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review 2018-01-03 05:42
Cute? animal sidekicks, magic & mountaineering
Even the Darkest Stars - Heather Fawcett

Loved this. From the first page, it's clearly something special. Flawless, effortless worldbuilding with unique-yet-relatable characters in high-stakes adventures with a serious twist. In Fantasy!Historic Tibet, the second daughter of a village chief in the mountain is flunking magic lessons and totally failing to hatch dragon eggs. Good thing her best friend is a genius and can cover for her. Big sister also perfect, so when the empire's most accomplished explorer (who just happens to ALSO be a hot teen) shows up in town, of course it's sis that gets invited on his next, most important-yet mission. Then sis runs off with the explorer's chronicler and things get interesting. Our magicless flunkout is about to prove her serious climbing and mountaineering skills as she saves big sis AND the empire (because evil witches are out to get them, btw) and steals the lead explorer title for herself. Until demons start hounding the camp and the party members' secrets start undermining the mission. Exciting story, fresh setting, relatable, compelling and endlessly cool characters with appealing but understated romance and serious twists. Good for mid teens and up; no language, minimal sex references, PG for the under 14s, but it's pretty clean, especially for YA these days. Some great lines and timely ideas and themes explored. Cinematic; could see this being a great film/TV series too. Can't wait for the sequel!

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review 2015-12-10 10:47
Inspiration for healing
The Heart of Life: Shamanic Initiation & Healing In The Modern World - Jez Hughes

I'm often wary of MBS books about healing because they can tend to blame the victim. Not this one. This is a warm, compassionate sort of book that acknowledges the ways life hurts us, and offers cope to move on from that. It is for the greater part spiritual memoir - with some fascinating stories and experiences. it's also very much a book of shamanic philosophy, and as such is a terrific insight into that whole world view. it's really readable, and accessible, I also found it helpful and encouraging.


If you're interested in shamanism, the philosophical aspect of this book is invaluable - I've read a number of shamanic titles now, and never seen the underlying ideas explored in such depth or to such a good effect.

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review 2015-04-14 17:09
Shaman Friend Enemy
Shaman, Friend, Enemy - M. Terry Green

The second in the series and not as good as the first, Shaman, Healer, Heretic, but that was brilliant (my review HERE); this is simply very good in parts and good in others. I enjoyed it though and I'm fascinated by shamanism so I shall definitely be reading the third one. 

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review 2015-03-02 20:51
Shaman, Healer, Heretic
Shaman, Healer, Heretic - M. Terry Green

I am always more than happy to download a free book from Kindle when an offer catches my eye, but I often read only a few chapters then delete the book if it fails to live up to its cover and blurb - or only a few paragraphs if it is full of grammar and spelling mistakes or has not been properly formatted for Kindle.


The Amazon Free Book system really works, though, when the book on offer is a good one and is the first of a series several of which have already been published. You immediately order – and pay for! – the sequel.


And that is what happened here. I got it in December, it sat in my Kindle, ignored, for three months, then I opened it in an idle moment and was hooked. It is, quite simply, brilliant. It is original – I have never read anything like it – it is gripping, and the heroine, Livvy, is perfect.


Livvy is a shaman in present-day Los Angeles. Well, perhaps it is a slightly alternative Los Angeles, I don't know how popular and trendy shamanism is there in reality, but in this story it is the alternative therapy and shamans are everywhere. But most of them are "techno-shamans" who make use of special goggles to enter other planes of existence, rather than drugs (traditional ones like peyote or mescaline, or more modern ones like LSD or ecstasy) or mind-altering activities such as fasting or dancing. We follow Livvy as she enters the Middleworld, then the Underworld, in search of someone's lost soul – all absolutely fascinating – and we are there when she realises that all is not right. It is too quiet. Deserted, in fact. What is happening?


And during the night she wakes in a panic. There is someone in her room. Only it is not a someone, it is a kachina, a Hopi god. Which of course is impossible, she tells herself. Her "manager", SK, a dwarf, later tells her the same. Only it was there. It touched her, tried to communicate with her. Why? Read the book and find out.


As I say, I loved it, and have already downloaded the sequel – and have added this one to my Favourites!

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text 2014-09-04 19:18
Introducing Spirituality Into Your Life: Shamanism
Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism - S. Kelley Harrell

So what should you read when you want something meaningful, something that might change your life? No, this time it's not going to be about fiction. This time I want to encourage you to read  S. Kelley Harrell's "Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism".


You are not a teen anymore? Doesn't matter! I believe the book is good for teens (mature and intelligent, the rest might have difficulties with understanding) but also for adults who enter the world of spirituality. 


It is a good introduction for anyone interested in shamanism with instructions step-by-step how to begin this incredible journey. Written in a format of a handbook with tasks or questions at the end of each chapter (titled 'What do you think?') help to introduce all the new information into your daily practices. 


And what if you are not keen on practicing shamanism? It's still a book for you: broaden your horizons and understand lifestyle and believes other than your own. Who knows, maybe reading it will light that little spark of curiosity just a bit more?


About the book:

Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism is a light-hearted and informative handbook introducing an ancient spiritual practice to today's young adults and beginning seekers. Modern shaman and author S. Kelley Harrell, gives insight into growing from an intuitive youth into a mature facilitator of healing for others, covering the history and roles of the shaman, and their relevance in our shifting times. Complete with instructions on ecstatic journeying, this guide also presents how to incorporate shamanic insights into daily life, and how to talk with others about the modern shamanic path. (from: Amazon.com)


About the author:

Kelley is a modern shaman and author in North Carolina. A lifelong intuitive, she has been on a shamanic path since 1988, and since 2000 has served her local community and an international client base through Soul Intent Arts. Her bestselling memoir, "Gift of the Dreamtime - Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma," chronicles her pivotal step from spiritual crisis into shamanism. She writes shamanic memoir, spiritual nonfiction, and new adult magickal realism. Since 2004 she's maintained the blog, "Intentional Insights," addressing reader inquiries on animism, shamanism, and the everyday paranormal. (from: Amazon.com)


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