrayal…The people are real, though distant in space and time; we are shown, as it were, a myth through a series of masques or tapestries that dazzle and delight the senses.
Comparisons are odious, but if you are thinking to yourself “the reviewer loves it, but will I?” then if you like what Evangeline Walton did with Celtic myth, you probably will. There is in Lebey/Knight’s book a particularly French sensibility which makes it unique, of course. Here is a master of story weaving his magic and bringing the lovely lady Melusine back to us once more, impressing the legend firmly into our mind’s eye.

Friday, August 12, 2011



A Midsummer’s Journey with the Sidhe       by David Spangler & Jeremy Berg
(Lorian Press, 2204 E Grand Ave, Everett, WA98201, USA.

78pp 33 full page colour illustrations $15.95
This FULL COLOUR book is a magical journey into the realms of the Sidhe, the graceful "People of Peace" who are the overlords of the Faery Kingdoms. With beautiful full-colour illustrations by Jeremy Berg and text by David Spangler.
Endorsed by John Matthews: “This joyous and powerful story sits well amongst other tales of faery and brings its own enchantment. I really found myself carried off as I read, and emerged at the end with a feeling of having been a lot further than I thought. I’d put this right alongside Goethe’s ‘Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily’ as of a kind that can only be written by a true initiate. And the pictures which accompany it carry their own power – drawing deep on the wells of lore and truth.”
And by Gareth Knight: “This book should be a ‘must have’ for anyone who aspires to a spiritual awareness of the inner side of the wonderful world in which we live. An initiatory journey beautifully written and evocatively illustrated, and that is likely to take you further than you dreamed possible in many directions.”
Need I say more? An excellent practical little book upon which to build your imaginal skills and come to a deeper awareness of circles and gateways of stone and what may lie behind them!
Gareth Knight