Sylvie is dying. A victim of crippling allergies, poisoned by the pollution and chemicals of modern life, Sylvie is 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 them to stay away from him - he'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 are she and her mother so drawn to the Magus? Is the crone on the hill really a powerful wise-woman, or just a crazed 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?
There is a hidden place within England, a place of magic where people follow the old ways. And that's where this story takes place.
Sylvie is poisoned by modern society and comes to Stonewylde. She is weak, but she slowly finds strength and her way. Still at one time I did fear her going tstl on me as she become friends with someone she had seen do something bad. But then again she is just that nice.
Yul, is a village boy who I felt sorry for. This is not a nice society. I quickly saw the faults through his eyes. The Magus who is in charge can say whatever he wants to but this is a feudal society where some reap the benefits of the sweat of others backs. Poor Yul, he is just so broken.
Yes this may seem like the perfect place, but there is a darkness over it all too. I also felt like some are pushed too much when it comes to a certain ritual. But I shall say no more. It's the old ways and it makes it to one good story. Darkness and light.
The book may end with a glimmer of hope but it's far from over and it made me want to jump at the next one at once.
A YA fantasy/paranormal story that will bring you friendship, injustice and budding romance.
Series: Stonewylde #1
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Published: 2011 by Gollancz (first pub 2005)