The Stonewylde series of books, written by Kit Berry.
They are set in a closed Pagan community in Dorset and it is about the way their live their lives there, focusing primarily on the leader, Magus, Yul, a young woodsman and Sylvie, a girl who has just joined the (normally closed) community from London and the way their relationships are interlinked.
It is wonderful that the backdrop to all of this is Pagan rituals, day-to-day greetings of ‘Blessings’ and phrases like “Goddess knows” and “Altar stone” as a place the young protagonist visits on a daily basis to his fill of the earth magic and the pub is called “Jack on the Green”.
It is so nice that this is the Pagan normality – just part of day-to-day life. Not where people have to watch what they say just because their vocabulary and frame of reference is so different to everyone else’s and although for the most part people are curious rather than nasty you end up having to explain everything.
I bought all 3 books which are currently out and I devoured 2 of them in a couple of days and now I am reluctant to start the 3rd as, according to Kit’s interview on Druidcast, the 4th will not be out till summer next year and the 5th sometime after that. I just can’t wait!
I have even been talking in my sleep about this it has effected me so much.
Magus is a nasty piece of work and there are many characters who are not very nice – just like in the real world, it is not some hippy utopia, but realistic and grounded (within its context).
In the first book I occasionally felt the writing was a little stilted, but for the most part this is a highly entertaining, thrilling and deeply fulfilling series to read and I want the next book to come out now so I can read the 3rd.
It is my understanding that Kit Berry set up a publishing company as she struggled to get anyone to take this and I hope all of the hard work has paid off for her. She and her partner have to do all of the work marketing this book, as well as her writing it. I really hope this is the start of a long and successful publishing career for Kit she deserves it – she has even given talks to the Women’s Institute about these books!
On the Stonewylde website Kit Berry says
It’s a strange thing, but many people who’ve read Stonewylde become just a little obsessed
I can really believe that!