August 4, 2011

Book Review: The Circle Cast by Alex Epstein

Circle Cast
At First Sight: Before the Morgan of legend, she was a girl named Anna. Anna who was the beloved daughter of Gorlois, a governor of Britain, and his beautiful wife Ygraine. And it was her mother's beauty that destroyed her family.

During a council, before all the chiefs of Britain marched out to face the Saxons, Anna's mother caught the eye of Uter Pendragon, and that was the beginning of the end. Taking offense of Uter's pursuit of his wife, Gorlois took them all back to their holding and shortly after lost his life at the hands of Uter.

Knowing she wouldn't be safe in Britain, Ygraine sent Anna to live with relatives in Ireland; and stayed to help protect their people once Uter showed up to claim his conquest.  Anna, wild with grief, swore to return one day and avenge her father by killing Uter.

Once in Ireland, Anna is gone, becoming Morgan and enduring a lot of things - among them the awakening of her mystical powers and slavery - until she meets Conall, the son of an Irish Chieftain, whose love might very well spoil her plans of revenge.

Second Glance: I'm a nut for all things Arthurian legend and I particularly love the side stories - sort of what happens before and in between the more well known stories, which was why I was very excited to read The Circle Cast.

And I was instantly drawn into the time and place - a mythical, medieval Britain and Ireland - and the author really does a wonderful job putting you there. I really liked the beginning of the story, how Anna's narrative feels urgent and a little grim - and I liked Anna in general. 

But I had big problem with Morgan: I didn't like her. The way she's obsessed with revenge put me off a fair bit. And what happens with Conall... well, I can't really complain about that because I totally knew what I was getting into, but it still bummed me a bit.

Bottom Line: Perhaps if I were more a fan of Historical Fiction rather than of historical romance, I would have enjoyed this book more, because that part of the story was great. Personally, I didn't love the characters, but that's entirely because of personal philosophies. Otherwise, I think it was a nice read.

This review is part of the Teen (Boo Scene) Book Blog Tour. To check out the future and past entries to the tour, please click here 

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