BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature

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Addendum: On Freebies and Cheapies


A few months back, I wrote about a few of the many Pagan-friendly ebooks which are available for free, or very inexpensively.* Such books can be a great way for readers to discover new writers, and for writers to attract new readers. Well, I have since discovered a few more (I can't help it; I'm a book addict).

Carousel by Jordan L Hawk is part of her on-going Whyborne and Griffin series, but it is not necessary to have read those books to follow along here. This short story finds private investigator Griffin Flaherty in the employ of a poor man whose son disappeared in the middle of the night. Suspecting sorcery, Griffin asks his lover, Percival Whyborne, to assist with the investigation ... and it leads them to a truly creepy discovery. Fast and entertaining; perfect for a lunch break at work.

Follow the Crow by BB Griffith is the first book in the Vanished series. Set on a Navajo reservation in the American Southwest, it centers around Ben Dejooli, an officer with the Tribal Police, and Caroline Adams, a Caucasian nurse who can see things that other people cannot (or will not) see. When crows begin to follow Ben around, and he starts to have strange visions, the two become caught up in solving the long-ago disappearance of Ben's little sister. A great examination of tribal life, which deals respectfully with Navajo cosmology and mythology. Recommended to fans of Tony Hillerman, Margaret Coel, Thomas King, and Thomas Perry. 

Hunter of Demons is also by Jordan L Hawk, but is the first novella in her contemporary SPECTR urban fantasy series. In the world of SPECTR, demons are an everyday threat and all paranormals must be registered with the government. That's a problem for Caleb Jansen, who has managed to keep his low-level telekinetic abilities secret. When his brother is murdered by a demon, Caleb hooks up with a cell of the Fist of God, a fundamentalist vigilante/terrorist organization that believes everything paranormal must be destroyed. When the hunt goes terribly wrong, Caleb finds himself possessed by the demon -- except, it's not a demon .... I love how Jordan's story starts out as a seemingly run-of-the-mill urban fantasy, and then quickly takes a hard turn left. It turns out that humans actually have no idea what "extra-human entities" really are, and have just been calling them angels, demons, vampires, whatever for thousands of years; and the being now trapped inside Caleb is not only the first such being they have been able to speak with, but that same being is now beginning to understand that there is more to humanity than it ever imagined. Oh, and did I mention that SPECTR agent John Starkweather is a devotee of Sekhmet? Recommended to fans of KJ Charles, SM Reine, and Annie Bellet. 

Norse Stories: Retold From the Eddas by Hamilton Wright Mabie has long since fallen into public domain. As such, there are dozens of digital and used print editions available from a variety of retailers. While free digital copies are not hard to find, I recommend paying at last a minimal fee for a properly formatted edition; trying to read a direct scan riddled with typographical errors and wonky paragraph breaks will give you a migraine in two minutes flat. Fair warning, too: while a fun read, Mabie's edition does date from 1882, and, as such, it is very Victorian in its mentality (rather like Tanglewood Tales, Nathaniel Hawthorne's take on Greek mythology); the tales have been stripped of much of the sex, violence, and ambiguity of the originals. 

One Wilde Night by Jenn Stark is the prequel to her up-coming Immortal Vegas series. A novella, it introduces readers to Sara Wilde, a psychic and hunter of magical artifacts. Sara's particular talent is reading Tarot cards; she has a gift for interpreting both the literal and metaphorical meanings of the cards to lead her to whatever she is seeking. This time, she's after a frog-shaped fertility charm. Which is currently in the clutches of a sex-and-death Amazonian cult. In Rio de Janeiro. In the middle of Carnival. Oh, and she has an annoying telepath randomly bouncing into her head. Can anyone say, complicated? This is a quick, fun, exciting read, with lots of humor and narrow escapes and just a hint of romance. I am looking forward to the rest of the series. Definitely recommended to fans of Lisa Shearin, Seanan McGuire, and Jolene Dawe.

The Ones Who Dance Alone: Full Moon Celebrations for the Solitary Witch by TJ Burns is several years old, but new to me. A Goddess-oriented text, it offers simple rites and prayers geared towards (re)aligning the solitary Pagan with the lunar cycles. A great addition to the library of any Wiccan or follower of Goddess Spirituality, I can see followers of other traditions easily adapting these rites to suit their needs.

The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein is one of those difficult-to-classify titles; for now, let's just call it feminist post-apocalyptic fantasy science fiction, okay? The basic plot: Rowan is a steerswoman who wanders the known world, gathering information and freely sharing what she has learned. She cannot lie, and if anyone lies to her, than no steerswoman will ever engage with that person ever again. And so the steerswomen slowly expand the map of the known world. But when Rowan finds an odd little object unfamiliar to her and she begins to ask questions about it .... well .... is the world ready for what she uncovers? Highly recommended to fans of Sherri S Tepper, CS MacCath, and Ann Leckie.

So, there you have them: some more freebies and cheapie to whet your appetite. Enjoy!

* A commonsense warning: prices are always subject to change. If one of these books strikes your fancy, but the price has gone up, check the rest of that author's bibliography. You may find another inexpensive title to try instead. Otherwise, check with your local library, or see if any of your Pagan/polytheist friends have a digital copy that you can borrow (many are lendable through the nook or kindle).

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Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina. She thinks it is incredibly unfair that she must work for a living rather than being able to read all day. In her next life, she would like to be a library cat.


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