Season of the… Endless Memory Rooms?

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert      description:

Gabriel Blackstone is an unscrupulous hacker and unrepentant “remote viewer” who can’t resist his ex-lover’s request to look into her stepson’s disappearance. His investigation leads him to a rambling Victorian home that bewitches him-as do its beautiful, enigmatic owners, the Monk sisters. The pair are solar witches, obsessed with alchemy and the Art of Memory, a practice invented by the ancient Greeks.

With his uneasy suspicion that one of the sisters is a killer, Gabriel sets out to determine which. But the more entangled in the case he becomes, the more deeply he is drawn into the sisters’ entrancing world-losing hold of reality even as he falls into mortal danger…

seasonSeason of the Witch      5 STARS

What I loved most about this book is I actually learned something… you gotta hand it to a book filled with psychics and solar witches to actually teach someone a real talent that truly was invented by the ancient Greeks and used successfully…

While Gabriel’s ability to see into the future and to ‘hack’ information from other people’s minds is incredibly cool idea… and the ‘witches’ abilities to access the worlds endless information and even allow people into their ‘memory rooms’ makes this probably one of the most interesting and unique adventures I’ve ever read about… I have to say learning about the Art of Memory was my favorite part of this book… because though it does stretch it to mythic proportions it is a real technique that if I didn’t have such a short attention span I would truly love to give a try… sadly I’m too lazy…

Back to the book though… I have never read another book like this… it’s amazing and has a lot of twists and turns… and their use of the Art of Memory is pretty trippy… And Gabriel’s ability to see the past or future and to even access certain memories is a nice twist on being a hacker of the information age… this may seem like a girly book by the cover but I honestly think anyone could enjoy this story… and though there is a romantic angle that is part of the main tale doesn’t overshadow it or take away from the main point… and the ending is rather bittersweet but I think it’s the perfect ending for such a story…

And because I can’t leave the Art of Memory alone… This an excerpt from Frances A. Yates The Art of Memory

At a banquet given by a nobleman of Thessaly named Scopas, the poet Simonides of Ceos chanted a lyric poem in honour of his host but including a passage in praise of Castor and Pollux. Scopas meanly told the poet that he would only pay him half the sum agreed upon for the panegyric and that he must obtain and balance from the twin gods to whome he had devoted half the poem. A little later, a message was brought in to Simonides that two young men were waiting outside who wished to see him. He rose from the banquet and went out but could find no noe. Druing his absence the roof of the banqueting hall fell in, crushing Scopas and all the quests to death beneath the ruins; the corpses were so mangled that the relatives who came to take them away for burial were unable to identify them. But Simonides remembered the places at which they had been sitting at the table and was therefore able to indicate to the relatives which were their dead. The invisible callers, Castor and Pollux, had handsomely paid for their share in the panegyric by drawing Simonides away fror the banquet just before the crash. And this experience suggested to the poet the principles of the art of memory of which he is said to have been the inventor. Noting that it was through his memory of the places at which the guests had been sitting that he had been able to identify the bodies, he realized that orderly arrangement is essential for good memory.

He inferred that person desiring to train this faculty [of memory] must select places and form mental images of the things they wish to remember and store those images in places, so that the order of places will preserve the order of things, and the images of the things will denote the things themselves, and we shall employ the places and images respectively as a wax writing-tablet and the letters written on it.


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