Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse?
When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities.When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son.The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future.
Stone Circle explores themes of class, rivalry and spiritual growth.
Stone Circle was a First Place Category winner in the Chaucer Awards 2018 for pre-1750’s historical fiction. The Chaucer Awards is a genre division of Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBA’s).
Stone Circle is a N.N. Light Book Award finalist 2018 for historical fiction.
‘Murdoch presents a delightful romance, feathered with light touches of fantasy. The development of her love triangle is gratifying, and even secondary characters offer stark dramatic moments…’
‘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.’
Readers’ Favorite – five stars.
‘Stone Circle is a tale of 16th century Italy, but not as you have ever read about it before. This history is enlivened by a famous seer, his beautiful psychic daughter, two smitten apprentices, magic rituals, shape-shifting birds, evil brewing and true love, a thrilling combination that hooked me from the beginning. Kate Murdoch’s fabulous writing is full of vivid sounds, sights and scents that pull us into the scene, expressed in inspired word combinations that are a joy to read. A wonderful, entertaining book.’
Gail Cleare, USA Today bestselling author
‘Kate Murdoch’s STONE CIRCLE is a stunning historical fantasy debut set in Renaissance Italy, packed with rich imagery, well-developed characters, and an enthralling plot. The execution of the love triangle is both captivating and refreshing, weaving love, jealousy, and rivalry into a complicated but realistic story of one young seer’s journey into alchemy and adulthood. I can’t wait to read more by Kate Murdoch.’
Madeline Dyer, author of the Untamed series
‘A poignant, beguiling story dealing with matters of the heart: family, falling in love and following your heart. This is the kind of historical fiction I love most, where the author transports me to a time and place I’ve never been. Kate Murdoch’s lyrical narration reminds me of Gabriel García Márquez. She describes the nuances of Medieval Italy without being heavy-handed. There’s almost a poetic nature to the story and its characters. I loved it!’
‘The blend of Renaissance history and romance would, in and of themselves, be an attraction to many; but add a fantasy element to the story and it successfully moves in unexpected directions that sweep Antonius, Giulia, Nichola, and everyone around them into a vivid world of spirits, initiations, unusual dreams, and struggles with social status and special talents. ‘
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
‘Combining history and fantasy is to my mind, a big call, yet Kate has pulled it off very well. The story is authentic to its historical setting as well as being deeply atmospheric in terms of mystical content. I particularly enjoyed the sections that detailed the study of alchemy and prophecy.’
Theresa Smith, Australian Women Writers Challenge
Download Chapter 1: StoneCircle_excerpt.
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Distribution : distributed in Australia by Woodslane.