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House of Glass Paperback – March 3, 2014
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From the Author
I have written two magical books under his Druidic pen-name, Alferian Gwydion MacLir. Those are the very well-received "Wandlore" and the forthcoming (Fall 2015) "The Witch's Wand." I am also a wandmaker in my spare time and host the web site Bardwood.com. The Celydon Saga is based on my practice and study of Druidry. It is a series of magical school stories based on real magic rather than fantasy, and set in an alternative future earth in which the Druids never lost their primacy over the religious and intellectual life of Britain and her empire. The first two books of the Celydon Saga -- "House of Glass" and "First Term at Four Hallows" are written with a teenage audience in mind, as the heroine of the books is a teenager attending a druid prep school in the Yorkshire Dales. Light-hearted and full of little allusions to other books and to history, this is a different and perhaps more old-fashioned sort of series. It has more in common with the old Nancy Drew series or Elinor Brent-Dyer's Chalet School series than with "The Hunger Games" or "Twilight." Harry Potter fans will find it of interest because it is in the same genre of "school stories" with magic in them, but in the case of the Celydon books, a more complex and rich relationship to our actual Western magical traditions.
About the Author
James W. Maertens, Writer, Wizard, and Seeker of Adventure, lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his family and familiar cat, Minerva. He is a Freemason, Druid, gardener, independent scholar, and wandmaker. A scholar of fantasy literature, Dr. Maertens holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Maertens has published numerous papers and reviews, some of which you will find on his website (bardwood.com) if you look hard enough. His 2011 book Wandlore: The Art of Crafting the Ultimate Magical Tool published under his druidical pen name, Alferian Gwydion MacLir, has been widely received as the seminal study of the wandmaking art.
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Top customer reviews
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The prose and style are obviously written by an experienced, trained author. It flows smoothly and clearly without the bumps and ruts that make so many self-published novels a hassle to read. It feels as if it were professionally edited. Most important it is a fun read. You will desire more.
What I also liked about House of Glass was its many, many historical, mythic,Celtic, British, geographic... 'allusions', facts and subtle jokes for the au courant. I spent much time checking names, places and concepts on Google and Wikipedia to determine what or who was real or fictional. There is a mix, but more was real than expected. As such I discovered new pearls. It will be a treat for those of you who like finding hidden gems.
Since infancy she has lived with the Birch family; uncle, aunt and cousins. She has many adventures with cousin Sabrina and they love each other dearly. An older cousin, Stephanie, is amazed with Emily because of her lively spirit and because she is not like the other Birch's in looks or behavior. As the story unfolds we learn along with Emily, from some people she meets at a party that she is different from the Birch's and that her last name is Glass. Major Birch and his wife decide that Emily needs a more disciplined education than she would get at the local school, sent her to a very strict girls school in France. She is rescued from this fate in a mysterious way!