“Rebecca Kightlinger is a weaver of earth magic and a mixer of potions, and her suspenseful and magical chronicle mixes up a brew of destiny and reckoning, tradition and dreams." —Annie Finch, author of Among the Goddesses and The Poetry Witch Little Book of Spells
"With its matrilineal history of secrets passed down by complex, hardened, loving women, its touches of magic, and its skillful attention to historical detail, Megge of Bury Down is a wonderful debut. Megge is a protagonist easy to fall in love with, to root for, to worry about, and when dark forces enter her world Kightlinger’s storytelling abilities shine. This novel manages to be full of careful character studies, and yet also shot through with dramatic tension that is certain to keep readers turning the pages. It's a full, satisfying novel that will, at the end, leave you hungry for the next installment." David Anthony Durham, author of Pride of Carthage and the Acacia trilogy
"Creating powerful female characters, combining magic and medicine, Rebecca Kightlinger tells a compelling tale of what it takes to walk the 'path of the protector.' In a timeless yet also timely story, Kightlinger's heroine rallies supernatural strength and all matter of healing arts to find her path toward protecting books, the land, and most of all her fellow women. Kightlinger's own background in medicine grounds her epic narrative in hard truths. Her wisdom and compassion give it heart. Readers will not forget the women of Bury Down." Elizabeth Searle, author of We Got Him and librettist for Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera
“The list of surgeons who became writers is legion (Somerset Maugham, Conan Doyle, Chekhov, to name a few), as is the list of precocious child narrators (Holden Caulfield, Huck Finn, Scout, Celie). Add Rebecca Kightlinger and her narrator to those lists. Megge of Bury Down (set in Lostwithiel, Cornwall of the 13th century) is as winsome as any of her predecessors. She is also so much more: herder, shearer, weaver[…]. Better yet, she is fiercely loyal to her flock (staving off wolves on their behalf) and family (attacking men thrice her size who have harmed her mother).
The story is woven around two mystical volumes, The Book of Time (celestial wisdom) and The Book of Seasons (worldly knowledge), which have their origins a thousand years in the past, together providing a recipe for power and courage, the very attributes that make them sought through the ages by the worst of humankind while protected by the best – but, as Ms. Kightlinger so wisely illustrates, good and bad are relative. The good are as culpable as the bad for the conflicts they create, and pay as high a price. It should come as no surprise that Ms. Kightlinger writes with grit and understanding about midwifery (whether lambing or birthing), but every aspect of her story is touched with the same mastery in prose laced with poetic phrases: the part in Megge’s scalp wanders like an old country road; a wounded woman walks like a sailor on a rolling sea; a cheek is soft as pudding; an angry child’s tongue is a rigid pink petal. Menace haunts the tale from its bucolic beginnings to its violent ends. Women healers are viewed as witches to be burned at the stake by zealots who believe healing is the province of priests alone – but the zealots are not what they seem, nor apparently is anyone else. The story unspools scene by chilling scene as mask after mask slips from character after character ranging from shepherds to earls. As Megge blossoms into a young woman, she finds romance in the arms of a weaver turned knight – and wisdom: What people don’t know, they fear. And what they fear, they hurt.
Kightlinger was performing colposcopies for the Amerindian women of Guyana, South America, bathing in rivers, boiling the water, and sleeping on the ground in tents, when an accident to her wrist rendered her unable to continue her work and deposited her among the tribe of scribblers to which she now so richly belongs. This would be a masterwork as the culmination of a series, but for a first novel, projected into a saga of three, it is simply stunning.” --Boman Desai, author of The Memory of Elephants and TRIO: A Novel Biography of the Schumanns and Brahms
Some books you just have a spiritual connection with. You know what I mean? I’m sure that if I ask you which book you’ve had a heart relationship with, you could immediately pull to mind a title or two (or twelve). I was recently going through a period of pretty high anxiety, and really needed a story that I could just sink into. One that felt a little slower-paced. A little magical. A journey, more than an adventure.
Welcome to Megge of Bury Down by Rebecca Kightlinger.
Rebecca Kightlinger is a spell weaver. She has to be. Allow me to explain. First of all, every chapter was therapeutic. I was easily transported into each setting, each scene, each circumstance. You guys, I’m not even kidding. I could see everything, smell every herb, hear every conversation. I feel as though I met each of the women of Bury Down personally, and then let them set up residence in my heart-space. I didn’t read the book. I experienced it. And with each page, each escape, each passage with the women of Bury Down, I mended.
There is so much beauty in Megge of Bury Down, but there is an amazing amount of mystery. So often, I found myself thinking, “What on earth? What aren’t they telling Megge? Why is going on? No, that did NOT just happen!” and it was stinkin’ awesome. And, as if that wasn’t enough, I was offered the amazing opportunity to interview the author. (You know that high-pitched squeal that only dogs can hear? Totally me, while thinking up questions for Rebecca Kightlinger.) Enjoy our little chat below! To find out more about Rebecca Kightlinger, go here! Afterwards, buy Megge of Bury Down for yourself, your mom, your sister, your best friend, the librarian, the lady who fills your prescriptions, the woman who always says ‘hi’ at the bank and that gal you just met at work. Friends, trust me on this one. You will love it so. AND, it’s the first in the series. So, you kind of have to get it. **A huge ‘thank you’ to Rebecca Kightlinger and Courtney Link for allowing me the privilege of reading and reviewing this book.
