Thursday, March 18, 2010

Through the Faerie Glass by Kenny Klein

Published February, 2010.

Contrary to today's sanitized depictions, the hobgoblins, imps, sprites, elves, and other magical creatures embodied in folklore can be quite nasty. Kenny Klein draws on folkloric record - ancient songs, stories of forest and field, legends, myths, and sagas - to reveal faeries' true nature: where they live; what they do; their desires, fears, powers, proclivities, and enchantments.

Entertaining and enlightening, this unique guide explores human interactions with Mab the Faerie Queen, Puck the prankster, Reynardine the fox man, Jenny Green Teeth, and an array of other legendary fey. It includes rituals and spells for faerie protection, tells the reader how to enlist faerie help in finding lost objects or gaining inspiration, and offers practical
tips for those who dare to venture into the world of the Faerie. (book back blurb)

I read Field Guide to the Little People before this particular book on faeries so when I picked this one up, I thought it was going to be kind of along the same lines: pretty straight forward of the whys and hows of faeries. Actually they're more like a collection of essays. Not in and of itself bad but if it's not really your learning style, or you're looking for something a little simpler to get into, this might not be your bag.

In all honesty, I had some trouble getting into this book. I wouldn't say it's overwrought but I just found my mind wandering at far too many parts of the book. Yes, the lore is fascinating and some of the tales are pretty cool but overall, I would have liked something a little more concise than such a thorough analysis of Faerie. I wasn't expecting it.

There were parts that I ravaged through. For instance, I found it absolutely amazing how closely faerie lore and the Old Testament mirror each other and how, according to the Old Testament, there were multiple gods that created the world, not just one. But it was that one that decided to make his own world, Eden, that can likely mirror what we know of Faerie. Just those parallels Klein drew I thought were immensely fascinating.

But the rest of it, I think you really need to be in a particular mindset to read through this book. Mainly, you need to be ready to sit through lectures about theories and deep analysis of old writings. At times I felt like I was reading one of my English texts (not actually your standard text but a lot of them were filled with essays that read like this book) so I thought it was a little off-putting.

I can't really use this book as reference for any of my work simply because it's not too easy to reference anything. I much prefer something along the lines of an encyclopedia where information is easily obtained. Here I'd have to wade through too much information to find what I was looking for. What information I gathered from it has proven pretty useful and believe me, it offers a lot of worthwhile information, but I wasn't thrilled with the execution.

If you're looking for what is rightly a collection of essays on the theories and analyses of the faerie world, you'll want to read this book just to develop your knowledge of the Fair Kind. But if you're looking for something for, say, writing your own work and need something to reference, I'd recommend Field Guide to the Little People. I won't say don't read this book. In fact, I think anyone that's looking to write about faeries, or just learn more about then in general, should read this book and take notes because it offers some insightful information. But I don't think a second reading is all that rendered.

1 comment:

Arya said...

Cool review. I've seen alot of stuff about this book. Didn't know it was analytical. lol =)

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