I’m going to be starting a ‘book’s in focus’ weekly post here on the blog and to start I’m going to be focusing on the Stonewylde series by Kit Berry, because they are my favourite book series of all time.
Hidden in deep Dorset is a community like none other: Stonewylde. It’s self-sufficient and cut off from the Outside World. The community lives by the old ways, honouring the ancestors of past.
But all is not as it seems at Stonewylde. There are two types of people: Hallfolk and Villagers.
The Hallfolk all live grandly at the Hall with modern gadgets and access to the Outside World.
The Villagers, however, live down in the Village, living lives like their medieval ancestors: no electricity for them!
We first meet the characters of Stonewylde in the first novel, Magus of Stonewylde.
Sylvie is dying. A victim of crippling allergies and poisoned by the pollution and chemicals of modern life, she’s trapped in a hospital bed while her mother and doctors watch her life slipping away. But one of them offers her a chance.
There’s an alternative community – Stonewylde – hidden away behind high boundary walls in a corner of Dorset. If their leader, the charismatic Magus, would let Sylvie visit then perhaps the clean air and green lifestyle may restore her vitality – or at least give her some measure of peace before she dies. It’s a chance, and when Sylvie and her mother take it, they find themselves in a haven of tranquillity and beauty.
But it’s not all idyllic. The Magus sends a moody, secretive Village boy to work in their garden as a punishment. He warns the newcomers to stay away from the boy, who’s rebellious and in deep trouble. But Sylvie is curious about Yul and, as their forbidden friendship grows, she sees that all is not quite as it seems at Stonewylde.
Why was she told to keep away from Yul – and why is everyone so drawn to the Magus? Is the crone on the hill really a powerful wise-woman, or just a mad old hag bent on destroying the peace with her wild prophecies? And what exactly is the magical secret at the heart of this seemingly perfect community?
In total there are five books in the series: Magus of Stonewylde, Moondance of Stonewylde, Solstice at Stonewylde, Shadows at Stonewylde and Shaman of Stonewylde.
Throughout the month of November I will be reviewing all of the books in the series by Kit Berry, so please check back for them.
I hope you enjoy!