Bright blessings! Those who are prolific readers are in for a real treat!
A new book was published recently, and let me tell you, it’s an exquisite read. It’s called Megge of Bury Down, which is part of The Bury Down Chronicles by Rebecca Kightlinger and is set in Thirteenth Century Cornwall, England. It is magical, chock full of mystery, the Old Ways, and Family Traditions. This book draws you in immediately, and Kightlinger’s descriptive narrative voice is so deep, you actually FEEL like you are THERE, watching in person. The firelight flickering in the darkness is so well detailed, you can almost smell the woodsmoke, and the faces of the women are so well described, you can almost reach out and touch them.
Megge of Bury Down is a very detailed read about how Megge, a 6-year-old girl born in 13th century England, discovers her mother’s book of healing. Seven years pass, and she has 4 guardians Mother, Aunt Claris, Morwen, and Aleydis. Another thing she has is a constant conflict going on between her and her cousin Brighida. Right from the beginning, we are thrown straight into the action in the village and also see conflicts between villagers.
Megge is our narrator throughout this book, in which we see the impact and power of the Book of Seasons within the community, not just on Megge, but everyone around her as she fights for self-confidence, self-acceptance and self worth in a family dominated by her cousin Brigida’s status as “golden child.” Her mission is to keep the Book of Seasons from evil hands, but will she achieve her goal?
The attention to detail is fantastic and the story is so detailed and visual that it makes you focus and “get inside” the visual medieval world Rebecca Kightlinger creates. The characters are so varied, too.
Thanks to Rebecca Kightlinger and Zumaya Arcane for my ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
GoodReads, Amazon, Audible.com, NetGalley, and other reviews
"fascinating coming-of-age tale"
Cindy Rogers (Librarian) has just reviewed Megge of Bury Down. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Full Text: What a story! It was slow to start, and, just as I became invested in the characters, it ended, leaving me wanting the next volume immediately. But what a fascinating coming-of-age tale of healers and shepherds, weavers and blacksmiths. This is the kind of book one can read as a tween and then reread as a teen and then again as an adult, making new connections to the characters each time.
Jan Cramer as narrator is fantastic! Her voices ring true and help keep the many characters sorted out.
This would make a great addition to any library collection. Links: Additional Questions: Will you recommend this audiobook through Readers' Advisory, book clubs, events, etc.? Yes Is your library likely to purchase this audiobook? Yes Do you like the narrator? Yes
"fabulous historical fantasy"
Susie Sharp (Librarian) has just reviewed Megge of Bury Down. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Full Text: This was a fabulous historical fantasy! This was a well written story that starts out a bit slow but so worth it to stay with it! This story is so interesting it’s a coming of age story, a finding your true self story, a story about what family and society expect from you. Megge is a child when the story starts in a family of strong women healers but it is the 1200’s so you can guess parts of this book because healers weren’t always accepted as such! But is Megge ready or willing to be in line to inherit the book of healing? Something happens that makes Megge not want to be in the “family business” . I won’t spoil anything for anyone but I highly recommend this very well written historical fantasy. Wonderfully narrated by Jan Cramer she did an amazing job she really brought the emotions and characters to life. I will definitely be listening to her again! I look forward to reading anything else this author puts out and I look forward to more books in this series!! 4 stars I received this audiobook from Rowan Moon Publishers and Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Links: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3516736967 Additional Questions: Will you recommend this audiobook through Readers' Advisory, book clubs, events, etc.? Yes Is your library likely to purchase this audiobook? Yes Do you like the narrator? Yes Do you nominate this title for the LibraryReads List? Yes
From Molly's Bookshelf http://www.midwestbookreview.com/rbw/nov_18.htm#molly
Megge of Bury Down chockfull with the matrilineal antiquity of mysteries passed down by multifaceted, affectionate women, allows readers a little flavor of antiquity, touched by magical and misinterpretation.
Writer Kightlinger offers a delightfully rounded collection of judiciously fashioned character dispositions. Studied pressure presents assures readers will continue turning the pages of this energetic account in which the coming of age of Megge of Bury Down simplifies through the insightful writing of Kightlinger.
What an interesting Read, happy to recommend Megge of Bury Down vol 1 of The Bury Down Chronicles for strong readers in upper middle grades, high school and adult readers who enjoy the fantasy genre. Book is a good choice for school and public libraries as well as for gifting a special niece or other reader of historical fiction.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher for review.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ From Elizabeth, Audible.com reviewer
THE POWER OF WOMEN! In the 13th century, powerful women who refused to submit to power did so under constant threat of torture and death. In this story of a child destined to guard great power, Ms. Kightlinger has used real history to create a world in which what some call fantasy is only one more aspect of daily life.
This is fantasy for people who don't read fantasy, and a must-read for anyone seeking characters who rise into reality strong and full of life.
