Circle of Stones
by Catherine Fisher
TODAY: Sulis, a teenage girl with a mysterious past, arrives in Bath, England, with a new identity. She feels safe at the King’s Circus, a ring of old, strange stone houses where she lives with her foster family—until she spots the one person she’s been trying to outrun.
THREE HUNDRED YEARS AGO: Zac is apprenticed to a mad architect who plans to create the world’s first circular street, the King’s Circus. Zac probes the mysticism surrounding the structure, but has his own secret agenda.
THE ANCIENT PAST: The mythical first builder of the city of Bath, a leprous druid king, discovers its healing waters… but to what end?
[from book jacket]
Why I picked it up: I saw druid mentioned in the description and was instantly curious. I’m a huge fan of multiple narrators, and this book has three! Also, author Catherine Fisher has written some pretty great books—Incarceron, for one.
Why I finished it: The circular architecture of the ancient druids is what loosely ties together the lives of the book’s three storytellers: Sulis (modern day teen), Zac (eighteenth century apprentice), and Bladud (ancient druid king). The focus of the three stories is the underground hot springs of Bath, known to have healing qualities as told in ancient druid myths, and the architectural anomaly of the King’s Circus, a building that exists in Bath, England today. Reading about the King’s Circus made me want to learn about the real life place and how it was created. Mystical elements twine though the three stories, creating suspense, and leaving the reader guessing at the ultimate fate of the storytellers.
Overall, Circle of Stones is an enjoyable read, but in the end I found myself wishing the stories were a little bit more connected, or that Fisher had focused on one character’s story rather than all three. There are three great stories here, but the surface is merely scratched, and that left me wanting more.
I’d give it to: Readers who enjoy historical fiction, suspense, and books with magical elements. Fans of Catherine Fisher.
I’d give it: 3 stars
Reviewed by: Jocelyn (Davis Library)