So-called "magical herbals" give instructions on how to collect a plant by drawing a circle around it, telling it a little rhyme before hacking it about, and leaving a coin or pinch of tobacco to recompense for its trauma. What good these are to it remains a mystery. Some books will tell you that you must ask a tree or plant for its favours--walk around three times and say "can I have a bit?" How many people know when they have got an answer? Is the plant even listening? You might as well buy herbs off the shelf supermarket, or pick up a dead twig from the forest floor.
1. Pffft. I'm pretty sure I own at least one herbalism book that actually tells the reader to ask a plant for its clippings via poetry.
2. I'm dimly reminded of an environmentalist fairy tale parody I read not too long ago where the would-be princess winds up destroying local animal populations due to her critical misunderstanding about how nature works.
3. I have one hour to read two hundred pages before I have to return this ARC. Heaven help me.