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This is the follow up to Magus of Stonewylde, which really needs to have been read first to appreciate this second novel. As with the first book the writing is superb and draws you in from page one. Brilliant characters and beautiful, mystical settings make for another triumph from Kit Berry. Yet again you’ll be longing for the next book and luckily the third one is out there.
The Stonewylde series:-
Moondance of Stonewylde is the second in this series of five titles, and follows on from Magus of Stonewylde. The story is picked up again at the Summer Solstice, where Yul has incurred Magus’ wrath by challenging him for the leadership of the community. The sunrise ceremony amongst the great standing stones was a disaster for Magus, with Yul lighting the Solstice Fire and receiving the powerful earth energy in his place. But Magus still holds the power, and embarks on another attempt to subdue the rebellious Village boy.
The story unfolds throughout the glorious summer at Stonewylde, where crops are grown organically and the people are self-sufficient and productive. Beautiful descriptions flow of this idyllic place, a community steeped in magic and time-honoured traditions. There’s an exhilarating cricket match on the Village Green at Lammas, and the harvesting of wheat in honour of the Corn Mother. Yul proves worthy of the wise-woman’s prophecies, hardening himself to the brutality that Magus inflicts so casually, and waiting with growing impatience for the time when his destiny can be fulfilled.
But Magus discovers Sylvie’s secret gift, bestowed during the rising of each full moon, and sees a way to exploit her to boost his own waning power. His attempts to harness the young girl’s magic are aided by his shaman half-brother, who is weak and easily bribed with the addictive hallucinogenic cakes that are part of every pagan festival at Stonewylde. Sylvie grows fragile and thin again, and Yul seems powerless to save her from Magus’ cruelty.
The Autumn Equinox sees the harvesting of apples in the great orchards at Stonewylde, and Sylvie realises she has a rival for Yul’s affections. Her innocent and evocative relationship with the boy is developing into something more adult, and both struggle to control their powerful feelings for each other. Meanwhile Sylvie’s mother Miranda remains besotted with Magus and abandons any attempts to protect her daughter from the man’s exploitation. As Samhain (Hallowe’en) approaches, the tension notches even higher when Yul makes a disastrous attempt to rescue Sylvie from the clutches of the two men. By the end of the book, his life hangs by a whisker as Magus gives free rein to his excesses. The reader is left feverish to discover what happens next.
Once again, extensive research and close attention to accurate detail of life in an alternative Dorset community creates a sense of reality that seems at odds with the green magic and earth energy of Stonewylde. A bucolic cricket match and the weaving of corn dollies, reaping time with traditional threshing and winnowing, the apple harvest and cider making – but also a brutal fight scene worthy of any action movie and a romantic encounter in the Cider House that would put many bodice-rippers in the shade, means there is something for everyone in this electrifying sequel.
Publication date: 29/11/2006
Publisher: Moongazy Publishing
|Publication date:||29th November 2006|
|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