Stone Circle

Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse?

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
242 Pages
Reviewed on 07/19/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Kate Murdoch is the author of Stone Circle. She exhibited widely as a painter both in Australia and internationally and was a finalist in a number of prize shows before turning her hand to writing. In between writing historical fiction, she enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction.

Her short-form fiction is regularly published in Australia, UK, US and Canada.

Stone Circle is a historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy. It was released by Fireship Press December 1st 2017. Her novel, The Orange Grove, about the passions and intrigues of court mistresses in 18th century France, will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2019.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

Stone Circle by Kate Murdoch is set in Pesaro, a town that gleans insight from its Seer, Savinus di Benevento, who is known for his knowledge in both academic and magical matters. The plot centers around Antonius, son of a fisherman, who has the same ability as the town’s Seer and is apprenticed by him, along with another young man, Nichola Valperga, son of the Conte, who is of a higher social standing than Antonius and looks down on him because of it. Their difference in abilities, social standings, and their affection for the Seer’s daughter, Giulia, sparks a rivalry that shapes both their futures and leads them down a path of choices they cannot come back from.

Antonius is a hardworking young man, doing his best to keep his family going after the loss of his father. Nichola is arrogant and self-entitled because of his stature and past. Giulia is headstrong, smart, and yet can be blinded by her heart’s desires. Kate Murdoch’s characters are so greatly human, that it’s easy to sympathise with them: to cheer them on during hard times and to admonish them for being foolish. Her characters’ interactions with each other and their individualities helped shape the book into something wonderful; at the same time she excels at pacing the story with her characters, all within a framework designed to help readers understand the world of seers and alchemy she has created.

Aside from the tension-filled rivalry between Nichola and Antonius, her story also gave me a glimpse of how the lower class, the simple-minded, and the women lived in the past, which only added to the appeal of the overall plot and strengthened the story’s quality. Overall, the Stone Circle is an excellent work that I would definitely recommend to historical fiction fanatics everywhere.