Rebecca Kightlinger brings a new view of the healers/seers versus witches debates in thirteenth century Britain with the first in The Bury Down Chronicles with
Megge of Bury Down
Starting a bit slowly, we are introduced to Megge at age 6, daughter of the seer of Bury Down in Cornwall, and subjected to all of the ‘superstitions’ and isolations that the questions (and fears) that surrounded healers in the day. Questions about witchcraft, learning the potions and ointments, the nature that surrounds them, as well as protection of the book – one that chronicles their art and is valuable to more than just Megge and her mother.
We follow Megge as she comes to understand the power of the book, and her fights for her own ‘recognition’ within the family, as her cousin Brigida is the “golden child’ of her generation. Alternating forces pull at Megge as she struggles to find her place, her acceptance and her own footing in a world that isn’t always kind or open to her. Filled with historic references, details and plenty of something simply magical – we see Megge grow and start to discover her own worth and strength –and are drawn into the next moments.
Narration for this story is provided by Jan Cramer who presented the story with flair: we understood that Megge was ‘finding her place’ while those around her were either seeking to help or hinder that progress. Magical moments, the feelings of despair and elation, and the little bits about the book, the process and even the social ostracizations all allowed the story to slowly develop and leave me wanting more.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 5
Title: Megge of Bury Down
Author: Rebecca Kightlinger
Series: The Bury Down Chronicles #1
Genre: British, Coming of Age, Family Saga, Historic Elements, Historical Fiction, Magic, Medieval Era, Mystery Elements, Setting: Britain, Small Town, Witches
Narrator: Jan Cramer
Published by: Rowan Moon
Published on: 8 November, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 38 minutes
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In thirteenth century Cornwall, young Megge has just come of age to be apprenticed to her mother, the healer of Bury Down. But first, she must accept and vow to protect The Book of Seasons, an ancient tome that holds life-sustaining power harnessed centuries earlier by Murga, the first seer of Bury Down.
At her vowtaking ceremony, yearning to accept her inheritance and take her place among her family's long line of healers and seers, Megge reaches for the book. When she touches it, she feels something writhe within it and becomes convinced that the book is cursed and that she too will be cursed if she accepts it.
Despite her mother's pleas to protect the book from the one who would usurp its power, Megge refuses to even look at it. But when a Blackfriar abbot arrives in the village claiming to be under orders to root out heretics and imprisons the healer for failing to turn over her "demon's book," will Megge finally be persuaded to take that vow?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.