The Winged Bull by Dion Fortune – A Visionary Fiction Alliance Book Review by Theresa Crater

The protagonist in The Winged Bull is Ted Murchison, who served in the war and endured joblessness, and now doubts conventional religion. But this unlikely character has a vision of the Winged Bull in the British Museum. As this is occurring, he encounters his old commanding officer, Alick Brandwyn, who is of course a magical adept. Brandwyn employs Murchison as a sort of handyman, but really as a potential magical student. Brandwyn introduces Murchison to his ethereal sister Ursula. The two have shared a charged polarity, which is promising for magic and romance, but Ursula has become embroiled with a dark magician, naturally, and stands in need of rescuing from her starring role in a black mass. You can imagine the rest. Once again we have the practical earthy man, full of common sense, the Winged Bull no less, mated with the ethereal, spiritual woman, a bit flighty, a lot spiritually talented. I loved Brandwyn’s apartment in this one, just as I loved the bookstore in The Goat Foot God. In a disreputable neighborhood, he has purchased a building and renovated the floors. The furniture is the height of modernity in the 1930’s, low couches, colorful throws, and a hardwood floor. The furniture can be pushed back for dancing or ritual space. There is a stairway up to a roof garden offering a wonderful view and connection to nature in the city. Brandwyn has left the original windows and nailed down old lace on the panes to indicate what is inside is as decrepit as what is outside. It’s a delightful hideaway.

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