Through the Veil: Hardly high literature, but mildly entertaining

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Isobel Bird Through the VeilThrough the Veil by Isobel Bird

Through the Veil is the ninth book in the Circle of Three series, which chronicles three teenagers’ journey through a year-and-a-day of discovering and exploring Wicca. If you haven’t yet come across these books, I suggest you stop reading now and head back to book number one So Mote It Be, as the books are very closely tied together and it’s near impossible to read them out of chronological order (which is annoying, but there you go).

The three girls are Kate, Cooper and Annie (the ex-popularity queen, the rebel and the nerd are their individual personalities in a nutshell) and in Through the Veil they are fast approaching Halloween — Samhain in the Wicca calendar. Samhain marks the thinning of the veils between the living and the dead, which is especially relevant for Annie considering her parents passed away when she was young.

This title deals mainly with Annie — she is approaching her sixteenth birthday, and has asked her aunt if she can take a visit to San Francisco for her present. She lived there with her parents before they were killed in a house fire that she accidently started. Now she’s been having disturbing nightmares about them and seeks out a way to communicate with them. As such, a few Wiccan rituals are thrown in — a meeting with a physic, a circle taken place at Annie’s old home, and the coven’s Samhain celebration itself which involves some symbollic “role-playing” along the same lines as the events that took place in What the Cards Said and In the Dreaming. Not that that’s a bad thing — these gatherings are pretty much the only reason I keep reading these books.

Meanwhile Kate and Cooper are dealing with their own (less critical) problems. Kate’s parents are vehemently against her involvement in witchcraft and react by sending her to a therapist, confiscating her Wiccan tools and forbidding her from seeing her boyfriend or from attending her Wiccan class. Cooper on the other hand has quit her band due to the fact they aren’t interested in playing her Wiccan-themed songs (fair enough, I say — she doesn’t half over-react!) and just found out that her parents are separating.

As you can see, the plot is all over the place and often comes across as messy with the constant switching points of view — if would have felt more focused if Isobel Bird had chosen one girl and developed her personal story more fully (Annie’s is certainly the most important, but Kate and Cooper get just as much screen-time). On top of the three stories outlined above, Bird also crams in a love interest for Annie’s aunt, a physic that communicates with Annie’s parents, and a truly bizarre transsexual witch — I’m sorry, but I couldn’t quite see the point of that particular character.

Through the Veil is one of the more interesting installments, despite the lack of a clear storyline and the hopelessly cheesy ending. The Circle of Three books are hardly high literature, but for me they’re quick, mildly entertaining reads. The three girls are sympathetic enough to justify getting hold of other books in the series.

Circle of Three — (2001-2002) Publisher: With this ribbon I do bind, My heart to yours and yours to mine. Love, I call you, come to me, As is my will, so mote it be. Kate cast the love spell with results unforseen. She cannot stop it by herself, but the book of spells tells her of two strangers who can help her — if only she can find them.

Isobel Bird Circle of Three 1. So Mote It Be 2. Merry Meet 3. Second Sight 4. What the Cards Said 5. In the Dreaming 6. Ring of Light 7. Blue MoonIsobel Bird Circle of Three 1. So Mote It Be 2. Merry Meet 3. Second Sight 4. What the Cards Said 5. In the Dreaming 6. Ring of Light 7. Blue MoonIsobel Bird Circle of Three 1. So Mote It Be 2. Merry Meet 3. Second Sight 4. What the Cards Said 5. In the Dreaming 6. Ring of Light 7. Blue MoonIsobel Bird Circle of Three 1. So Mote It Be 2. Merry Meet 3. Second Sight 4. What the Cards Said 5. In the Dreaming 6. Ring of Light 7. Blue MoonIsobel Bird Circle of Three 1. So Mote It Be 2. Merry Meet 3. Second Sight 4. What the Cards Said 5. In the Dreaming 6. Ring of Light 7. Blue MoonIsobel Bird Circle of Three 1. So Mote It Be 2. Merry Meet 3. Second Sight 4. What the Cards Said 5. In the Dreaming 6. Ring of Light 7. Blue Moonfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsIsobel Bird Circle of Three review 8. The Five Paths 9. Through the Veil 10. Making the Saint 11. The House of Winter 12. Written in the Stars 13. And It Harm None 14. The Challenge Box 15. Initiation Isobel Bird Circle of Three review 8. The Five Paths 9. Through the Veil 10. Making the Saint 11. The House of Winter 12. Written in the Stars 13. And It Harm None 14. The Challenge Box 15. Initiation Isobel Bird Circle of Three review 8. The Five Paths 9. Through the Veil 10. Making the Saint 11. The House of Winter 12. Written in the Stars 13. And It Harm None 14. The Challenge Box 15. Initiation Isobel Bird Circle of Three review 8. The Five Paths 9. Through the Veil 10. Making the Saint 11. The House of Winter 12. Written in the Stars 13. And It Harm None 14. The Challenge Box 15. Initiation Isobel Bird Circle of Three review 8. The Five Paths 9. Through the Veil 10. Making the Saint 11. The House of Winter 12. Written in the Stars 13. And It Harm None 14. The Challenge Box 15. Initiation Isobel Bird Circle of Three review 8. The Five Paths 9. Through the Veil 10. Making the Saint 11. The House of Winter 12. Written in the Stars 13. And It Harm None 14. The Challenge Box 15. Initiation Isobel Bird Circle of Three review 8. The Five Paths 9. Through the Veil 10. Making the Saint 11. The House of Winter 12. Written in the Stars 13. And It Harm None 14. The Challenge Box 15. Initiation Isobel Bird Circle of Three review 8. The Five Paths 9. Through the Veil 10. Making the Saint 11. The House of Winter 12. Written in the Stars 13. And It Harm None 14. The Challenge Box 15. Initiation


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REBECCA FISHER, with us since January 2008, earned a Masters degree in literature at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Her thesis included a comparison of how C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman each use the idea of mankind’s Fall from Grace to structure the worldviews presented in their fantasy series. Rebecca is a firm believer that fantasy books written for children can be just as meaningful, well-written and enjoyable as those for adults, and in some cases, even more so. Rebecca lives in New Zealand. She is the winner of the 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best SFF Fan Writer.

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