- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Tradewind Books (Dec 15 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1896580637
- ISBN-13: 978-1896580630
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 399 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #841,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Circle Cast: The Lost Years of Morgan le Fay Paperback – Dec 15 2010
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"This blend of the ancient and the modern works seamlessly in Mr. Epstein's retelling, all of it linked by the deep connection we feel to the character of Morgan...Those with a longstanding love of Arthuriana are sure to take pleasure in this new vision of Morgan, and those who are new to it will no doubt be drawn into the pleasures of this multivoiced literature after reading The Circle Cast."-- (06/22/2011)
"A sophisticated, stylishly written novel for the mature reader...This is a most impressive book...The book's descriptive passages are a joy to read, often more akin to poetry than prose and teachers might well wish to focus on the writer's techniques from the title itself to the use of repetition and of the simple, very short, very effective sentences."-- (06/22/2011)
"An excellent work of Arthurian fantasy, highly recommended."--Midwest Book Review (07/01/2011)
"This has the darkness of Celtic magic--not fanciful, period romance--and a poetic terseness that suits its stern, passionate hero."--The Toronto Star (12/04/2010)
"Epstein skillfully blends the coming-of-age, the fairy, the revenge, and the legend. Through the poetry of Epstein's writing, I could feel the power of the old magic that Morgan evokes when she goes 'between the worlds, ' and I could taste the salt sea air as she sails between her two lands... Fans of Arthurian legend will love this book, and so will everyone else. Great characters, great writing, great story."-- (08/01/2011)
"Epstein's writing is hypnotic."--CM Magazine (02/11/2011)
"Rife with adventure and drama and magic."--Resource Links (06/01/2011)
"[Epstein] skilfully weav[es] together a blend of magic, legend and history to give a very convincing picture of Britain in the Dark Ages...There is plenty of dramatic action and unexpected twists. The ending in particular gives the impression that there will be more to follow and I would certainly want to read on."-- (08/06/2011)
From the Inside Flap
Growing up, love, magic, revenge, Arthurian legendSee all Product description
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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
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.
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...
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have never taken so long to finish a book, ever!
Written by veteran screenwriter Alex Epstein, The Circle Cast is an intriguing and original take on a character that has appeared in legends and lore for centuries: Morgan le Fay. Although she is traditionally thought of as a seductress and antagonist in Arthurian legend, Epstein goes for another, more uncommon portrayal, turning Morgan into a fierce warrior seeking to avenge her father's death. Almost from the start of the novel, it is clear that Morgan is a very strong character. Throughout the story, readers will find a lot to be respect about Epstein's version of Morgan, including her intelligence, bravery, and tenacity. Although she knows to use her beauty as a weapon if necessary, this Morgan is not the temptress she appears to be in more contemporary versions of the tale. Her romance with Irish warrior, Conall, adds a nice element to the story, softening Morgan's edges a bit, though not diminishing her skills as a strategist and sorceress. There is also a fair amount of history thrown into the novel that would make it an interesting read for the classroom. Overall, The Circle Cast is a thoroughly enjoyable story that can be easily enjoyed by teen and adult readers alike. Fans of Arthurian legend should definitely give this novel a try, as well as those who like strong female characters.
I have always been intrigued by the character of Morgan le Fay, so I was excited to read The Circle Cast. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the novel! Sometimes historical fiction, no matter how interesting, can be a little dry. That was far from the case with this novel. Alex Epstein is clearly a gifted writer in terms of pacing and keeping the plot moving forward. I also found the characters and setting to be very well developed, particularly in Epstein's portrayal of Morgan as a strong and intelligent warrior. I think this novel has a strong place in the classroom, especially in demonstrating how one female character can be portrayed in so many different lights.
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Alex Epstein's weaves together magic, legend, history and religion into a beautiful tale of feminine abilities, strength and power. Circle Cast covers a time in history that is both beautiful and complicated at the same time. Historical Novels for any age tend to come off as 'cheesy', for a better lack of a word. However, Epstein is not included in this. Her use of detail and carefully chosen works makes you feel you are Morgan herself. You are given an entire new image of Morgan that is kept out of most Arthurian Legends. Morgan is no longer just a sorcerer, but personal, with fears, hopes, and feelings. You become connected to Morgan in an entire new way.
While, with Historical Novel that covers such a romanticized point of history, one full of complexities and secrets, it can be difficult to understand terms, history and overall meanings. There were a few times in this novel when there was a bit of confusion, but this confusion had nothing to do with the actual plot itself, it more to do with History. If anything, it made me want to do my own personal research on this time period.
For anyone who loves Aurthian Legends and history, wanting to see it all from a completely different, new, and refreshing point of view, Alex Epstein's Circle Cast is a must read!