T. Thorn Coyle’s Witches of Portland Series Spoiler Alert: Awesome!

T. Thorn Coyle’s Witches of Portland Series Spoiler Alert: Awesome! August 7, 2018

So good! I don’t often gush, but I’m gonna gush here. These days I find myself endlessly picky about books and these books were highly satisfying. I don’t often find fun reads that I truly enjoy. Too often I read books these days and am disappointed by the characterization being oh so repetitive: big strong man with a girl to be saved. If I’m lucky there’s a girl who is sort of tough at first but then gets saved anyway.  I will admit at this point in my life, sometimes I don’t finish a book I’ve started if it’s boring. This is a big move forward for me. We all have our growth moments. Sometimes it’s about allowing oneself to skip the boring parts. I read books for something new, and hopefully something with characters that have dark skin, disabilities, or trans characters. I want to read about people who are different than me, not just the same old thing.  Coyle’s Witches of Portland series fits the bill! With each book she develops a different character in this delightfully fictitious coven. Each character has their own gifts, skills, and challenges, and each is supported in turn by their coven and their larger pagan community.

A view of my little abode including new coffee mug, flowers and a stack of Coyle's books.
My humble abode and some awesome books.

I wish all my pagan groups got along with each other half so well as Arrow and Crescent Coven, and I wish I had that many beeswax candles. But that’s part of the point.  These people from disparate backgrounds come together in such a hopeful way that I cannot help but enjoy the process.

I also have to admit, getting books in the mail from the author herself was pretty exciting for this little blogger. I didn’t know a lot about T. Thorn Coyle beforehand. I’m a Druid these days, and don’t read that many pagan books that aren’t written by archeologists or anthropologists. If it’s not an advanced treatise on rare herb lore, or an obscure article on Lithuanian cosmology I’m usually bored.  I gotta say, I was missing out, and I am officially a fan now.

The four books that this humble Blogger currently owns in the Witches of Portland series
My personal stash of the Witches of Portland series.

The first book, By Earth, starts with modern Witches connecting to their ancestors, battling the forces of Corporate Greed and having some sweet romance in the background. It was just so enjoyable. I loved that the main characters in the second book were both gay men from different religious traditions. I won’t say more, because I don’t want to spoil it, but it was delicious. Magic, and romance, and activism, oh my! I have needed stories that resonate with my lived experience as a pagan trying to survive and thrive in a world where politics and the majority society don’t support me and my community. Coyle shows the challenges that pagans have with gaining acceptance with mainstream religions, the connections and importance of reaching out the the larger community, and a lovely interlocking story about how we can make the world a better place in a local way using our magic and our love.

They were all a very satisfying read.  So much what I needed. Feeling stressed out because Nazis are real?  Wondering what the heck you can do about it? Well, these are some lovely and sweet books that tackle those sorts of topics! After I was sent the first three in the mail I saw that the next book in the series, By Sea, had come out and ordered it like a true fan girl so I could read about the Black woman raising her son and co-leading the coven.  Coyle’s ability to tell a fun and lovely tale that unexpectedly deals with challenging themes is a gem worth reading. I truly needed a feel good book about the real world and our real problems. It’s exciting for me to get to write such a truly positive review.

Cannot wait for the next book!

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