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Words of the Witches [Paperback]

Various , Yvonne Jocks
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 6, 2002
Real magic and witches are far more exciting than anything pop culture has dreamed up. Modern-day Witches live by one commandment—Harm None. But even knowing the Rule of Three—that which you do returns thrice to you—following that commandment isn't easy in the face of threats to their families, their jobs, and even their lives. Against such odds, can these women summon the power to follow the most sacred rule?

These stories offer a glimpse under the veil of superstitions and misunderstandings about witchery—and a fascinating look at the ancient secrets of some thoroughly modern women and men.

Includes contributions from:

  • Maggie Shayne
  • Celia Moon
  • Evelyn Vaughn
  • Rosemary Edghill
  • Zelina Winters
  • Valery Taylor
  • Jen Sokoloski
  • Pamela Luzier
  • Lorna Tedder

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Yvonne Jocks writes historical romance novels as well as her academic work like editing the reprint anthology, A Witch's Brew. She is a member of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (August 6, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425184978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425184974
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,611,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This story was very dark and realistic, probably more like what it was really like at the witch trials.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Wiccan Reading March 2, 2004
By Jay
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book contains a lot of short stories with Wiccan characters. I was more than happy Bast was brought to life one more time. I love her!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (3.5) September 3, 2002
Format:Paperback
In _Words of the Witches_, editor Yvonne Jocks brings together a variety of authors from several genres, with one common thread: all are neo-pagans, or at least pagan-sympathetic. In this book, they present stories, spells, and a little bit of poetry--all of which are concerned with the daily lives of the people who call themselves "Witches".
I bought this book mainly because it contained a new installment in Rosemary Edghill's "Bast" series. Unfortunately, that story, "The Iron Bride" is a little disappointing. It's as well-written as her other mysteries, but it suffers a bit by being written in the short story form. It's hard to write a mystery that short; such stories usually need more time to develop tangled plot twists and drop clues. (Poe and Doyle could write short mysteries, but they were the defining masters of the genre.) While "The Iron Bride" is not bad at all, it probably would have been better at novel length. As it is, everything falls into place just a little too quickly and easily. However, Edghill's trademark wit, command of occult lore, and philosophizing keep the story from being too disappointing.
My favorite story in the book is "Anytown, USA", by Maggie Shayne, a writer I'd never read before. In this story, the wife of an small-town Christian minister begins to explore Wicca, just as the arrival of two Wiccan teenagers ignites anger and prejudice in the local high school. The ending is very idealistic, but Shayne admits this freely; this is how she *wishes* such situations would turn out.
Also included in this book are several romances, a touching story about terminal illness, a story about an elderly Romani woman trying to draw her daughters back to the old ways, and some stories about friendship and other matters.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One great story, two good, several blah June 16, 2003
Format:Paperback
"Words of the Witches" is highly uneven, but when it's good, it's very, very good.
I bought this book primarily because of Rosemary Edghill's contribution. I really like her Bast character, and her story "The Iron Bride," which is a short Bast mystery, was included here. This is by far the best story in the collection, showing wicked humor, vivid characterizations, and a very complex problem.
The problem is this (and it's how this book relates, btw, to the rest of the collection): Bast is a third-level initiate. She really needs to start her own coven, but does not want to do so. The mystery she solves basically tells her in not so many words that it's time to do so, whether she wants to or not.
Bast's problem is a realistic one, and it's presented with both accuracy and humor. In addition, the fact that Bast is extremely smart and hasn't really found a man up to her intellectual weight is one of the biggest points in Bast's favor. That, too, is very realistic, as Wiccans and NeoPagans of all stripes tend to be smarter than average, but there _is_ still a range.
Basically, the rest of the collection shows Pagans in favorable lights. Only one or two men have strong parts to play; one is a divorced father, the other is a dying soon-to-be father. The reviewer who pointed out the absence of males in this book makes a very, very good point.
The three best stories are Ms. Edghill's, where the men aren't as important as Bast (and rightfully so! She's the point of view character, and once again makes a big point out of not finding anyone for her yet), Ms.
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