The Golden Web Hardcover – 1 May 2005
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From the Publisher
The paperback was published in 2004 in an edition of 1,000, and we have very few remaining. This is the first printing in hardback of Nell Grey's pagan novel and has been produced especially for collectors in a limited edition of 500. The inside cover is of black Wibalin in a fine linen finish with an unusual design based on the dust jacket in gold blocking on the front and the title and author's name in gold on the spine. All copies are signed by the author on the title page.
From the Inside Flap
Ellie is a child to whom the spirits speak, and who possesses a mystical connection to the earth and an instinctive feeling for its magic and that of the gods and goddesses of our ancestors. Her parents, concerned for the health of her small brother, cannot begin to understand her; she seems to them almost alien, and when they catch her in an act of bloodless sacrifice to a beautiful marble statue in the garden beneath the light of the new moon she is sent away to boarding school.
This is the story of her quest to find some unbroken thread of belief from those ancient times, and a people with whom she feels at one, and to come to terms with the consequences of the practice of the Art Magick, and the implications of the Witches Law: 'An it harm none, Do what ye will.'
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Although the descriptions and the flow of the prose is sustained remarkably well throughout, the characterisation is poor. Only the narrator's voice and character really comes through. There are reams of strange sounding names to grapple with (a commune of 20+ people) and most of them are rather sketchily drawn. For this reason, it's hard to get too involved in the plot, or care overmuch at what happens to the characters.
The only real excitement comes near the very end, and the novel is wrapped up so abruptly I found it rather an unsatisfying conclusion. I see there's a sequel, and so the story will continue there. I hope the characters are better drawn. This was an interesting insight into Wicca, but probably not a story I'd want to follow in a sequel.
Ellie finally finds her allie in the shape of her aunt Wren, who encourages her to follow her dreams. Haneth,Kato,Danu and Oya, all become part of her new found family and she learns of true love.
Although some parts did come as a surprise, it only encourages the reader to keep going......l really did not want this to end.
Nell Grey has put so much thought and feeling into this book. Long may she continue writing......Blessed Be
Beautifully written, it is a story of love, sex, magic (both white and black)and madness set against the materialism and mediocrity of modern society.
A woderful tonic for the mundane. I look forward to the sequel.
The first part of Three Magic Women is as strange as Una herself. One can't help asking questions about madness, where and how it begins and how broad the cusp of sanity and insanity is. Una's story is punctuated and paralleled (in an odd and non-literal way), by verses from Edmund Spenser's epic poem The Faerie Queene, which seems in some way as mysterious and multi-layered as Una herself.
Part 2 takes place in the present day and is written in a completely different way. Una's voice has gone, to be replaced with a straightforward third person narrative. Events escalate as Ellie attempts to find herself, until the wonderfully lyrical end which will stay with me.
These days more of us are holding to ecologically based beliefs and the knowledge that humans cannot do as they wish with the world and simply take what they want. The balance shown in this book, the following of the cycles of the year as causes for celebration, all this rings true without a belief in the ways of Ellie's Hidden People. This is at its basic level, simply a gripping story of members of a family whose gifts are strange to most people but whose intentions in using them were good. It's a riveting read!