Although this book is primarily about shapeshifting, the author also covers a myriad of other occult topics, including ghosts, herbs, stones, familiars and animal behavior. Shapeshifting is a rather secretive ability, and not much has been written that could give the reader sources should one be interested in pursuing these topics in more depth. She includes good resource pages in the back of the book, including Glossary, Index and Bibliography as well as footnotes throughout the book.
The Glossary is of particular use, as the reader may find the book hard to follow due to unfamiliar terminology. Ms. Greene is working in an area where there is no set terminology. She basically had to create terms to describe many techniques, as those terms simply do not exist in common language to describe what shapeshifters "do."
The author clearly has her own beliefs and opinions about the subject matter but does allow for the beliefs of others. I can say that she does understand shifting, though her main focus seems to be on physical shifting. However, she does cover forms of shifting that I've not heard of before. I'd truly not been aware that there are so many variations.
There are some misconceptions on her part based on my own experience and knowledge. Ms. Greene identifies Dragon's Blood as an herb, when in fact it is a resin. She takes much of her information from books written by others, and some of those were written quite some time ago. I think for this reason she describes several incidents/events as "rare", when in fact, they are quite common in my own experience.
The author has described some parts of her book well with her own words, "Strange, unusual and unlikely." However, much of it is also quite instructional, which is what I believe she intended this book to be.
Since Ms. Greene is herself a wolf shifter, she focuses more heavily on wolf shifting, but does include other animal forms. She appears to have a rather low opinion of wolf hybrids, but describes the other most common shifting forms in some detail. Something I found most interesting in this book is the coverage of "Shifter Packs". I had no idea that such existed, though since wolves are a prevalent shifting animal, it is reasonable such would exist. The author tells how one might find these packs and gives intelligent warnings on the care that should be taken when seeking them out.
Ms. Greene is quite informative in the area of physical shifting and quite detailed in the questions one should ask them self before they might undertake trying to physically shift. She is thorough in how to behave during a physical shift and how to handle it without causing harm to one self. Her humor shows when she advises such things as informing those around you if you intend to physically shift, so they don't shoot you. The author also delves extensively into the characteristics that might indicate one is a latent shifter. She covers physical characteristics as well as body language and habits.
I think it's interesting to note that it appears she does not consider Astral Shifters, the most common form of Shifters, to be "true shifters." Also, many shifters are "myth animal" shifters, and there was little information to be found on this topic. However, as I indicated before, there is little information to be had on modern day shifting, and this book is worth reading simply for that reason.
~review by Jae
Author: Rosalyn Greene
Samuel Weiser, Inc., 2000