Voluspa: Seidth as Wyrd Consciousness, is one of the most frustrating books that I may have ever read. Granted, I'm not a scholar on her level, but the book is written only for people who are.
Desmond shows in this book that she has an amazing grasp on the scholarship of the lore, and a great deal of insight into the shamanic practice of Seidth. After reading this book, however I'm just not sure what I learned about it.
I consider myself to be pretty decent with language and vocabulary skills, but this book leaves me at a loss. The vocabulary is thick and off-putting, as Desmond prefers to use the most esoteric terminology possible in any situation. She introduces terminology without bothering to define it. As a heathen myself, I've read a decent number of books which use terms like wyrd, orlog, maegen and the like, but I've sure never heard of tivar before. If you decide to take on this book, make sure you bring a dictionary.
There is so much information and knowledge, but it feels like it's coming completely from left field. She makes broad generalizations based on specifics, but lists no particular rationale for why she feels that way. For instance, why does she choose to refer to Ymir as Aurgelmir, and what basis does she have for changing his name? Why does she assume that there must be 12 Hlidskalf-like ledges around the 9 worlds based on the fact that she knows of two?
She cites sources in a way that doesn't explain why she is using them, so the basis for the information is lost. For instance, on page 21 she states, after introducing Ymir "Connectedly, this relates to the Indo-European model of sound as the first of all things created, in conjunction with Fire and Ice (1)." OK, fair enough. That's a citation that I can understand. The following paragraph, however, contains a lot more information that is not cited : "Aurgelmir (Ymir), exclusively, is the triple enclosure, father to Thrudgelmir, grandfather to Bergelmir. These three are resonance chambers..." That, surely, was not to be found in the poem's lines, nor does it relate to the previous source in any way, nor have I encountered information like this elsewhere. How do you know the names of Ymir's children? If it's a UPG, fine, but please, please mention that so that we know! This is easily the most frustrating aspect of this book.
While Voluspa is an intense study on the poem of Voluspa, it is a frustrating read for anyone who is interested in approaching the subject from a purely scholarly level. This book intermingles a great deal of scholarly knowledge with what I can only assume is a great deal of UPG. Unfortunately, based on the way that she has cited this book, there's no way to tell which is which, and that is what leads me to give this book a low rating. If she would only have cited some of her sources!!!!!