Freedom Rings

Book Three of The Circle

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
319 Pages
Reviewed on 09/07/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Brenda M Hardwick is an award-winning Indie author who began writing at the age of ten. When she discovered Fantasy, the genre allowed her to create everything and place it anywhere and any-when she wanted.
She won second place in RMFW’s (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers) Colorado Gold Contest with the first three chapters of “Harlem Angel: Book 1 of The Circle” in 1993. Twenty-five years later after retiring from a twenty-seven-year career in state government, Harlem Angel was published in 2018. The Conductor: Book 2 of the Circle, was released during the pandemic lockdown in April 2020. Freedom Rings: Book 2 of the Circle was released in October 2022. Brenda has self-published a total of three fiction and two non-fiction titles. Her work has won two CIPA EVVY awards and one Pinnacle award.
Brenda now lives in Portugal with her dog Lelu, two of her six grandchildren, and one of two sons. She also has two great-grandchildren.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Freedom Rings by Brenda Hardwick is book three in the urban fantasy The Circle trilogy. In Harlem Angel, Soraya Rawlings seeks out a mysterious woman after a disturbing dream about murder. Soraya learns that her latent abilities are vital in a hidden realm and she is pushed into a world filled with racial conflicts, struggles for power, and magic. In The Conductor, Soraya remains haunted by the gruesome deaths of four of The Circle's Elder owners, using her Dream Walker abilities to mentor new Circle members and neutralize threats. In this installment, Soraya leads The Circle into a proactive era, harnessing newfound powers and unity to prepare for potential conflict. Meanwhile, Shawn Kites aims to release a pill, Melacrit, to eliminate races of color. With High Priestess Madeline pregnant, he seeks to destroy The Circle before his heir is born by using his Dream Plain abilities.

Brenda Harwick gifts readers with excellent world-building in Freedom Rings which drew me in initially. It was the necessity of her message that made me want to stay. Soraya and The Circle operate between realms, with a richly developed world that includes our own, with its own rules and magic systems. For me, The Circle, the Love Shop, and the Plain provide the best sense of place and context, with magic used to light candles and create figurines. Soraya is such a strong, worthy Black female lead, and her capacity to navigate complex moral dilemmas makes me want to hand the book over to my teen daughter. Shawn Kites is out to do irreparable harm by decimating millions, and Soraya and Talavera are still conflicted over breaking rules and resorting to violence. The line between who is truly good and who is not could not be clearer. The writing is clean, and the climax is spectacular. What a brilliant end to the trilogy! Very highly recommended.