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This is the first in what is an absolutely enchanting series. Even if stories about mysticism and paganism are not usually your thing I would recommend these books simply because they are brilliantly written and totally captivating. The characters get you hooked right from the start and the description is so vivid you can easily picture the ethereal world of Stonewylde. Luckily there are three titles available already in the series with more to follow, so lose yourself in this mysterious and fascinating place.
The Stonewylde series:-
Magus of Stonewylde is the first title in a series of five. Written in an untapped genre, it’s contemporary fiction set in an authentic pagan context. The book appeals to both males and females, from young teens to senior adults. Stonewylde is an alternative community, a vast country estate hidden away in Dorset and enclosed behind high boundary walls. Ruled by the charismatic Magus, life here is simple and seems idyllic. Into this magical world come Sylvie and her mother, trying to escape the stresses of modern inner-city life. Sylvie suffers from chronic eczema and a strange malaise, but soon begins to heal in the peace and tranquillity of the beautiful Dorset countryside.
She and her mother are entranced, both by their new life in a place where time seems to have stood still, and by their attractive benefactor. But then Sylvie befriends Yul, a dark and rebellious Village lad, and slowly she begins to see that Stonewylde, and particularly Magus, are not quite what they appeared to be. Why is Yul so damaged? What secret is he trying to protect? And is the old crone on the hill a powerful wise-woman or simply a demented hag bent on destroying the equilibrium with her wild prophecies?
Sylvie and her mother Miranda are initiated into the community at Beltane, which is celebrated in a great Stone Circle hidden amongst the oak trees. They take part in the pagan festivals that are an element of everyday life here, and Miranda is introduced to the full moon rituals by Magus himself. Sylvie has her own problems to contend with at the full moon, which has always affected her in a strange way. She discovers a special standing stone where the hares dance to the moon and with Yul’s help realises that she is in fact moongazy. But this brings the wrath of two men on Yul’s head, and the boy is taken away for punishment of a barbaric kind.
Sylvie must learn to fight, and Yul must learn to bide his time. As the young pair’s friendship deepens into something more, Miranda realises she is expecting Magus’ child. The old crone’s ramblings take on a new meaning and Sylvie realises the full extent of Magus’ ruthlessness, and just how much danger Yul is in. Only she can save him. If not, the boy will be destroyed by the dark forces that Magus has at his command.
The first book in the Stonewylde series ends in an exciting and satisfying manner, and yet leaves the reader longing for the next book to take the story further. Meticulous research ensures authenticity to every detail of rural Dorset life, which makes the dazzling setting seem so real. Earth energy, moon magic – strange stuff, and yet all seems possible at Stonewylde.
Kevin Crossley-Holland, award winning author and Whitbread prize judge, said of the book, “Powerful stuff – disturbing and dramatic. Allow this story to grab hold, and it may not let you go!”
Publication date: 01/10/2005
Publisher: Moongazy Publishing
|Publication date:||1st October 2005|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,|
Kit Berry was a Dorset school teacher for many years and found inspiration in the magical landscape all around her. She was interested in paganism, traditional rural crafts and folklore, and her research led her to create a series of books based in an enclosed community hidden away in Dorset. She is now a full time author, her children grown up, and she has recently remarried and moved to Reading, Berks. She is currently working on the fourth novel in the series of five.More About Kit Berry