Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pagan fiction

June is Pagan Values Month. It's a time for us Pagan bloggers to talk about Pagan stuff.

I won't really be talking about Pagans stuff here, because it's my book blog and not my main blog, but I wanted to share my first post of Pagan Values Month with you because it is a list of Pagan fiction.

This list is in no way exhaustive. It's just taking my favorite fiction authors whose books I consider to be Pagan and sharing a little about their writing, and then listing some of their books. These books are excellent whether you are looking for Pagan friendly books, or just a good read.

Juliet Marillier
Marillier was raised on legends and fairy tales, and it shows in her works. She is also a Druid, and this too comes through in her writing. Marillier writes historical fantasy, and she is the only writer I know of who fills this genre.
This author catches the heart of Paganism, while at the same time adding in fantasy elements to it. People in her books celebrate the turning of the seasons like Pagans usually do, and do other Pagan stuff, but Druids also occasionally perform grand magic that I am fairly certain modern day Druids do not.
Something I find particularly interesting about Marillier’s books is her handling of Christianity. Rather than taking the stance that Christians are either good or bad, you see a variety. Some of them are good people and don’t care if their friends worship a different deity, while others have no respect for their Pagan neighbors. Ultimately what it comes down to is that people are people. Some are good and some are bad, regardless of what religion they profess to follow.
I don’t think of all of Marillier’s books Pagan, so below I will list those books that I consider to be Pagan works. I do recommend all of her books as excellent reads, however.
The books I list below are written for adults, but I read them in my teens (those that were released in my teens, that is).
Sevenwaters trilogy:
Daughter of the Forest
Son of the Shadows
Child of the Prophecy
Sequel to the Sevenwaters trilogy:
Heir to Sevenwaters
The Bridei Chronicles:

Dark Mirror
Blade of Fortriu
Well of Shades
The Light Isles books:
Tamora Pierce
I’m not sure what Pierce would think about being on a list of Pagan authors, but the fact is that her characters follow a well thought out pantheon and celebrate the changing of the seasons. Religion is not usually a forefront topic in her books, but it is not entirely in the background either. Her characters frequently pray to the gods for help, and as some titles (such as In the Hand of the Goddess and The Realms of the Gods) suggest, divine interaction does sometimes play an important part in the novels.
It should be remembered that these are fantasy books. In addition to showing traditional Pagan activities, some of her characters practice magic that I am sure any modern day witch would be jealous of.
I have not read all of Pierce’s books, but I have read each of her books which take place in her made up realm of Tortall. I list each of them, in chronological order, below. They are all young adult books.
Song of the Lioness quartet:
The First Adventure
In the Hand of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant
The Immortals quartet:
Wild Magic
Emperor Mage
The Realms of the Gods
Protector of the Small quartet:
First test
Lady Knight
Trickster’s books:
Trickster’s Choice
Trickster’s Queen
Beka Cooper books:
Note: The Beka Cooper novels actually take place two hundred years before the other books, but they were written after the others and I think they are more interesting if you are already familiar with the other books.
Rick Riordan
Again, I am not sure what this particular author would think of being called a Pagan writer. But the fact is that his series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the gods have followed western civilization and Mount Olympus now hovers above New York.
I’m not entirely sure what the gods must think of how they are portrayed in this series, but they are a wonderful way to learn about Greek mythology. The young hero, whose father is a god and whose mother is human, faces monsters out of Greek legend and myth on a regular basis. As he does so the reader learns about the gods, what their stories are, and about Greek mythological creatures such as the Harpies.
I have not read any of Riordan’s other books, so I cannot say how Pagan they might be. All I can tell you is that his Percy Jackson and the Olympians books are page turners filled with excitement, which just so happen to teach Greek mythology. They are young adult books.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series:
The Lightning Thief
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan’s Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian

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