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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Coelho's brilliant tale of young Brida, an Irish girl who wishes to become a witch, is a compelling and vivid fantasy epic. Sadly, narrator Linda Emond's uninspired and monotonous reading is a disservice to this fantastic tale. Though the story is set in Ireland during the mid-'80s, Emond makes no attempt at a regional dialect or even the slightest shift in tone for any of the characters. Her narrative voice is dull and uninspired, read with a soft whisper that will surely put most listeners to sleep before it ignites their imaginations. The story would be much better served with a narrator more willing to put their performance skills to the test and dive into the story. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 28). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Coelho’s loyal fan base will welcome the U.S. publication of Brida, another mystical pilgrimage from the master of the genre. Readers familiar with The Alchemist (1993), The Zahir (2005), and The Witch of Portobello (2007) will recognize the common themes—mysticism, discipleship, and a quest for fulfillment—that are incandescently woven into the fabric of most of his fiction. Brida O’Fern, a young Irishwoman, embarks on a voyage of self-discovery, ultimately resulting in a spiritual awakening and an acceptance of her own supernatural powers. While seeking initiation into the Tradition of the Moon, an ancient Wiccan ritual, she also discovers her soul mate and learns that love is the most divinely liberating emotion to be recognized and valued on the path to true wisdom and knowledge. Slighter than some of Coelho’s philosophically meatier novels, Brida is still a journey well worth taking; librarians should expect high demand. --Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: P.S.
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061578959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061578953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO is considered one of the most influential authors of our times. His books have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide, have been released in 170 countries and been translated into 80 languages.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, he soon discovered his vocation for writing. He worked as a director, theater actor, songwriter and journalist. His collaboration with Brazilian composer and singer Raúl Seixas gave some of the greatest classic rock songs in Brazil. In 1986, a special meeting led him to make the pilgrimage to Saint James Compostela (in Spain). The Road to Santiago was not only a common pilgrimage but a turning point in his existence. A year later, he wrote 'The Pilgrimage', an autobiographical novel that is considered the beginning of his career.

In the following year, COELHO published 'The Alchemist'. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time.

Other titles include 'Brida' (1990), 'The Valkyries' (1992), 'By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept' (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo entitle 'Maktub' (1994), the compilation of texts 'Phrases' (1995), 'The Fifth Mountain' (1996), 'Manual of a Warrior of Light' (1997), 'Veronika decides to die' (1998), 'The Devil and Miss Prym' (2000), the compilation of traditional tales in 'Stories for parents, children and grandchildren' (2001), 'Eleven Minutes' (2003), 'The Zahir' (2005), 'Like the Flowing River' (2006), 'The Witch of Portobello' (2006), 'The Winner Stands Alone' (2008), 'Aleph' (2010), 'Manuscript found in Accra' (2012) and 'Adultery' (2014).

He has received numerous prestigious international awards. He is member of the Academy of Letters of Brazil since 2002 and Messenger of Peace by the United Nations since 2007. In 2009 he received the Guinness World Record for the most translated author for the same book (The Alchemist).

The man behind the author likes to write and practices Kyudo - a meditative archery. He loves reading, walking, football and computers. In that sense, he has always maintained a close contact with his readers but now, and thanks to the new media, he has established an incredible feedback with them. Paulo was the second most influential celebrity on Twitter in 2010 according to Forbes and he is the writer with the highest number of followers in the social media.

In the past years Paulo Coelho has expanded his presence in the internet with his daily blogs in Wordpress (http://paulocoelhoblog.com), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paulo-Coelho/11777366210), Twitter (https://twitter.com/paulocoelho) & Instagram (http://instagram.com/alkmist), among others. He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=paulabraconnot) and Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulo_coelho/sets) , offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. Erickson on May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I haven't read a lot of Coelho, only The Alchemist, which I liked but didn't love as much as many people, and his most recent book Aleph, which I liked a lot and is the reason I decided to try some of his other works. I'm glad I did because I loved Brida. However, looking through the reviews I find that I didn't see it in quite the same way many readers did - as a love story or story about the wicca path. Instead I read it as a story about the universal truths of both seeking and teaching the mysteries in any tradition. I felt it was really about the choices we face on any mystic path, particularly the choice to give up an uncomplicated view of existence in pursuit of truth, which we then find will always be incomplete. I also felt it had many insights about being a teacher within such paths - the sacred trust that this is, and the personal sacrifices that must be made to consider what is right for a student - what will lead them closer to their own path in a particular moment - at all times.

