Twelve Wild Swans is an initiatory journey in Starhawk's "Reclaiming" tradition. Like The Spiral Dance it offers a no-nonsense introduction to the world of Witchcraft and Paganism, but this book takes a very different approach. Taking a well known fairy tale as the basis of the journey, Starhawk and Hilary Valentine guide the reader through three different journeys, making the book a valuable resource for the experienced and inexperienced alike.
While I don't personally subscribe to all of the ideas in this book, I greatly enjoyed reading it and I look forward to many re-readings. My only concern is that the path it presents would be a difficult one for someone to follow alone: the emphasis is on group rituals and the support of a coven or group. Even so, there's a great deal here that needs to be practised alone.
Following the fairy tale of the title, the reader is introduced to the basic tools and concepts of the Craft in the "Elements" path, is taken on a journey of inner discovery on the "Inner" path, and is shown some ways to turn self-knowledge into action in the "Outer" path. But it's more than just a manual: this is an in-depth analysis of a mythic story, leading the reader who chooses to follow some or all of the exercises to an in-depth knowledge of self and the world.
Twelve Wild Swans will not suit everyone, but I recommend it to anyone interested in exploring the Pagan pathways with an open mind, and I highly recommend it to anyone who teaches the Craft.