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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

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on 24 February 2013
Never thought I could read such a scholarly book with such pleasure and anticipation right to the end, and fast.
It moves between heaven and earth and through time and cultures, introducing or bringing to memory crowds of travellers,
winged or not, at a relaxed, enriching pace. Let us take a quick look at Azazel and the scapegoat sent alone to the desert by Aaron,another to the jinni, or genie, summoned by Aladdin's lamp : in both cases, lovely enlightening etymologies, questionings as to the messengers (angels?demons?)and the message (perhaps a half-way , a transiton, to take us from poly- to mono-theism?).
Now a leap to the supreme seraph in Isaiah's vision: "a powerful fiery angel of purification" ( we are in 739 BC ; by the way seraphim have 6 wings, yes, 6! and no s to seraphim as the im is already a plural); by contrast we also hear "the still small voice" as did Elijah (9th cent.BC) and which speaks from within all of us.
Add among countless other riches the humour and the personal voice of Valery Rees, you have a powerful cocktail.
A personal diamond for me is the idea, attributed to Baruch a disciple of Jeremiah, that the tree "which led Adam astray" in Eden was no apple but a grapevine, later replanted by Noah after the Deluge: as a Burgundian I love it, as does a South African acquaintance of mine from Constantia valley, one of the southern hemisphere's oldest wine-making regions; "the curse was turned to a blessing ... but those who abuse it risk eternal fire".
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on 16 March 2017
An ideal book for those who take the Angelic Realm seriously.
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on 27 July 2014
Not what I thought I was getting. Author believes in angles and this came across in many places.
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on 1 March 2013
The jacket cover quotes Melvyn Bragg's personal one-line endorsement of Valery Rees's recently published "From Gabriel to Lucifer" and yes, it really is a terrific read. Like the above reviewers, I bow before the breadth and depth of the research underlying this transcendent subject and admire the ease and flow with which the history of angels has been collated and presented. The author writes as she speaks - calmly, authoritatively and with great clarity. A very scholarly,very reader-friendly book.
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on 22 February 2013
This is a huge subject which it is covered comprehensively in this book. The author has a thorough understanding and writes in a way that's easy for lesser mortals to comprehend (for which I am most grateful)!
Highly intelligent and erudite - most definitely recommended.
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on 22 February 2013
A colleague recommended this book and it was my bedside reading for ten days. I enjoyed the breadth of reference, the depth of scholarship and the number of references to follow up. I recommend it heartily.
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on 2 March 2013
This survey covers a huge scope, from the origins of angels in the Bible and Chaldean mythology to the hermaphroditic Victorian angels with wings and harps, dipping into Islamic legends, Plotinus, Aquinas, Dante and Milton on the way. The author shows that angels have been a common if not universal feature of man's attempt to understand the world and the place of religion in it. Lots of food for thought!
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on 30 November 2014
Rumi said that 'the angels were pure intellect' - something not mentioned here, coupled with the obvious fact that Valery Rees has a love for those unseen ones who keep watch over us, this cultural history demonstrates the kind of intelligent clarity that can manifest when head and heart are in harmony. As an acknowledged Ficino scholar, Marsilio Ficino is clearly a good role model for writing on what in some respects is a difficult subject, for it ranges from Gabriel - a messenger from the Light, to Lucifer - who has fallen from the Light. Rumi would agree that 'man is a little lower than the angels', but asserts that with the help of the good angels - and there are, thankfully a lot them, they can raise our souls towards the light. They are said to be devoid of free will. ' Wings or no wings? That is just human personification; I am convinced they do not need them.This is the Gabriel mode. The Lucifer mode - the one that thinks he has free will, is the serpent that wants to pull us down to the earth - from which our bodies were made, but which is not our origin. The fact that the seem to live, like the daemons, in this world between the sensible and the intelligible, as Diotima in Plato's 'Symposium' suggests, means that they can both guide and protect. Enough has been said about 'the other ones. VG VR.
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on 5 March 2013
What is gratifying, astonishing and enjoyable about this work (I'm tempted to add the word 'unique'.......!) is that it is fascinating and elegant narrative at the same time as setting out remarkable information and thinking.

I found the title tantalising enough to go for it on that basis alone. What I found was the equivalent of a very-well written story through time that touches on all sorts of references to angels of the kind that every one of us encounters throughout life without knowing the origin, the background or the additional information that creates the 3D understanding and images conjured up by what Valery Rees has found out and tells us about.

To come across concepts such as 'falling from grace' and the fact that Lucifer was an angel and not a diabolical figure is fascinating and memorable. The book means as much to a reader and to anyone with a thirst for knowledge, for something pleasurable and new as it would to someone seeking carefully and cleverly verified information.

It's a brilliant idea and skilfully put in to action. Mingling fiction, fantasy, facts and phenomena like this is a very unusual skill for a writer and is very successfully put across. Reading for pleasure and for new knowledge mingle naturally and cleverly throughout these angelic pages! Many thanks to this outstanding author for a very memorable read.
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on 28 September 2013
A hackneyed phrase, but this really is a cornucopia of delight. The author shares with us not only her remarkable depth and breadth of both knowledge and understanding, but also her delight in it.
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