Kayla Harris

Stonewylde Review Number 2

Moondance of Stonewylde

Book 2

I was under no illusion this time when I approached Moondance, there was no doubt that I would be taken deeper into the rabbit hole and shown an even darker side to Stonewylde. Yet, still it left me breathless. This book had me feeling like I was suffocating and drowning all at once. I would surface gasping for air and immediately dive back in just to see how far I could be pushed before I needed to close my eyes for good.

The more we journey toward the heart of Stonewylde, the more secrets we uncover. This story unfolds slowly and painfully, revealing more and more truths about abuse. By now, Magus’ abusive persona moves on from being just a ‘Bully’ and the ‘Liar’. We begin to see the shift towards the ‘Sexual Controller’, the ‘Persuader’ and the most definitely the ‘Bad Father’. It is a common misconception that there are different types of people who exhibit abuse in individually different ways and to some extent this can be true. However, there are many personalities embodied by a single abuser and Pat Craven, the founder of the Freedom Programme describes these in detail in her book “Living with the Dominator”. By introducing her audience to the multi-faceted Magus, Kit Berry once again shows off her indisputable knowledge of this specific subject.

Magus is the ‘gift’ wrapped up by God himself, or so it is considered and now he has found out Sylvie’s secret.  He thinks, “I want a piece of that” and what Magus wants, Magus gets and apparently, he will stop at nothing to get it. We see how he exploits his ability to lie and manipulate everyone around him and most worryingly, Sylvie’s mother who is held tight under his thrall. Emphasised by the use of hypnotism, we watch how he placates Sylvie, whilst in turn, ensuring that there is not a single person who can help her, including Yul. Not only is Sylvie isolated she is only at the very beginning of her nightmare.

Magus will one minute offer her tenderness and kindness, the next he is torturing her. By constantly changing his tactics with conflicting actions, Sylvie is almost completely unable to comprehend what is happening to her. Combining this with the effects of feeling isolated and desperate, Sylvie is utterly confused and therefore pliable and so Magus gains full control. This ‘episode’ in the series accurately reflects the harsh truth about emotional abuse. Magus has no need to lay a hand on Sylvie, the threat of ‘what may be’ works equally effectively on her.

In reality this would be where it all begins, it would be the crucial point where a victim may be lost to the vice-like grip of abuse. Any reader able to really connect with this book could potentially educate themselves in recognising the signs of a potentially dangerous situation, either for their own good, or even for the benefit of another. So many women today are still not equipped with such information and like Sylvie, fall into the trap and it is rare for these women to ever make it out.

As with all the Stonewylde books, this is yet another entertaining novel. Simultaneously educational and an absolute inspiration for young adults. Kit Berry deserves massive praise and recognition for her bravery in her blatant portrayal of abuse. Her clever use of magic and fantasy knitting the whole story together beautifully, allowing her audience to fully enjoy the experience whilst potentially learning something along the way.

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