On the surface it's the story of a young woman, Brida, who pursues the study of magic on a wicca-like path, the Tradition of the Moon, but also has another teacher, a Magus, who teaches the Tradition of the Sun. She also is seeking love, and her soul mates, and there is a lot of discussion of what love really is, and how it changes once one is on a path such as this. Coelho really is a magnificent writer. The book builds into a crescendo of insights on the part of each of the characters, just as the final ritual in the book builds.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jackie Blem on July 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've never read anything by Paulo Coelho before, so I was rather surprised by the pagan spirituality of this little novel. It's the story of Brida, an Irish girl in training to become a witch. It is full of beautifully worded prose--I found myself making little tics and stars beside many paragraphs to go back and examine again (my apologies to those who get the ARC from me, lol). There is some seriously high minded spirituality folded into this simple book about a woman's quest to learn to use her powers and her heart. I was especially intrigued with the Catholic Christianity woven within the more traditional magical teachings and philosophies. This is, apparently, one of Coelho's earlier works that has finally been translatted from the original Portuguese. I found it a good way to whet my appetite for his other works before I come to a decision of what it is I think of him as a writer.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Karina on October 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Let's just say this book is not what I expected it would be after reading the Alchemist,which was great!Like other people said it before me it is boring and towards the end it gets so confusing ,it seems as if even the author himself forgot where he was going with the storyline.I honestly tried to focus on what I was reading but it's hard when it seems like the same words just keep repeating and the author can't get to the 'message 'of the story.I was very disappointed!
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Valerie White on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. I have always enjoyed this author's works, but this was awful. He should stick to writing what he knows, obviously it is not the concepts of Wicca. It is a very misleading book for people who might think they are actually being taught something about Wicca and modern witchcraft. it is strictly fiction and nonsense. Dancing naked around a fire and a woman named Wicca quoting Jesus all the time- puleese!! It's ridiculous, and not only that, but it is badly written and boring. If you want to learn about soulmates and Irish Druids there are many good books that teach the reality of such things. You don't need to dance naked to be a "wise one" which is what wicca means. And you certainly would never want a teacher quoting a bunch of christianity at you if you wanted to learn about the old religion. St Patrick and the church were killing Druids and pagans (the country people who had their own religion) not snakes. This book was just plain silly. I kept reading hoping it would get better, but it got worse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. R. LAVALLEY on October 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I like Paulo's books as a Rule, he always makes me think, but at the same time, he can make me more than a little nuts.

The Character Wicca
Reminds me of no Wiccan I have known in 30 years as a Pagan, this book might provide some Guidance to those seeking a Christ-Witch path, but it has nothing to do with Wicca, actual Gardnarian Wicca, nor much to do with the Larger Pagan community, and I see from other reviews I am not the Only Pagan to find "Wicca" unfortunately named, after all it's not 1970 Wicca's been around for awhile and should be respected/ presented for what it is ... at the very least a person representing another path, (however valid) simply should never have been called Wicca. Which makes me wonder if that particular point is not an error in Translation, If the original had been in Italian, and the Witch referred to as Streggia, one could see a translator who is not aware they are two very separate traditions, wrongly translating Stregga as Wicca(n). I do wonder if something like that is going on here, but it really mars the book from this Pagans point of view.

Paulo claims to be an initiate, and that his fiction in part is based on that initiated path, but this book leaves me skeptical, the Quote,"I received a severe reprimand from my Teacher, 'There may well be quicker or easier methods, that doesn't matter; what matter is that the Tradition remains Unchanged.' Strikes me as particularly odd, it may well be what an outsider expects of Magick, Old Old books and Older Ways, but the reality is IMHO quite Different, and I would suggest to Paulo and the Reader, "The Only Tree in the forest that does not change is a Dead One."

The Book has some value, it certainly makes one think, but ... I'm not so sure it provides any real insight into the realities of a Magickal life.

Blessings, BB.
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