“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
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.
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.
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! ~~~~~ Feb 10, 2018 Margaret DiPastina rated it 5 stars It was amazing
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!
~~~~~ Mar 09, 2018 Anya Leonard rated it 4 stars 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!!
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