I have recently finished the “Age of Misrule” trilogy by Mark Chadbourn, and I thoroughly enjoyed the books. The storyline for the trilogy is the returning of ancient Gods, mainly Celtic and the battles between good and bad. Despite growing up on myths and legends, I am not a fan of “fantasy novels”, finding them lack “something” that the myths and legends have but this trilogy is different, the characters and plot are as rounded as the myths and legends that he has incorporated into this work. My only criticism is the ending did feel a little rushed but if you are a fan of Celtic myths, then I would recommend you read these books.
Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
I have just finished an amazing book called A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. This book is about the lives of several people in India during the 70s. I was worried that I would not be able to follow the story as I did not know a lot of culture but it does not matter as you get swept up in the trials and tribulations of the characters. I warn you this is not a book that ties the ends up in a pretty little bow but follows truer to life, leaving it ragged and torn. This is a grim book in the topic matter but it is an easy read with it being broken up with moment of devious comedy. It is a sad, beautiful and an interesting read. I do not want to go into the plot too much because I want people to enjoy it for themselves. I think the book can be summed up in a line said by one of the minor characters. “There is always hope – hope enough to balance our despair. Or we would be lost.” I would recommend this book to everyone.
I have just finished reading Ronald Hutton’s book Blood and Mistletoe and this is a very informative book. This is not a book on how to “live like a Druid” but the history of Druids through the eyes of an academic. The history of the Druids is a very difficult subject as there is little evidence for them and thanks to people like Iolo Morganwg, some of the “evidence” is falsified. What I found particularly interesting is the differencing of opinion of each country of the British Isle, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England and Druids. Druids seem to have many faces from philosophers and priests to blood-thirsty and ignorant and the book look at how different times in history saw changes in the perception of Druids. I would recommend this book to both historians and followers of any nature based religion.
I have just finished a book called Iris Murdoch: A Retrospective Fiction. The book looks at how the characters and plot of six of Iris’s books are influenced by the concept of the past. While reading the book I was stuck by how much I do this myself. I am often accused of living in the past and if I was a character in Iris’s books, it would be my undoing and yet I am unsure how to stop it.
This is a well written book, full of insight, facts and personality. This book was especially important for me, for two reasons. One, my family does not talk about their heritage and that make ancestral worship difficult for me. Secondly, being Welsh I have always assumed that I will follow a Druid path but that has not always felt “right”. What this book has taught me that ancestors are so much more than “blood”. I now live in England and do not need to feel guilty about “worshipping” the spirit and ancestors of this place and I am not disrespecting my own.
I am currently reading John Bayley’s book on his marriage to Iris Murdoch, which includes her demise into Alzheimer’s. This I realise is my ultimate fear, not necessary losing my mind, but losing my imagination. That must to be the cruellest blow especially to those whose life was once full of imagination, to be shown a piece of your mind in a form of book, essays or even in my case poetry and not only not being able to appreciated it but to not recognise as your own. John writes with such love and compassion but without a cloying sense of sweetness. He admits it is hard to watch someone you love revert back to a child almost and not give up. Yet he shows us that with a little patience, compassion, humour and the occasional screaming match that the world can continue to turn. I hope some day I will find someone that loves me that much.
I have just finished reading Ovid’s Metamorphoses and found it very interesting. The stories within it were not new to me, but it was like reading a diary after someone else had told you what was written in it. By reading the original words themselves it gave those tales a new lease of life. Recommended reading for anyone that has an interest in myths.