Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. I’m thrilled to be reviewing Colleen Chesebro’s new release – Fairies, Myths & Magic II. Colleen brings us into various fairy worlds, explains the myths and celebrations of pagan traditions, and stories inspired by the winter solstice.
In this second book in the Fairies, Myths, & Magic series, step into a world where dark fairies and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by winter and the celebration of the winter solstice.
From autumn’s scary fairies to the forgotten female characters of Yule, prepare to embrace the magical winter solstice myths from around the world. Meet Frau Holle in the Wild Hunt, Befana—the Christmas Witch of Italy, and the Japanese goddess Ameratasu who controls the springtime. Prepare to embrace the Scottish trows, the Irish Goddess of Winter—the Cailleach Béara, and Snegurochka—the Snow Girl.
Learn how to make Yuletide rituals part of your celebration by embracing the symbols of Yule by decorating with evergreens and crystals.
My 5 Star Review:
This is book 2 in Chesebro’s FM&M series. In this edition, there is a delicious sprinkling of poetry, ancient pagan myths and legends, faery folklore, celebrations of winter solstice, and short flash stories with accompanying poems to highlight the stories.
The book begins by explaining the magic folklore and legends and some of the rituals of the winter solstice, pagan rituals, and an eerie faery story, the Changeling, about a little girl gone missing as revenge by an evil faery queen because of a generational curse. The way the author evokes the story is not only engaging, but the folklore in her stories give us insights as to the varying rituals pertaining to each subject.
In the Changeling, Trisha and David are filled with woe when Trish discovers her little four year old has gone missing from the back yard without explanation. When David arrives home from work and hears this news, he begins searching for the little one and discovers a piece of cholla wood in his garage with an engraved image of his daughter, making him realize, it was time for him to pay his debt to the faeries, otherwise known as the ‘good people’- despite them not all being good. David explains to his wife the curse and the story about how the dark faery queen shows up when it’s time to pay the debt for the accidental death of a baby killed back in David’s Irish ancestral history. The myth goes back to when the gentry would snatch a child and replace them with a changeling and send the human child to the ‘Otherworld’. But the people learned how to deal with these evil faeries and knew how to get their children back. In this story, the original plan of return backfired and so the penance for David’s family was that they would never know when the queen would show up and snatch one of their children.
David searches frantically through archived Gaelic scriptures in hopes to find out more about how the curse worked, while Trish searched online how to deal with the faery. David wants to sacrifice himself in his daughter’s stead, but Trish finds a different solution worth trying before sacrificing her husband’s life for her daughter’s. On Halloween, the next night, David and Trisha stood in the desert under a full moon and waited for the faery queen to appear. In a whirlwind, the queen appeared and swooped them right up and took them into her world. Trish gives an offering to the queen in exchange for her daughter and discovers her daughter and another changeling who looks just like her daughter. You will have to read on to discover if a bargain is struck and who is this other child. A few other of my favorite stories – Trash or Treasure? – The old saying – ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, Night of the Mothers – a Germanic holiday that celebrates motherhood and female ancestors. The author talks about Yuletide and takes us through the celebrations of solstice from various countries around the world – Germany, Italy, Iceland, China, Japan, and more.
Yuletide is the time to release the darkness and back to the light – making way for the sun’s return to spring. We will learn the significance of holly, ivy, mistletoe, and everything else tied in with this celebration, foods eaten to celebrate, and more. Did you know the foliage of the Evergreen trees represent immortality and mistletoe represents luck, love and fertility? Where did the usage of Christmas trees originate? Read this book to find the answers and more.