Release date: September 24th 2014
Publisher: Lost Lake Press
Synopsis via Goodreads:
“Since I was a little girl I’ve been labeled a freak in my small town. There’s no blending in when your mom practices an ancient pagan religion and everyone believes she’s a witch. On my 15th birthday my secret wish is the same as always – to just be normal. But that’s not what I get. Not even close.”
– Brigit Quinn
Instead, Brigit is shocked to learn she’s descended from a legendary Celtic tribe – powerful people who serve as guardians of the stone circles of Ireland. A spellbound book of family history reveals the magical powers of her ancestors. Powers that could be hers – if only she wanted them.
And when someone sinister and evil returns to steal her family’s strength, Brigit has to make a decision. Fight to keep her unique heritage or reject it for the normal life she’s always wanted.
A story can get started a thousand different ways. Circle of Nine started when I visited standing stone circles in Ireland and England. The most famous of these is Stonehenge. Most people don’t know that there are hundreds of stone circles and ancient monuments dotting the countryside in Great Britain and northern France. I began to think about the people who built them, and I wondered what they were really used for. (There’s a lot of debate about this.) Then, I began my internal “what if” questions. What if there were people alive today who were descendants of the circle builders? What if they kept their heritage a secret? What if they could tell us what these circles were all about, but they’re sworn to secrecy? And, what if there was a modern-day girl who really wasn’t sure that she liked this extra-special heritage so much? What then… ? (You can find out if you read the book!)
MY REVIEW OF ‘CIRCLE OF NINE – BELTANY’
Author: Valerie Biel
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Target Readership: Young Adult
Length of Book: 309 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
* I received CIRCLE OF NINE in electronic book format free in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Brigit turns 15 and even though it is only a few minutes after midnight her mother gives her a very special birthday present. Brigit loves the look and feel of the special box her mother gives her. Inside is a book, but not just any book. This book is over 600 years old and contains the stories of all her female ancestors. Sounds like a boring present for a fifteen year old, right? Not this book. It is special.
Brigit has felt like an outcast for her entire fifteen years of life. Her mother practices a Pagan religion and dresses in long, flowing dresses that the kids at school make fun of. She has always wished that her Mom could just be normal and that they could celebrate regular holidays like everyone else. Instead of Christmas, they celebrate Yule. Brigit’s hope of ever being normal is shattered when her mother informs her that she is descended from an ancient Celtic tribe.
As she reads the story of each ancestor, Brigit gains more insight into her family. Brigit must decide whether to embrace her destiny or whether to deny it and turn her back on all the powers she may be able to claim as her own. When Brigit finally starts to come to terms with her family history she discovers that there is someone out to destroy her family. Now it is not simply a matter of which life path to choose, it is a battle for her very survival and the survival of those closest to her.
This book is a terrific young adult paranormal fiction read with a dash of young love thrown in. It is the first book in a series that is sure to enchant readers of all ages.
The stories of Brigit’s ancestors are well written and researched. These stories are exactly what is needed to keep the story fresh and interesting. There are a few unexpected twists thrown in to keep the reader on the edge of her seat.
All in all I thought this book was a fun read. I give this young adult novel 4.5 out of 5 stars. I look forward to reading more books in this series.
“You have a choice. You always have a choice to be whatever you want to be, but you owe it to yourself to know what you are choosing between.”
“I stood there, thinking please shoot me if I start giggling like that.”
“I do solemnly swear to never use the term party-pooper in front of my daughter’s friends so as to avoid her untimely death from embarrassment.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Valerie Biel’s love for travel inspires her books for teens and tweens. Circle of Nine – Beltany is set partially in Ireland where Valerie was inspired by the ancient stone circles which dot the countryside. Beltany, an actual stone circle in County Donegal, Ireland, plays an important part in this novel. “There’s something eerie and beautiful about these circles which rise up out of the greenest grass you’ve ever seen. Who built them? Why did they build them? If that’s not enough to start a story, nothing is.”
This young adult novel was a top six finalist (out of 1000) in the Gotham Writers’ YA Novel Discovery Contest.
When Valerie’s not writing, she’s working on freelance public relations projects, wrangling her overgrown garden, traveling the world, and reading everything she can get her hands on. Once upon a time, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in journalism and political science. More recently, she moved back to small-town Wisconsin, happily violating her teenage vow that she would never do so. Valerie’s husband and three children are always providing her with new story ideas whether they mean to or not.
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