by Raven Grimassi
Llewellyn Publications, 2001
Review by Daven
Raven is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. His writing style is clear and fluid, never condescending to the reader, nor written on the level of the lowest common denominator.
This is the thinnest book in the Sabbat series from Llewellyn, and that had me concerned for a little while. Raven may have skimped on the information a bit, but the information that is there is well worth the price. There is information in here concerning the hobbyhorse, Mummery and flower meanings. In addition, there are myths from almost every European culture, a first for this series.
There is an entire chapter devoted to the plants of this holiday, from flowers and flower speech to the plants fairies find attractive. Herbs play a prominent role in this, as well as the trees and plants associated with the Goddess.
The de rigueur spells and recipes are here. This time all the recipes are in one place, unlike the Ostara book reviewed elsewhere. In the same section you will find some quick folk remedies for some common complaints such as infertility and heavy moon-flow, for example. I feel this is to the good since this season is all about fertility.
I found the interior artwork a major distraction. I know that there are many who find heavy-line, pseudo-woodblock art interesting and well done, however, I don’t like it and never have. In some sections this style artwork is on every other page, making escape impossible. It becomes a true irritant when one is trying to follow the directions for the various arts and crafts projects in this book, since the illustrations are not adequate for the job. It is my opinion that in an effort to be artistic, the sense and beauty of the illustrations are lost.
Even with that, I believe this book is worth the price. The myths and lore are beautiful and would be a welcome addition to anyone who enjoys fairy lore.
I gave this book 3 1/2 stars out of 5. It does not score higher because of the artwork and the brevity of some of the material. I still think that this is a book that rounds out the collection of the Sabbat series that Llewellyn is putting out.
On another note, it is good to see Llewellyn putting out more quality material. I have definitely noticed an upward trend in recent years in the material they are publishing. With some specific works excepted, they are doing better on producing good works, rather than fluff.