"The Wiccan Mystic" is author Ben Gruagach's answer to the complaint "I'm TIRED of Wicca 101 books! Where are the Wicca 201s?" With a few exceptions, he's created a book that fits the bill.
The basic premise of the book is that Wicca is a mystery tradition, and the practitioner a mystic. He does a wonderful job making the argument that a mystery tradition doesn't necessarily have to be group-oriented, and that the mystery is between the practitioner and the Divine. Those who are looking for good perspectives on Wicca as a solitary initiatory religion will definitely find useful fodder, and traditionalists may end up disagreeing. Gruagach holds his own, though.
The bulk of the book beyond the initial definitions deals with various topics of interest to the Wiccan who already has the basics down and wants to go further. There's not a bunch of prefabricated spells and rituals, though; other than some pathworking templates in one of the appendices, it's thankfully free of pre-crafted material. Instead we're offered a wide variety of food for thought. Gruagach covers critical thinking skills, thoughts on balancing group and solitary work, philosophy and ethics, and even guidelines for critiquing a book in a balanced manner. All the material is aimed towards getting the reader to think about hir path, why s/he's there, and what s/he's going to do with it--without dogmatically flogging the author's personal agenda (which doesn't even come into play here).
There's a bit of what initially looks like 101 material in here, but it's approached from a 201 perspective. Rather than giving a list of deities, Gruagach offers up ideas on actually connecting to the Divine (rather than a "stereotype", as he puts it). In other places he could have gone into a little more detail; the two paragraphs dedicated to familiars was pretty scant, and could have used a little more definition of what he was considering a familiar--it sounded a bit like he was considering all pets to be familiars. A little more elaboration on the various points that didn't get so much attention would have helped to flesh the text out more.
I would also like to have seen more personal anecdotes to back up some of his thoughts. How have these ideas worked for him? What processes helped him learn what he passes on to others? Additionally, I think the appendix with the pathworkings could have been made into a standalone chapter.
There's a terrific bibliography in the back; Gruagach has most certainly done his homework. It's not all just neopagan source material, either; I saw Aldous Huxley in there, as well as a translation of the Greek Magical Papyrii. What I would really liked to have seen, though, is in-text or footnote citations of the material that didn't come right out of his head (for example, his historical research). There are a few endnotes, but they tend to be more commentary on the material than actual citations. A big long bibliography is a lot more useful if there are citations in the main body of the work showing exactly where the author got a particular piece of information. Not only does it show the author's work, but it also helps others who want to do more research on a given point or check the research against their own.
The only other quibble I have is with the layout. Maybe it's just me, but the styles of fonts used for the headers seemed a little inconsistent, with a mixture of italics and bolds at various font sizes. The text also wasn't justified, giving the right margin of the text a ragged look and giving away its self-published origin (though, to be fair, in both content and style it's one of the best self-published works I've ever seen, and better than some of the traditionally published works out there!).
Still, the positives much outweigh the negatives here. Gruagach has created a much-needed text in the corpus of Wiccan knowledge beyond 101. I applaud his efforts, and encourage his writing career wholeheartedly!