If you have read Alchemy and Shaman’s Drum you may have noticed that I acknowledge as one of my teachers Mike Williams PhD who set me off on the shaman’s path. To learn more about him you can visit his web page
Today he has left reviews for both Alchemy and Shaman’s Drum on Amazon. I am so delighted that I’m nearly in tears. Not only does the Teacher now call the pupil his friend, he has great praise for her work. I could ask for nothing better. To compare me to the legendary Dion Fortune… (as famous as Tolkein in some circles) is beyond my wildest dreams.
He underlines the READ ALCHEMY FIRST message and I am grateful for his approval of my knowledge of faiths. (Yes, I used to hang out with a lot of Druids once upon a time). OBOD stands for the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids of which Mike is an adept, having gone through all three grades.
I have to admit to a vested interest here as I am mentioned by Ailsa in her acknowledgements – even though, in reality, I did very little – and so my reading of her novel was spiced with extra anticipation. Since the publication of Alchemy (which I also review) it is clear that Shaman’s Drum is its sequel and the second of – may we hope – three books in the series.The story races along and the characters certainly get under your skin (you want to know more and more about the odd partnership of the heroes, Riga and Iamo – with some questions remaining unanswered until Alchemy was published!) but I was also struck by how much spiritual knowledge Ailsa has put into her novel. In a way, it reminded me of reading Dion Fortune, whose novels entertained as well as taught. Ailsa shares her, evidently first-hand, knowledge of shamanism and also of other faiths, although not orthodox religion as this has been banned in the world of Riga and Iamo. As a member of OBOD, I was particularly amused by her portrayal of Druids; she has clearly been to a lot of grove rituals! This is a book for everyone: a good story, compelling characters, and always grounded in real wisdom and knowledge. But read it second after Alchemy!