Lynn Veach Sadler,
Not Dreamt of in Your Philosophy
(Bards & Poets, 2008)

Not Dreamt of in Your Philosophy is a kaleidoscope of short stories, each very different from the last, a veritable smorgasbord of delicious yarns. The author has a fertile imagination indeed.

Draw up a log and gather around the campfire, for there be magic in these tales as told by a fantastic storyteller. Magic, myth, poetry and histories, fact interwoven with fantasy -- it all takes the readers on a ride into the fantastic as seen by horses, cats, trolls and other uncanny creatures. There is a dreamlike quality to these poetic stories filled with allusions to real people and entirely fabricated events and characters. If you have a taste for tall tales of the fantastic, you will enjoy this book.

The story "Drinking from the Cup & Breaking It" is about time travel to an ancient civilization. "Cuna" is about a contemporary Panamanian people, their customs and their mysteries.

Rich allusions and odd points of view are sometime dizzying, surprising and totally creative.

In the story "Equus Feliuis," a cat channels famous horses from history, such as Alexander the Great's Bucephalus and Robert E. Lee's Traveler, and gives the reader a cat's point of view. "The Miss Addie" takes place in present times on an Argentine Ranch with a blood-soaked history going back to an ancient civilization, the Moche who left behind mysterious sacred objects infused with black magic hidden in a secret basement room. Miss Addie, who is adept at understanding and riding horses as well as discovering secrets, finds herself in a phantasmagoria more strange than anyone could or should dream.

The last story in the book, "Cat's Paw to Catch Poet Lady," is a dialogue between the author, Lynn Veach Sadler, who is a poet, and a cat who seems to have lived forever. The cat knows mysteries from ancient Egypt down through the ages. It's another fanciful romp through folklore and fantasy as the author takes a side trip away from her tour group in Europe.

Suspend reason and dive into these poetic stories. I found myself reading the 20 tales and returning to them again and again in amazement.

review by
Barbara Spring

20 September 2008

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