I was saddened to learn of the recent death of Kit Berry (Kirsten Espensen), author of the wonderful fantasy series of Stonewylde. Gollancz publishers noted her passing in a post dated 1 November 2021, and her Wikipedia page has been updated to list her date of death as 29 October 2021.
In 2016, I wrote a review of her Stonewylde series for the SFF blog, and was surprised and honoured to receive a reply from the author herself in a blog comment. We also communicated a bit by email back in 2016, and I always meant to email her again, and to post a question about Stonewylde here on SE in the hope of encouraging her to sign up for an account and answer it herself. Now that chance has been lost forever.
Perhaps not the best known of fantasy authors, but the only one that I had the privilege to communicate with directly after reading and loving her books. Rest in peace.
She wasn’t burned at the Yew of Death, and nor was her presence at Stonewylde marked by a simple pebble. Her presence became Stonewylde, for this had always been her destiny.
[She] looked serene and at peace in the resting place that had always been here, had always called to her, had always waited for her. Stonewylde had at last taken her back, into the womb, into the place of dancing feet and moonlight, the place of hares and eternity, the place of moon magic and coiled spirals deep in the earth.
[She] lived on forever in the landscape – she was the landscape. Many years ago she had come hoping to be healed, and now she would give healing. Her love and her magic were in this place for all time, to be shared by her people and her beloved. [She] and Stonewylde were one.