Book about magic possesses very little of its own
The author of renowned book The Alchemist explores magic this time out through a 21-year-old Irish woman’s earliest lessons in the occult traditions of the sun and moon.
Coelho dives into the mind of this lass (the titular Brida) and other
characters, spinning a hazy narrative plagued by aphorisms such as
“Emotions are like wild horses.” Clinging to such anemic truisms, Brida
appears a confused child tugged along by her mystical lessons. Coelho’s
vague descriptions suck the life from her protagonist’s magical
A counter to Brida’s flaccid perspective is her
teacher, The Magus. His intriguing narrative gives us a place where
magic becomes a surrealistic force that churns all around. He invokes
demons in mid conversation and travels to fantastical worlds in magical
But the storytelling ignores this vivid character through most of Brida. And Coelho’s attempt to collude the magical and realistic worlds ends in a muddle.