on September 23, 2011
Anna is the young daughter of a British warrior governor just growing into her extraordinary powers when a terrible event changed her life forever. With her father dead and her mother under the control of a nefarious ruler, this would-be peaceful Wiccan transformed into a scorned woman, desperate for revenge.
At her mother's urging, Anna flees to Ireland, where she would take a new name, Morgan le Fay. Extreme misfortune follows her, as she becomes a prisoner of war, sold into slavery to an elderly wise woman. As Morgan learned the craft, she managed to escape slavery for refuge in a Christian colony.
But can Morgan master her powers and finally get her revenge?
Alex Epstein gives readers a whole new perspective on one of medieval history's most infamous women. By exploring Morgan le Fay's mysterious childhood years, readers' previous conceptions will be easily swayed. History buffs and paranormal/fantasy fans alike will all find a hidden treasure in THE CIRCLE CAST.
Reviewed by: Monica Sheffo
on May 1, 2011
The Circle Cast: The Lost Years of Morgan le Fay by Alex Epstein is an excellent addition to the genre of Arthurian folklore and legend. The author crafts worlds past with a deft hand, easily pulling a reader into the story.
The book tells the story of the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay. The Circle Cast portrays the early years of this character, first as the child Anna and then as Morgan after she flees Britain to Ireland. It tells the story of her life as a stranger in a strange land, enslaved and surviving hardship to return to Britain and reclaim what she lost.
The plotline is fresh, delving into a piece of Arthurian legend not excessively written about, yet still keeping to the traditional lines of the tale. The author has a nice take on the magical aspects of the story, weaving a mysterious aspect in to the narrative by his effective use of Celtic religion and myth.
The writer also does an exceptional job at creating the main character, making her a full person with fears, doubts and weakness, while still showcasing her strength of purpose. The people surrounding her are nicely sketched as well, interacting and bringing the world around Morgan to life, filling a past age with solid reality.
Being a devotee of the Arthurian legends, I've read many books on the subject, both fiction and non-fiction, and this delightfully enchanting novel is a welcome complement to the mythology.
on January 4, 2011
I've never been attracted to Camelot. King Arthur? He doesn't inspire my trust. Maybe it's because I've always believed medieval times were more about men than women? Didn't look like much fun either way: And I'm not only talking about the smells and lack of hygiene - those times were bloody, and if you didn't fight back, you were killed by an axe or some other torture device. Barbaric, it's impossible for me to identify with these people, whether they made history or not - I don't even want to imagine myself without a computer.
Then, I came across Circle Cast written by Alex Epstein. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of fight scenes, and the heroine faces death more than once (torture devices, check), but the story... it lured me in. I'd even say the Young-Adult crowd will get their fix with this book, since we follow Morgan le Fay from a very young age, up until Arthur and his sword come into the picture.
It's tough to see such a young Morgan going through this ordeal, but she becomes a warrior, a magician, making every Girl Power adept proud, one of our own. By the end of the book, Morgan's story is relatable - I know, even without any bathrooms or perfume - and we care for her, we understand the hard choices she makes, she feels like a friend. Epstein makes her come alive on the page, and with some great poetic prose, at times. One can hope for a sequel...