Best of all, it's suitable for young readers, and highly recommended. Just be ready for their questions.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 5.0 out of 5 stars By Janet Wells on March 3, 2018 Format: Paperback Kightlinger's historical fantasy immerses the reader in Medieval England. Engaging characters and a mysterious, conflict-filled plot make the novel a delightful read. ~~~~~ 5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars March 3, 2018 Format: Paperback Well written book that kept you interested until the end!
5.0 out of 5 stars ~~~~~ Feb 10, 2018 Margaret D I am trying so hard not to finish this book too quickly BUT I CAN'T STOP READING! I promise myself I'll only read one or two chapters and then BAM I've read 10! I love getting to know the characters, learning their lineage and watching them follow their destinies. I think the addition of the online link (https://www.burydownchronicles.com/ch...) to maps and name/location pronunciations was a fantastic idea! Looking forward to volume 2!
~~~~~ 4 out of 5 stars Mar 09, 2018 Anya Really liked it I picked up this book and due to school reading and work, could NOT finish it as fast as I would have liked. Given the option, I would have sat reading this book all day and all night until getting to the conclusion. Having finished it, I am now sad as it is the first in a series and I am eager to get to the next phase in the world of Megge. This book is unconventional in its portrayal of strong women in the 13th century in England. The story centers around a group of healers, Megge being our protagonist. She is raised to become the heir to a book of healing but is struggling against her birthright. This is a wonderful envisioning of self-acceptance, learning to come to terms with what is expected of you, and strong female characters. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to read something so outside of the norm and would be intrigued to read other books in this same vein. This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
~~~~~ 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book! By Paul D February 11, 2018 Format: Paperback| Wonderful! I loved the characters and the way they were developed. This book has everything I like: suspense, drama, and intrigue. Hard to put it down. I can't wait for Volume 2!!
Sara Hill (Reviewer) has just reviewed Megge of Bury Down. Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I need the second book in the series now! I could not stop listening to Megge of Bury Down by Rebecca Kightlinger!
Megge has reached the age to become an apprentice healer to her mother. Her mother keeps pestering her to protect the Book of Seasons, which Megge does not have a great encounter with. In fact, it is a bit lively. At times, the number of characters was overwhelming, but I found Kightlinger did a great job of reminding us why a certain person was important.
This was a beautifully written historical fiction novel mixed with some fantasy elements. I found it well paced, although the action starts about 35% of the way through.
Jan Cramer did a great job with the narration. I knew exactly who was talking. Her inflections were animated as well. I would easily listen to her again, and I hope she narrates the rest of the series.
If you enjoy historical books featuring healers and witches mixed with a little fantasy magic this book is for you. I absolutely cannot wait for the rest of the series!
Rosemary Smith (Librarian) has just reviewed Megge of Bury Down. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Full Text: This fascinating story takes place in 13th century England, where Megge is readying herself to take on her role as village healer for Bury Down. She is learning from her mother, but also from The Book of Seasons, an ancient book that holds the wisdom of Murga, the first seer of the village, centuries earlier. It will be part of Megge’s job to protect the book, but she has a potent fear of the book, that it will be her undoing and refuses to even look at it. It’s only when the Church sends an emissary to hunt down the “heretics and witches” and jail the owner of the book, that Megge will find the courage to accept and embrace her heritage. Cramer’s narration is spot on, clear and commanding, bringing this story of women’s power to life Links: https://cayocosta72.wordpress.com/2020/08/13/megge-of-bury-down-by-rebecca-kightlinger-published-by-ibpa-audiobooks-narrated-by-jan-cramer/ Additional Questions: Will you recommend this audiobook through Readers' Advisory, book clubs, events, etc.? Yes Do you like the narrator? Yes
Tamian Wood (Reviewer) has just reviewed Megge of Bury Down. Rating: 5 out of 5 stars Full Text: It's been a long time since a book has made me openly weep. (it's a good thing I listened on my morning uphill walk. I could pass the tears off as sweat! LOL)
I hesitated to post a review, because I am the book designer (both the cover and interior) but I can assure you this review is completely unbiased. As a busy designer, I rarely have time to read my clients works. (And to be honest, I'm sometimes afraid to, since I work with a LOT of first time writers. *cringe*) About 99% of my jobs are created just on a synopsis. This one I made time for. It is skillfully written and a story beautifully told. Fabulously narrated too. I LOVED the slight nuances the narrator gave to each of the voices to let the listener know a different character was speaking. Very skillfully done, and best of all, not overdone.
I truly enjoyed this story. I laughed and cried and made snarky faces with the characters as they got snarky with others! I love it when a book drags me in. I can't wait for the sequel that (spoiler alert!) should be out soon.
~ Praise for The Bury Down Chronicles ~
"Megge is a protagonist easy to fall in love with, to root for, to worry about, and when dark forces enter her world, Kightlinger’s storytelling abilities shine." David Anthony Durham, author of Pride of Carthage and the Acacia trilogy
The independent Press New York City Big Book award distinguished favorite in historical fiction and book cover design