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Magus of Stonewylde: Book 1 (Stonewylde Series) Paperback – 1 Oct 2005

129 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Moongazy Publishing (1 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 095514390X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955143908
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 742,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kit Berry lived in Dorset for many years, where she worked as a school teacher and brought up three sons. She was inspired by the beauty of the landscape and her interest in folklore and earth-based spirituality to write the Stonewylde Series.

The first three novels in this five book series were originally self-published and achieved such success that in 2010 the rights to the series were bought by Orion. Under their Gollancz imprint, they re-published the first three books and then the final two. All five Stonewylde novels are now available, including an omnibus e-book.

Kit gives talks at literary festivals and book groups, and runs creative writing workshops in secondary schools and for adults. Details of her events, and the story behind Stonewylde, can be found on

Following her second marriage, Kit moved to Berkshire where she lives with her husband and animals. She's now working on a new project - an adult historical novel. Broadly following the themes in The Tempest, this story is set on the Isle of Portland during the English Civil War.

Product Description


Kit Berry is a talented writer; her ideas and imagination are absolutely brilliant. (Guardian)

Powerful stuff - disturbing and dramatic. Allow this story to grab hold and it may not let you go! (Kevin Crossley-Holland)

"Dramatic and exciting story with a brilliant, original setting. Difficult to put down once you've begun." (4.5 stars) (THE BOOKBAG)

Kit Berry is an amazing natural storyteller. Her people, her places and her plots are so vivid as to establish her as a major novelist. (Professor Ronald Hutton, TV historian and author) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Deep in the green hills of Dorset lies a hidden place of secrets, passion and fatal conflict. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By thewiccaman on 20 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Magus of Stonewylde, is amazing! The first novel in a series of five by Kit Berry, subtly sucks you into a remarkable world, a seemingly idyllic utopia where the troubles of our world and our lives seem very far off indeed. Stonewylde is a modern feudal society whose citizens live in harmony with nature and revere her in every way. They follow the Old Religion, the Pagan Path, under the stern and watchful eye of the Magus of the title. Yet very soon you can sense the tensions bubbling beneath the surface and are drawn into the magic and mysticism of the world of Stonewylde.

Kit Berry is sublime in her development of the main characters; Sylvie, the outsider, Yul, the Village boy and the Magus himself. I became entranced by them and the emotional roller-coaster she puts you on as the plot unfolds is absolutely thrilling. I found myself so attached to Sylvie and Yul and felt such powerful empathy with them as they confronted each obstacle that was put before them.

The spiritual elements, the true Pagan practices, are intertwined throughout the story in such a natural way so that even if you don't follow the path yourself, you find you can easily and happily accept Stonewylde's customs and practices.

If I was to draw any similarities with other books, it would have to be Jean Auel's Earth's Children series; Clan of the Cave Bear, Valley of the Horses, etc. Although these books are set in mankind's distant past, the spiritual elements Auel writes about; the empathy with The Mother, Shaminism, magic, are all present and Kit Berry recognises these roots of Paganism that were never truly lost in Magus of Stonewylde.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By uk reader on 2 July 2006
Format: Paperback
Difficult for me to add to the superlatives that others have already given. I came across this book by accident on a trip to Avebury, and it seemed to jump out at me, so I bought it: and whilst I'd only intended to have a quick preview, once I'd got through the first few pages, I was hooked, and didn't put it down for three days until I'd finished it! (Certainly concur with putting everything else on hold until I HAD finished it)! But woe was me when I eventually did. I felt absolutely bereft! What on earth was I going to do now it over! It was the best read I'd had for ages, and I'm a fussy and critical reader too! Especially when it comes to fiction!

Little need to be, with Stonewylde however. Kit Berry draws the reader in from more or less the first page, and from that point on, one is on a journey. With the characters, with the author, and perhaps most of all, with the place itself, Stonewylde.

There is an enchantment, both to Stonewylde and to the writing, that is hard to put into actual words. The place lives; breathes; whispers on the wind; as if the reader were actually there; experiencing everything that the characters are. There is an enchantment in the air; in the beautiful descriptive passages of the book; in the magic that takes place in and around its borders; in the dusk of the full moons; and the cold light of dawn. It's a descriptive fiction fan's dream. Fabulous writing, beautifully evocative, and thoroughly enchanting. Every character is rounded enough to be convincing, and intriguing enough to make you want to explore them further and plumet their depths to discover their motivations.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
I first heard about this book after I had been searching on Amazon one day for pagan novels, when this book was recomended. I looked at the reviews and saw how much people loved it and so purchased it.

When I started to read it I had two other books on the go and suddenly found myself in a weird book mood, which left me feeling uninterested in carrying on with the book. I had got 100 pages in at this time, but just felt like I didn't want to read it (I guess that's what you get for trying to read too many books at once).

Over the weeks I kept looking at the book but kept putting it back down. So yesterday I went to put the book back on my book shelf thinking I'd read it in a year or two, when I thought 'oh sod it' and I started to read it again. As I did 'WOW' I was hooked! I found myself unable to put the book down. I was gripped from then on and I totally loved the story. As I read I was able to easily visualize the characters in the book, and the environmental surrounding and I felt at home reading it.

Being a Pagan myself I loved reading about the paganism within this book which I felt was heavily integrated in the book. Well considering it is a pagan based novel written by a pagan author, it's not surprising. However it is not written in a way where it trashes other faiths which was really nice. This book brings the beauty of paganism alive.

I loved the characters, including the nasty one, Magus! Yul and Sylvie are brilliant in this novel, what two wonderful characters. I love them!

I definitely can't wait to read the other two installments, and yet there are two other books waiting to be written and published! As this novel is spread over into five books and only three have been published! I hope the other books are just as good as the first one, as I love this novel.

5/5 from me.
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