The Anti-Llewellyn Strikes Again!


As someone who's grown a bit tired of the Llewellyn style recipe book of spell-craft (and the inconsistent results therefrom) Taylor Ellwood's conversational style writing is like a breath of fresh air. Nowhere in sight are the rhyming couplets that are so easy on the eye and ear, yet mostly an ineffective waste of time. No lists of ingredients to wonder over, no fancy timing with moon phases or planetary hours. Just a lot of common sense as applied to the genre of magical practice. Which, unfortunately, left me a bit in a quandry about exactly how to accomplish all the great ideas in the book.

How to Troubleshoot Your Magic: Get Better Results with Practical Magic (How Magic Works Book 4)
by Taylor Ellwood

The author assumes his readers are not only versed in magical practice; we also know what we are good at and what we're not good at. Hinting at a technique in which tarot cards may be manipulated to achieve a different result, I'm left wondering what exactly he's talking about and whether such a technique could work for me? I have, indeed, seen at least one tarot/psychic reader turn a reversed card upright and do the reading on a positive note ... which, indeed, was ineffective.

So, what does Taylor do well, aside from taking a complete opposite stance to the copy-and-paste spell-working technique of writing? Answer: he gives a mighty pep talk. A pep talk that sounds quite a bit like a businessman or a father, of which he is both. Taylor's concepts are that 1. if magic is worth doing at all, it's worth doing to actually get the result you seek. 2. If you don't get the result you sought, figure out what was not well designed into the magical working and change it, or redo the working with the new design. 3. Admit when things don't work, but don't just give up. Try, try, again.

Not spectacular advice; yet Taylor's voice (as a writer) is well needed in an era of magical practice. After reading this book, I felt compelled to acquire his first book in the series, The process of Magic: How Magic Works. When a writer compels a reader to purchase another book, he has achieved a goal. That, if it's magic, is the magic of business.

I received an advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion regarding the material I read.