"One thing that's really become obvious to me since working in Malynowsky's is the way in which the myths re-enact themselves daily, both for our enlightenment, and simply because they are well-established patterns. Many would argue for the latter alone, and many that the former was the whole point, but for me, both seem pertinent. As my boss likes to point out, it's a fascinating level we inhabit." --The Magick Bookshop
Author Kala Trobe comes from a long line of religious visionaries, including Alice A. Bailey. She has been rigorously trained in magick and occult symbology, and has worked as a professional Tarot reader and psychic medium. In addition, she has also managed an antiquarian bookshop and holds an Honors degree in English literature from Leeds University.
With enchanting prose and exquisite diction, Trobe weaves her education and experience into six short stories filled with magick, myth, and mystery in her book The Magick Bookshop The hub of archetypal psychodramas and Qabalistic magick, Malynowsky's antiquarian bookshop sits in the heart of Oxford, England, and is the sort of place that makes people go "oooh!" as soon as they cross its threshold.
In the first story, "Magwitch", we encounter a character named Mr. Paul Magwitch--a man who spends an obscene amount of money at Malynowsky's (and everywhere else). It becomes evident that his gluttonous sprees for material goods is inextricably and psychically linked with the death of a school girl named Jude.
The myth of Orpheus and Erydice emerge with a modern twist in the second tale, "Orpheus". Eurydice, hired by Kala the shop manager, becomes smitten by a musician. However, a dark spell cast by the obsesseed Aristaeus bewitches Eurydice--with tragic results.
In "Living Light", a devotee of Apollo is led to Malynowsky's Bookshop to seek advice. Anna's desire to maintain mystical union while keeping cynicism at bay send her on a mystical journey through the Qabalah, led by the capable Kala.
"Thus Spake Ron" is a tale of spiritual seduction and control. This story portrays the dynamics between a spiritual teacher named Ron--and the extent that a girl named Lauren will reliquish her power in the quest for Truth.
"Witch in the City" continues the story of Lauren, after she escapes from the physical, mental, spiritual, and sexual brutality of Ron's version of magickal training. Lauren ekes out a livng reading Tarot cards in the park, and a colorful array of sojourners accompany her on the path to freedom.
The last story in The Magick Bookshop, "Karma Burners", finds Kala facing Simon, her Roman master from ages past. In a past life, Kala was Simon's servant...and he sent her to the Coliseum. What will Kala do with the sword as she remembers his cruelty--and holds Simon's life in her hands?
It's been a long time since I've read such a delightful work of fiction...and what a special treat that this collection of short stories is laced with esoterica, symbolism, Tarot, archetypes, auras and other occultic themes. Even better, Trobe has such a delicious style of writing; I actually found myself stopping at certain passages, uttering a "wow" under my breath, and then re-reading it with admiration. (E.g. If blue could boil, her irises were that color.) Is that not succulent?
Kudos to Ms. Trobe for a fine collection of mystical stories that indirectly educates and thoroughly entertains.
Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.