Moondance of Stonewylde, by Kit Berry

Article published on September 29, 2011.

This is the second novel in the Stonewylde  series, which reflects the magical, mystical and sometimes sinister goings on at the fictional Dorset pagan community of Stonewylde. Possibly because it was originally self-published, the author Kit Berry, starts the novel exactly where she left off at the end of her first novel. This is refreshing as it does not, (like some books), use a lot of text explaining the meanings and idiosyncrasies of the fantasy world and characters. This does mean it’s a book you probably wouldn’t be able to pick up and read without having read the first installment – but that’s probably the point, isn’t it?

Magus of Stonewylde, ended with Yul being chosen to receive the green magic over Magus. This made the Machiavellian Magus realise of the extent of the threat that Yul posed to him and left him weakened making it much harder for him to run Stonewylde without the energy the magic gave him. 

The pace and depth of the story does not let up as Yul and Sylvie, our young hero and heroine, discover the deeper desires and corrupt intentions of Magus. For now he must prevent Yul from being a true threat to him and Sylvie has what he needs in terms of the power of her moon magic. The stakes have become higher. Once he discovers that he can channel Sylvie’s moon magic for himself he becomes obsessed with any means to cajole, corrupt and extort this from her, despite the very clear impact on her health. This includes bringing his brother on side to facilitate this. Sylvie suffers tremendously for Magus’ actions, but her relationship with Yul, deepens regardless of the boundaries kept put in their way.  The punishments Yul must endure in trying to protect Sylvie, enable him to mature both mentally and physically, although he faces very dark times. Mother Heggy has a keener role in explaining the path that lies ahead for the young couple and the path is not clear nor a positive outcome guaranteed.

Whilst Magus is very good-looking, charming, and arguably an admirable leader, his obsession to rule and receive magic whatever the cost is not without consequence. His  hidden angry and violent side becomes more prevalent and less easy to hide. His sense of fairness wanes and cracks start to appear, which some villagers begin to notice. All the key characters continue to have striking personalities and hidden depths that unfold as the story is told, which keeps the reader engaged and mesmerised. The journey through the story is paved with unexpected twists and revelations that are both enchanting and captivating. There is still much more to learn about the characters and history of Stonewylde.

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Cowboys & Aliens, by Joan D. Vinge

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Solstice at Stonewylde, by Kit Berry

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