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on 29 December 2004
I'm so glad this book is readily available again. I read it first about 14 years ago and have never forgotten it (have read it again in recent years). The book creates an England from History which many would believe to be pure fantasy but (as author Brian Bates argues) has grounding in historical fact. Themes such as magic, sorcery, faith, religion and the nature of the soul are dealt with in a compelling, scary and exciting novel. Christian belief is subtly challenged against the 'old religions' of anglo saxon England as Christian missionary Wat Brand is taken on a tour of the Pagan world by Sorceror Wulf. A great read for anyone interested in our connection with the earth, magic, history, folklore and spirituality.
(Obscure Fact!-Thrash/Heavy Metal fans who like the book may want to seek out the album 'Dreamweaver' by British Thrashers 'Sabbat'. This is a concept album based on the book. Hardly easy listening but interesting lyrically)
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on 2 July 2009
I just finished reading this book and I gobbled it up in less than two days (which is fast for me!). 'The Way of Wyrd: Tales of an Anglo-Saxon Sorcerer' is a fictional account surrounding a primary source Anglo-Saxon 'spell book' kept in the British Library. The story woven around this document gives one a peek into the spiritual life of the Anglo-Saxons. Brian Bates explains all this in the introduction to the book and makes what he writes come even more to life as a result!

The book is fiction based on thorough historical research. The main character is a Christian scribe (Wat Brand) who is sent deep into Anglo-Saxon England to record the practices of the pagans, in an attempt to later convert them. Brand is a funny lead character and it was highly enjoyable to see his reaction to the strange and often (to him) abhorrent pagan customs; customs demonstrated by his guide. An eccentric and theatrical sorcerer called 'Wulf'. Wulf is absolutely hilarious and very much the star of the book! He possesses an exuberant sense of humour and it tickled me that he so easily referred to his gods as 'fools' and 'spoilt children'. The story itself is about Brand coming to accept these pagan practices and seeing the inherent beauty and truth within them. This was extremely well done in my opinion. As a newcomer to reading about Anglo-Saxon paganism myself, I was learning right along with Brand. During my reading I found myself increasingly fascinated with this culture.

The Way of Wyrd also contains a lengthy bibliography to devour ones way through. The book has a lovely way about it. It seems to have been a labour of love for the author and I fully agree with him that we English have a very rich cultural heritage just waiting to be discovered! Further reading would include: Looking for the Lost Gods of England and The Lost Gods of England.
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on 12 April 2010
A gripping an illuminating tale from start to finish. I'm not a 'natural' reader - I generally take ages to finish a book (in fact I have a number of unfinished books lying around at any one time) as my concentration is poor. So, unless a book is totally enthralling, it gets read in fragments. This book however, was gripping from start to finish. The fact that it is, to a degree, based on fact only serves to enhance the experience. I really enjoyed the way it was written and the pictures it painted in my mind. Overall, a highly recommended and enjoyable read.
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on 1 December 2004
I was given this book to read by a school teacher as part of our early mediaeval studies, started reading somewhat reluctantly, and found I loved it! It has stayed in my mind for the last couple of decades, and I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on a new copy. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 3 January 2008
I read this book after some celebrity (can't remember who) said it was their favourite book and I was looking for something to read on holiday. I don't think I would have otherwise. Glad I did though, it a lovely, spiritual story, thought provoking but simple too. Quick and easy to read. If you liked 'the Alchemist' I think you'll like this.
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on 2 February 2011
I recently purchased, downloaded and read this book on my Kindle. I was a little apprehensive about reading it as I am a Christian and I could see that this book was going to clash with my own personal beliefs seeing as it is about Paganism and sorcery. Saying that though, some of my Christian friends are dismayed that I read (and enjoyed) the Harry Potter books. :-)

The Way of Wyrd (pronounced "Wierd", not "Word" as I tended to say it >_< )is set in, or around, the year 674, where a young novice monk is sent by his monastery to investigate a pagan area of the country and report back in order to allow a mission to be made in which to convert the pagans to Christianity. The novice monk meets a sorcerer who teaches him about the Wyrd, a pagan "religion". The book, though fictional, is based on real life back then and is very interesting.

The story is a gripping read and one I thoroughly enjoyed even though it went against my own personal beliefs. I am glad I didn't just blindly refuse to read such literature, and considered it an enriching experience. I thought the book was marvellously well written and really did have me hooked until the last page. I would have no proplem in recommending this to my Christian friends.

Finally, a word on the presentation on the Kindle; As many Kindle owners have experienced, myself included, many publishers it seems just convert a book (very poorly in my opinion) to Kindle format without even bothering to proof-read it prior to releasing it. I am please to say, however, that this is not the case for this e-Book. Vary well formatted, no obvious typos and vary easy to read.
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on 3 October 2011
I read this book years ago then sadly lent and lost it. I was delighted to find it available on Amazon. The one thing that stayed in my mind was the image of all things being connected on a web. This prescient book is ageless, fresh and as pertinent as when it was first published. Now, nearly 20 years after it was first published we are all connected to each other by a electric/computer web. Reacting in real time and sharing our thoughts and deeds with all. This book delivers fresh gifts and thoughts on each reading. It provokes the reader to think and examine ideas and other ways of being in the world. I recommend this book highly, it's beautiful writing and imagery invites you to pause and savour this fascinating, unique work.
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on 17 September 2015
I first discovered this book through one of my favourite albums of all time - Dreamweaver by Sabbat - which quite simply pure poetry with racous guitars and drums. The album is based on this book telling the story of Wat Brands' quest to discover the secrets of Saxon beliefs.

Naturally the book covers a lot more detail than the album and that extra richness adds a lot to the story. This is a fascinating journey, not only of very different faiths, but also differences in mindsets. The exploration of the less familiar Saxon faith is portrayed in a vivid style, colouring the world with its viewpoint.

As interesting as the journey is, it's the style of writing that elevates it into an excellent read. Although the one slight downside is also evident here. Generally speaking the quality of the writing is superb, with some exquisite turn of phrase that really draws you into the wonders and terrors the young monk faces. It is a bit uneven though, in patches the prose is simply workmanlike, although that does provide an accent to the pacing of the story.

It's a hard book to place in any particular genre, it's a spiritual journey, yet also a historical record. In many ways it also reads like a fantasy tale, albeit one based within a genuine belief structure. in some ways its also a horror tale with some very dark moments. I like a book that doesn't settle easily into standard definitions and the imagination and emotion of this story is something I'd recommend to anyone.
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on 4 March 2004
All I can say about the book is that it is an excellent read, easy to 'get into' and the storyline takes you away.
I've read it 3 times now.
(I wish it were available as a Palm Ebook).
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on 17 June 2012
This novel takes the reader on an epic journey into a long-forgotten world. It's set in the Anglo-Saxon era of the Britain - set around the 5th or 6th century I think. Based on (or at least inspired by) an ancient scroll written by a German monk sent to Britain to convert the pagans, who ends up being converted to their spiritual viewpoint.
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