A BOOK OF SORCERERS AND SPELLS by Ruth Manning-Sanders

A BOOK OF SORCERERS AND SPELLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The latest of Manning-Sanders' reliably choice and smartly retold collections demonstrates once again her talent for combining fidelity to traditional sources with acceptability in terms of contemporary values. The familiar motif of a creature's transformation to a handsome bridegroom is presented straight in the concise and elemental ""Oda and the Snake"" from Austria and the affable Irish ""Great Bear of Orange,"" turned about in the Italian ""Magic Monkeys"" where it is the bride who begins as a repellent simian, and with a saucy twist in the short, comical ""Mannikan Spanalong"" from Germany, which ends -- after the maiden's services transform the bearded little old man to a tall, handsome fellow -- with the maiden growing rich from spinning the hairs of his former beard into beautiful yam. ""It's said that in the end she married a duke. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't. At any rate she made her fortune."" In ""Sorcerer's Kaldoon"" from Transylvania the heroine rejects the rich, handsome prince, whom she rightly suspects of deviltry, and marries instead the peasant neighbor who rescues her from his clutches while the sorcerer is literally consumed by his fiery rage. There is also a tricky Anansi tale from Africa and from Russia a substantial version of ""The Three Ivans"" who ""go in search of heroic adventure that we may know ourselves for men,"" successfully working a number of popular motifs into a roundly developed story.

Pub Date: March 11th, 1974
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Dutton