Moondance of Stonewylde carries on where Magus of Stonewylde left off. It has an almost anticlimactic feel to the beginning because Magus of Stonewylde ended on such a high note. I was imagining grandeurs where Yul would be crowned prince and Magus would be run off—or other things just as fanciful. But, Anticlimactic is definitely not a bad thing here. What happens next is right. The life of Sylvie and Yul carry on; it’s hard to forget that they are both just children, and although they’re both magical they have no power or say so in what happens in the village. Magus might not have the earth magic of Stonewylde any longer, but he is still their leader and no one can defy him.
Kit Berry’s Stonewylde series is so believable that it’s only right that the Sylvie and Yul would need to grow up and into their power. This is not a story where the main characters are uber-powerful after one chapter, and therefore overthrow their enemy with little trouble or heartache. They have to work, not only against the evil at Stonewylde, but just to live and be safe.
It could be frustrating at times, because they seemed so powerless and would have misunderstandings any typical teenagers would have, but this has only made the world richer. Kit Berry hasn’t rushed anything, she’s allowed Sylvie and Yul to grow and learn things at a steady, but slowly building pace.
This novel was so much better than Magus of Stonewylde, but only because it was a continuation of the same story, and I got to learn more about the characters, and the plot gets more intricate and in-depth. I can hardly think of Moondance of Stonewylde without merging it with the other novel as they fit seamlessly together. They fit together more like one large novel rather than two separate novels.
In this novel Yul comes into his own power, but it’s still not enough to overthrow Magus, who is the lore where the villagers and hallfolk are concerned. Yul is just a village boy and has no say in the running of the village.
Events turn even more sinister as Magus and his brother Clip find a way to use Sylvie’s power to their own gain. She’s powerless to stop them and they make her weaker and weaker each month. Yul’s powerless to stop it, and old Mother Heggy can only help him so much.
I was on the edge of my seat whilst reading this; practically holding my breath because I didn’t know how Sylvie and Yul could not only survive Magus’ tyranny and misuse of their power, but also put a stop to him once and for all.
The magical aspects are again woven seamlessly into the every day life of an ancient village that still practice paganism in a modern day world. Stonewylde is so believable, you could really believe it’s possible for a village to survive where everything is done in the traditional way and the villagers still practice the old religions.
Anyone with any interest in pagan festivals, the history of the green man, and a little bit of traditional earth magic will love this novel. The festivals are all described beautifully, and it would be such an idyllic place if not for Magus and his greed.
I hate Magus with a fiery passion—which shows what a well rounded character he is. He’s not a two dimensional villain, he has as much depth as Sylvie and Yul; he’s not only charming and clever, he is cunning, selfish and very good looking. He knows how to use it all to his advantage, winning villagers to his side. He gives them just enough to keep them willing and happy to please him, but only a selected few can see what he’s like underneath. And that is one of the reasons he’s such a brilliant character.
I love to hate him, as the saying goes.
As with Magus of Stonewylde, Moondance of Stonewylde is left on somewhat of a cliff hanger—small questions are answered; there is a very good build up to the books conclusion, but the overall plot arch is not finished, and if I ever want to know how Sylvie and Yul fare, I’ll have to read Solstice of Stonewylde.
A fantastic read. I really felt like I knew the characters in this book, and I felt their pain and hopelessness at the situation they were in. I felt anger, worry, frustration; all manner of emotions as I was reading this. I still feel it, because their journey hasn’t finished yet, and I have no idea what will happen to them next. If a book can make me feel so passionately, I know it must be good.
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