The Circle Caste: The Lost Years of Morgan Le Fay by Alex Epstein
Publisher:  Tradewind Books
Published  August 1st 2011
Paperback, 300 pages
Challenges:  100 Books in 2011

How did an exiled girl become the most powerful witch in legend? 

Britain, 480 AD. Saxon barbarians are invading, pushing the civilized British out of their own island. Morgan is the daughter of the governor of Cornwall. But when her father is murdered and her mother taken as the King’s new wife, she has to flee to Ireland to avoid being murdered herself.  

But Ireland is no refuge. She’s captured in a slave raid and sold to a village witch. As Morgan comes of age, she discovers her own immense magical powers. She falls in love with a young Irish chieftain, and makes him powerful. 

But will her drive for revenge destroy her one chance for love and happiness?

More stories and tales focus Arthur and his knights, however, Alex Epstein puts the spot light on Morgan. It is Morgan’s turn to tell her story. There is something very unique about Morgan, which we discover when she dreams about her father’s murder.  Most children in these circumstances would loose their minds (figuratively and literally); but not Morgan.  Gathering all her strength, Morgan flees her father’s murderer, Uter, to Ireland.  But her strength does not stop there.  She endures capture, enslavement, and escape.  And while Morgan’s strength is very unique, her magical abilities are  more unique.

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! 

My Rating: 

** Disclosure: I received this book from The {Teen} Book Scene in exchange for an honest review.