Book Reviews

Book Review: Welsh Magic: A Guide to the Spirits, Lore, and Magic of Wales

By Mhara Starling

Publication Date: February 8, 2022

250 pages

I heard about this book several weeks ago on a podcast and set about looking for it.  I’m currently beginning research on a novel that features a witch of Welsh origins and thought it would be extremely helpful in crafting her backstory, in addition to being drawn to it for my own personal interests.

I went into this hoping for lots of detail, sort of a one-stop-shop for research which, in hindsight, was ridiculous of me.  Because first of all, I know better and secondly, that’s not what this book is about.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of detail provided but this read is not an author talking at you, telling you stories about Welsh folklore and witchcraft, and filling your head with details.  It’s more like Starling invited you in to peruse her own personal library, then sat down to discuss concepts with you over your hot beverage of choice.  Her voice is so warm and inviting, it draws the reader in and not to be cliché, she almost feels like a friend by the end.  I’m willing to bet her fan base will rise dramatically once this book hits bookstore shelves.

Starling is very up front that the information she provides is based on her own magickal workings and she’s also very clear that she’s only making suggestions for practitioners – she never tells anyone how to do anything.  Which I appreciate.  While the book does provide information on Welsh deities, pagan holidays, holy places, and (my particular favorite) the magickal significance of trees, Starling also peppers the chapters with rituals to put the information to practical use.  

My overall takeaway is that this is a wonderful jumping-off point for a new magickal practitioner or someone beginning their research into Welsh witchcraft and lore.  Starling provides a section on further reading if you do want to dive into any sections more in-depth, as well as a glossary of Welsh pronunciations.  

I’m happy I picked up this book as my first reference into my research, since it’s given me guidance on where to look next, as well as another author/practitioner to follow.

I rated this book four stars.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I want to give a sincere “thank you” to NetGalley and Llewellyn Publications for providing me with an advanced reader copy.  This review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

My rating system:

5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.

4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.

3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.

2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.

Magick happens when you step into who you truly are and embrace that which fulfills your soul.

Dacha Avelin

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