Series Review – Stonewylde by Kit Berry

After all the writing of last month I took a few days off at the beginning of this month to catch up on some reading, and gardening (among other things), and to give my brain a chance to rest and recuperate.

About a month ago I came across an interview with Kit Berry and after listening to it I had to buy her series: Magus of Stonewylde; Moondance of Stonewylde; Solstice at Stonewylde and Shadows at Stonewylde.

The Stonewylde Series is set in present day Devon, England – Stonewylde being a community that has been cut off from the rest of society for centuries. Within the walls of Stonewylde life continues as it did during feudal society – the estate is ruled over by Magus who lives in the large Stone House with the remainder of the Hallfolk. Those priviledged to be born into this world, or lucky enough to gain entrance through excelling in studies, experienced the full extent of modern life – being encouraged to visit and even live in the outside world, having access to television and internet. The Villagers however, are the work horses. They are the farmers, woodsmen, spinners, weavers, dairymaids. Each child attends school until he or she is 8, at which point they are tested. If they pass they join the hallfolk, a failure leads to an apprenticeship in skilled labour. The villagers have never heard of television, let alone seen one, nor do they know of the existence of the internet. They work hard, providing for the Hallfolk. All the people of Stonewylde meet together several times a year, at the Seasonal Celebrations, where they honour the old Gods of the land, and take part in the same ancient rituals.

My initial reaction upon reading the first chapter or two of the first book, was admittedly one of disappointment, and a certainty I wouldn’t be able to read them all. Yes I had been warned in the interview with the author that Stonewylde was not the idyllic place it at first seemed, and Magus was harsh. But I had not expected it to be so unfair – with obvious class barriers and discrimination, encountered worst of all in Magus who is a cruel and manipulative man – ever out to improve his lot in life at the expense of everyone else.

But soon enough the characters of Yul- a village boy, and Sylvie – newcomer to Stonewylde whose pale silver-white hair suggests a link with the hallfolk – had me hooked, turning page after page to find out what was going to happen next in their relationship.

And then tragedy struck! I finished Book 2 – Moondance of Stonewylde – and realised book 3 still hasn’t arrived!! I’m left with a cliff hanger – Yul’s life is ebbing away and Sylvie is in mortal danger

Hurry up Posties please – bring me my books!! I’m desperate to know what happens next!!

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