Oh my stars. (Yes, I’ve been saying that a lot, lately. But you guys, I have been reading some seriously brilliant authors these last few months! Rebecca Kightlinger being chief among them.)
I first became familiar with Ms. Kightlinger’s work when I dove headfirst into her novel, Megge of Bury Down, book one in “The Bury Down Chronicles.” What I found there was a delightfully created world of magic, healers, seers, herbs, weaving, ancient ways and a colorful cast of characters. I adored the young Megge, and loved the women in her life, walking the hilly paths with her as she came into her own. And when the book ended (and I had eaten all of the chocolate in my entire house), I began counting the days and months until her story could continue.
Enter The Lady of the Cliffs. (Also enter my squeals at pitches that only dogs can hear.)
The plot picks up right where the first book left off, with Megge and her cousin Brighida coming to terms with another loss and an unknown future. And once again, the author transports us into Megge’s world, with challenges, foes and friends, both new and old. Getting to see Brighida and Megge again was like meeting up at the coffee shop with dear friends after a long absence. Megge’s determination, bravery and curiosity; Brighida’s stoicism, quiet nature and wise heart. It was too fun to journey with them once again, to be with them as they explored their gifts, and to be on the sidelines cheering them on. (And again, eating all of the chocolate in my house.) (Have you ever read an author that can blend a beautiful story line with moments that make you forget to breathe? Chocolate helps.) Rebecca Kightlinger creates characters that are raw, human and ethereal, living their lives in a world that is remarkably fantastical and authentic.
Visit Stacie's blog, Pursuing Stacie, at:
Often, I get emails about books. Books that are coming out, books that I should read, book recommendations "hand-picked" for me, books that are on sale.
It's a lot of emails. Sometimes I put them all in a folder to look at later and then I scroll and scroll and my TBR grows and grows.
Earlier this Spring, I got an email from NetGalley about a book I might like called Megge of Bury Down by Rebecca Kightlinger.
I haven't been on Netgalley for long, but they really nailed it! I love historical fiction. I love magic. I love stories about women. I love historical fiction about women with magic! I requested a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I became obsessed with Megge of Bury Down. The world building, the story, and the characters!
The level of detail in the world building was perfect. You aren't burdened with too much detail, and you can fly through the book while still feeling like you have a sense of the setting and what is going on.
The characters were intriguing. There wasn't anyone that I found annoying, which can make a book drag for me. The dynamics among the women were interesting as well. And of course there are the characters you don't know much about but you just feel that they'll be important. Before you know it, you start to fly through the book wanting to know more!
And the plot! I honestly thought to myself, this could become one of my new favorite series. There were a lot of things that I would wonder and want to know more about, but the pace of the book, and the timing of things being revealed was perfect.
It gave me the feeling I remember from a book I read when I was younger that I loved, called Witch Child. This didn't have the same story or style even, but I love a story where female healers aren't just being accused of witchcraft. They have actual power. The idea of the Book of Time and Book of Seasons was so intriguing to me. Watching the sense of duty that these women have in protecting those secrets, and keeping it from falling into the wrong hands. It was all so badass!
Even before I finished the book, I ran to Goodreads to give Rebecca Kightlinger a follow, and awaited a notification for when the second book in the series would be available.
Spoiler alert, I'm not alone in my judgment! Megge of Bury Down was just named a Distinguished Favorite in the Historical Fiction category and cover design category by Independent Press NYC Big Book Awards.
When I got word that The Lady of the Cliffs was coming and there was a blog tour I hopped on without a second thought!
The Lady of the Cliffs did not disappoint!
In the first book there was a lot of personal conflict, and even a bit of rejecting fate. But all of that really helped you feel the weight of what was at stake and what this lurking threat is.
Now, in the second book in the series, there's more action. Everything feels more pressing. The danger, the threat of the Blacksmith or the imposter abbot. The voice, who does it belong to? And Megge's charge! What is it, and which one is meant for this lifetime...
"The Lady of the Cliffs is the perfect continuation of the story of the women of Bury Down. Not just Megge. Going back to so many of the characters being likeable, this isn't your token strong girl story! I think often we have female protagonists who are presented as the exception or one of a kind. And while Megge is special for sure, her being strong and special isn't a judgment on the women around her. One is not put down in order to lift up the other. Brighida, for example, is calm, cool, collected, and dutiful. She shows so much strength.
"It's not often you get to read a story where strong women get to coincide without being pit against each other in some way. At least, that has been my personal experience. I think that's part of why I adore this story so much.
"With The Lady of the Cliffs: The Bury Down Chronicles #2, I stand by my initial assessment from earlier this year, that this will become one of my favorite series."
For this and more reviews, visit Jas's blog:
Independent book publishers Benjamin Franklin Award
THE BILL FISHER AWARD
FOR BEST FIRST BOOK
Winners to be announced May 2021
The independent Press
mom's choice gold award