This is the #easylenormand set, which has a great book but lack luster cards. #lenormand

Easy Lenormand Set Review

Domagick Sept 11 2017

Since I reviewed The Scrying Ink Lenormand app yesterday, it only makes sense that I review the deck that I have been using to talk to the Nine all this time. It’s also the one that I have been using for the majority of my Lenormand studies so far. I purchased it in July.

You would think after owning it this long that I would have a definitive opinion, butI’m still not sure how I feel about the Easy Lenormand set. Its handbook beats out all others. Running at 150 pages, it is essentially a scaled down version of Katz and Goodwin’s Learning Lenormand, my favorite book on the subject so far.  Their clear instructions will have you doing simple readings in no time. I’m glad I bought this set for that reason alone.

Yet the deck itself lacks pizzazz. That’s not the fault of any modern artist, however. They were tasked only with cleaning up the images of a rediscovered traditional deck. Admittedly, the clarity of the images is fantastic. The cards seem durable enough too. I even dropped on in water accidentally, and it worked perfectly well afterward, without even a ripple.  Still, after years of handling amazingly colorful Tarot decks, the Easy Lenormand looks drab and washed out to me. None of the cards are titled, which means having to occasionally remember by number what a boring picture means. No card truly distinguishes itself or sticks out. Surely there has to be a happy medium between overly ornate themed decks and decks that are so boring that they are completely forgettable?

So how do I rate a set where the book is amazing but the cards merely serviceable? I guess I’ll split the difference and give Easy Lenormand 2 and ½ stars out of five.

Today’s reading with the deck was:

The Clouds – transition, change, confusion and trouble, unclear, lack of foresight, doubt, shielding, hiding, emotional weather

The Lily – maturity, old, wise, peace, wisdom, passion, intention, grandfather

The Dog – loyalty, close friends and companions, codependence

“Confusion / lack of foresight caused by and older companion.” I completed my prayer and offering in my new office today. My partner walked in and started talking to me during it twice, so obviously I am still working some kinks out—like the need for an I AM WORKING sign. Every new arrangement requires adjustment. In fact, I think Nine were talking to me about this very thing today.

The reading I did over the weekend where I predicted my family would end up talking to the neighbors about the fact we’ve moved played out exactly as I thought. Strangely enough, the Tree card featured in it, and some time was spent discussing the trees that we all share and the shade they provide our apartments! Occasionally the Lenormand has been oddly specific in that sort of way, and I almost wonder if this deck has a cheeky sense of humor.

 

 

Review of SHADOW MARBAS by Audrey Brice

Back in the old days, when a witch deserted his coven, the coven sought revenge. Jacob Mallory knew the stories, but he left Shadow Marbas anyway.

The saga begins.

After a disagreement between Cult of Lucifuge and Temple Apophis leaves Jacob defenseless and he discovers Marbas’ remnants of a curse, he seeks protection from Lucifer’s Haven.

Shadow Marbas, however, won’t be denied. Either Jacob is theirs, or he dies. There is no in-between.

A Witch War is brewing. An ancient evil stirs. Are you ready to choose a side?

Up until now, I’ve felt that Thirteen Covens read like a group of standalone titles united by a common world rather than a typical chronological series, but that hasn’t bothered me one bit. I adore authors who use setting as character, with Stephen King’s Midworld and Charles de Lint’s Newford among my favorites. I simply hadn’t figured out how all the puzzle pieces from Thirteen Covens would join together to form a bigger picture yet. Shadow Marbas changed that.

The ending of Shadow Marbas reminded me of the moment in The Exorcist when Father Merrin brushes hundreds of years dirt off the demon’s statue. As a viewer, we don’t need told that Pazuzu is the Big Bad who will soon make the priest’s life a living hell. We know in the same instant as Father Merrin, when his eyes meet those of the idol. Shadow Marbas hit me the same way. My mouth literally hung open during the main ritual of the book, and the hair on my arms rose when I read its final lines.

It seems like Brice writes this series how Father Merrin must have worked his archeological dig. With each new book, she has reveals more of the setting, the characters, and the danger. I would say this is the best novella yet, with the most compelling characters and most gripping plot. I’m impatient to find out how the story will end. I’m also tempted to reread Thirteen Covens from the beginning to make sure I haven’t missed anything important along the way.

As in her Liz Tanner stories, the author’s experience within the occult community allows her to write about these sorts of people and emotional situations in a believable fashion. I worry she would be accused of publishing real life accounts of some petty witch war or another if Brice were to ever remove the supernatural elements from her books. Should you ever stop and wonder if coven members sometimes behave as poorly as those described in these books, I can assure you that all sorts of people can be complete jerks regardless of whether they love Lucifer or the Lord. It takes skill to portray a Pagan tradition in an emotionally realistic way while also writing an engaging occult thriller, but Brice managed it.

Shadow Marbas is a four and a half star read. I received a free advance copy in exchange for a free, honest review. Order today.

Vampire Novel Provides Fresh Blood

I’ve considered myself an amateur vampirologist for a long time. I bought a copy of Bunson’s Vampire Encyclopedia in 1993 and nearly wept when the dog-eared paperback fell apart five years later. By then it had already become the lighthouse that helped me navigate the stormy seas of poorly written vampire film and fiction. Thanks to the trivia I absorbed from that blood red book, I was able to weed most of the cliché-riddled crap from the decent material, and wolfed down every half-decent novel and film I came across.

I’m sorry it took me so long to find this story. I’d planned on reading A.J. Aalto’s Touched earlier this year, but an unforeseen change elsewhere in my schedule forced me to backburner all my reviews. What a shame!

The unique setting of this novel makes it a fantastic alternative to such modern vampire “classics” like Twilight.

This definitely isn’t the first urban fantasy I’ve read where government agencies work with psychics, but I have never encountered a world where a vampire is the source of the psychic’s powers before. I look forward to Aalto expanding this universe as the series progresses.

I look forward to watching the protagonist grow as well. Marty often seemed scatterbrained to me. If she eventually needs to be rescued by a male lead before the series closes, or loses any more personal agency, my interest in Marty will wane regardless of how intriguing the world remains. I suspect this will not happen, however, and that we are going to watch Marty come into her own. After all, she’s got the touch.

Three and a half stars. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, guys! I appreciate it.