Druid Thoughts: Moon Books Insights

I’m sharing some news from my lovely publisher, Moon Books. They’re great for all manner of Pagan titles. I read a lot of their output. This post includes my review of Robin Herne’s excellent new fiction collection (contains Druids) and a link to me interviewing Ronald Hutton.

Have you checked out the Moon Books Blog this month? If you did you probably saw the interview that Ronald Hutton gave us on our Pagan People feature. As you can imagine, Professor Hutton is a very busy man so it was great he could spare us the time. If you haven’t seen it yet here’s the link.

The other big news this month is that we’ve started a new project entitled “Naming the Goddess” around seventy-five writers have signed up so far to produce a two-part book that will feature essays on contemporary Goddess issues and a Spiritual Gazetteer of popular Goddesses. Follow its progress on our new Facebook page or get in touch [link is to email address] if you’re interested in joining in.

And remember, if you’re not currently following us on Facebook you’re missing out on regular book giveaway competitions, news, reviews and more!

 

Dangerous Place

by Robin Herne

Magic and murder meet in Suffolk, with short stories exploring the spirit of place, and the dark side of belief. A Dangerous Place is an anthology of crime stories all set in the same place, but spread out over the course of two thousand years. Each crime is set against the backdrop of changing religious and magical/mystical beliefs, such as Iron-Age Druidry, Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, Victorian Spiritualism; modern neo-paganism and interweaves old-fashioned detection with mysticism and criminal psychology.

 

Robin Herne may be poised to do for Ipswich what Bram Stoker did for Whitby. Anyone reading A Dangerous Place will be left feeling that Ipswich is a bit sinister and decidedly interesting. From tales of malevolent Druids through to modern day acts of slaughter, Herne tracks a murderous impulse across time as something about Castle Hill asserts a baleful influence upon the locals. Herne blends history with imagination and provides notes between chapters so you know which is which. This whole book is an exploration of genius loci, ancestry of place, history and story making. The collection demonstrates how potently story connects us to landscapes and brings dry fact to life. There are so many different voices in these stories too, giving the impression Robin may have camped at Castle Hill, listening to the howling and ranting of the troubled dead. Unlike many of his characters, he appears not to have been driven to madness or violence by the voices in the wind. Stylistically, this book put me in mind of Agatha Christie, and Conan Doyle supernatural stories. This is proper old-fashioned gothic fiction, heavy on the uncanny, light on the gory details. Robin leaves you to imagine the hideous elements. It’s an excellent combination, which fans of traditional horror and weird tales will love. I could write at length about the many themes and implications of this splendid piece of work as it provides a wealth of material and ideas to ponder and enjoy. Pagan readers are going to relish it, as I suspect will Steampunks. Anyone who likes their horror creepy and menacing rather than well-lit and covered in fake blood will delight in the understated malevolence. These stories are gripping, engaging, thoughtful and underpinned by a lot of solid research. I loved them.
Nimue Brown, author of gothic graphic novel series Hopeless Maine

Robin Herne is an educator, poet, storyteller, poet, artist, dog-owner and Druid. He has written numerous articles for Pagan magazines and has appeared in television documentaries. He lives in Ipswich, UK.

eBookPublished: September 27th, 2013ISBN: 978-1-78279-210-9Price: $ 4.99

Paperback
Published: September 27=
=2C 2013
ISBN: 978-1-78279-211-6
Price: $ 18.95=
=C2=A3 10.99

 

Diary of a Heretic: The Pagan Adventures of a Christian Priest

by Mark Townsend

In June 2007 Rev. Mark Townsend resigned from his ministry as a priest after his decision to share his story of brokenness and failure with the hierarchy. This book is the irreverent and whimsical yet honest and gut-wrenching story of his struggle to hold on to a faith within a world that seemed to be against him. It is a story that brings hope to all those who feel the established Western religious path has lost sight of compassion, grace and the one who could easily have been called Friend of Failures. As the author gradually digs himself out of the consequential gutter the reader will discover that all such failures can be redeemed and may even produce glittering nuggets of gold. More importantly the reader will begin to see that his or her own failure can also lead to real moments of magic – so long as it is not repressed but accepted. A major underlying theme of the whole diary is the notion that real magic does exist, and that the magical traditions such as Druidry can be a major blessing for those who crave for something more.

 

Mark Townsend is a combination of priest, magician and writer, who uses seemingly opposing forces as equal gifts in our search for the meaning of life. He lives in Leominster, UK.

eBookPublished: September 27thISBN: 978-1-78279-272-7Price: $ 9.99

Paperback
Published: September 27=
=2C 2013
ISBN: 978-1-78279-271-0
Price: $ 16.95=
=C2=A3 9.99
Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors

by Mabh Savage

Celtic tradition is at the heart of many aspects of popular modern pagan paths, and this book brings those aspects together to explore the relevance of a 2000-year-old culture in modern-day society. A Modern Celt looks at the Tuatha de Danaan, who they were and their continuing relevance in the 21st century. It looks at several of the key figures and the legends surrounding them and considers how they relate to real life, everyday events, and the power they can lend us to deal with our own problems. The wheel of the year brings Celtic festivals and a modern calendar together and these corner posts of the year help us understand the world as something that existed long before humans arrived and hopefully will continue to exist long after we are gone. A Modern Celt considers some of the things we do to try and preserve it and how these can be inspired by our Celtic roots. With musings from members of Celtic paths about why they feel such a tie to their Celtic ancestry. A Modern Celt paints a picture of an ancient world alive and thriving today.

 

Mabh Savage lives in Yorkshire, England, and was raised by Wiccan parents who had a passion for Celtic history, both mythological and actual. She is now involved with several pagan groups and is exploring her heritage as a way to get closer to the world around her, and understand her ancestors more.

eBookPublished: September 27ISBN: 978-1-78099-795-7Price: $ 9.99

Paperback
Published: September 27=
=2C 2013
ISBN: 978-1-78099-796-4
Price: $ 19.95=
=C2=A3 11.99


Druid Thoughts is published on occasional Wednesdays on Agora. Follow it via RSS or e-mail!

About Nimue Brown

Druid blogger, author of Druidry and Meditation, Druidry and the Ancestors and Spirituality without structure (Moon Books) Intelligent Designing for Amateurs (Top Hat Books) and Hopeless Maine (Archaia). Book reviewer for the Druid Network and Pagan Dawn. Volunteer for OBOD. Green, folky, Steampunk wench with a coffee habit. www.druidlife.wordpress.com and www.hopelessmaine.com @Nimue_B and can be hunted down on facebook.


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