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The Magic Circle

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  3,355 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
Katherine Neville, bestselling author of "The Eight," combines gripping historical fiction with a modern-day thriller to create "The Magic Circle" --an astonishing novel of mankind's quest to harness the power of earth and the heavens.Snake River, Idaho, 1989--Ariel Behn, a toxic materials expert at a remote nuclear site, finds her well-ordered life shattered when her cous ...more
Hardcover, 554 pages
Published February 10th 1998 by Ballantine (first published 1998)
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Aug 12, 2009 Shelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this book was so disappointing. I had big hopes after really enjoying The Eight. The central character, Ariel, was suppose to be a nuclear expert and a super code cracker but her character really lacks the mental strength required for both. Also, it felt like she was lead from event to event and never really took the lead herself. Plus the whole convoluted family inbreeding situation that unraveled over the course of the story was disturbing. The "ick factor" was too much for me. Then trying ...more
The Magic Circle - NR
Kathleen Neville - 3rd book

Snake River, Idaho, 1989--Ariel Behn, a toxic materials expert at a remote nuclear site, finds her well-ordered life shattered when her cousin is slain by an unknown assassin. His shocking death leaves Ariel sole heir to a family legacy: a sinister cache of manuscripts that sweeps her into the deadly center of international intrigue--and a mystery that spans the centuries. . . .

Jerusalem, 32 AD--During the last week in the life of Christ, as the w
Nathan Burgoine
Okay, I read "The Eight," by this author, and I have to say, it was one of my favourite books, hands down, ever. "The Magic Circle," really really really fell short of that. Now, granted, I listened to it abridged on four audiocassettes, but it just didn't... flow.

Basically, the tale is thus: Ariel Behn, daughter of a really complex family structure, inherits something when her half-blood cousin (maybe) is killed, and that something might get her killed. So when her gypsy/german/rom/aryan/aborig
Sep 25, 2010 Liam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be an enjoyable if silly read, but I had to abandon it after about fifty pages because my sensibilities could no longer stand the nonstop assault of trite bestseller/romance novel prose that passes for "writing" in its pages. I should have put it down when she mentioned a character's "mane of golden hair" on the first page, but I soldiered on. The section on ancient Rome set off all my History Professor alarms but, hey, it's just a novel. Still, when the main character falls ...more
Mar 25, 2012 Debbie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012, fiction
I had high hopes for this story when it started with the Sybiline oracles and Jesus, but what a horrible mess this story turned out to be. I slogged through thinking things would somehow tie together at the end, but all I was left with was a thrown together "conclusion" that was completely unsatisfying. Add that to the awful, incestuous romances and weird rationalizations for the Holocaust and you're left with a terrible read. I'm starting to be convinced that she didn't really write "The Eight" ...more
Sep 11, 2011 Leslie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, and while I was not expecting literary genius, this was just bad. BAD BAD BAD. I can read just about anything, but I could NOT get into this book. Shampoo bottles posess better prose.
Beautiful, tragic, intelligent, rich heroine (trust me, her beauty and natural intelligence are mentioned ALOT) who despite posessing all these fabulous qualities, is incapable of making a decision with her brain instead of her vagina. UGH. Maybe fans of Twilight would enjoy it.
Aug 22, 2014 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally remembered the name of this book I read many years ago! I remember the plot sounded so intriguing on the cover but I was a bit let down by how the story unfolded. It's been too long to remember many details but I do know I liked the book, I just didn't love the book.
Libros Prohibidos
Nov 27, 2014 Libros Prohibidos rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Horroroso. Reseña completa:
Feb 22, 2017 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard one to place. Two and a half stars is probably more accurate, but given the limitations of a full star rating, it's just not good enough for three. For a tl;dr verdict, scroll to the bottom.

The back of the book made me expect a Da Vinci Code style thriller, with historical conspiracies and treasure hunts for secret knowledge. That aspect is there, but it gets almost buried under a very convoluted plot, buckets of dense exposition thrown at the reader with little to connect them, a
Carlos Mock
The Magic Circle by Katherine Neville

The author of the book "Eight" uses a similar formula: two tales separated by time, but intertwined in mystery, as the means to tell a story.

The first tale deals with the last days of Jesus Christ from A. D. 32 to A. D. 61. As the world stands on the brink of a new two thousand year cycle, emperor Tiberius tries to decipher the clues of an age old enigma: the source of power that comes from objects like the spear that killed Jesus and the sword used by John t
Veiko Herne
Now it's clear for me how this book got to "bestseller" category. I already read it something less than nine months ago and didn't remember anything. Then I borrowed it from another library, this time I wanted to get something to read for boring Christmas days and somehow managed to get it from another library as it was most visible "bestseller" there. So people forget that they already have this book and when it's most visible book on every bookstore or airport, they just have to buy it not rem ...more
Γιώργος Δάμτσιος
Συνήθως αποφεύγω να αναφερθώ στα βιβλία που δεν κατάφεραν να με κερδίσουν, αλλά αυτή τη φορά θα κάνω την εξαίρεση. Μάλλον φταίει ότι ξεκίνησα να διαβάζω τον “Μαγικό κύκλο” με προσδοκίες, μιας και το “Οκτώ” μού είχε φανεί εξαιρετικό.

Δυστυχώς όμως αυτή τη φορά η Neville χάνει πανηγυρικά το στοίχημα. Το μοτίβο των υπέρ-μυστικών που υπάρχει έντονο σε κάθε σελίδα του βιβλίου το περίμενα και δε με αιφνιδίασε, αλλά νομίζω ότι μπλέκονται πάρα πολλά και πάρα πολύ αναμεταξύ τους. Υπάρχουν ένα σωρό ενδια
8-6 As with all of the Katherine Neville books I've read, the historical data that she uses is by far some of the best I've seen in any novel. I gave the book three stars, however, because the story that surrounds the data seems to follow the same formula to the other two books I've read. A definite good read for anyone who enjoys discovering other theories behind some of the world's most popular mythologies.

7-30 I've read two of Katherine Neville's other novels, "The Eight" and "The Fire". I th
May 23, 2012 Pili rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one before I read The Eight, and this book alone is the reason for my ardent desire of visiting Vienna, and an even bigger love for the Sachertorte!

Again, a great mix of historical novel, family matters, romance and secrets from the philosophical to the ethical. Quite a rollercoaster of a read!


Now re-read in 2017, it has lost nothing of its depth and all the Nazi references seem to be even more dire!
Mar 31, 2009 Jaimie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was just too convoluted to be believed. The Magic Circle follows Ariel Behn as she tries to discover the secrets hidden in her family history. And her family history changes quite frequently throughout the book. The historical flashbacks often didn't make sense, and didn't seem to have any bearing on the story. The ending really just doesn't seem to bring together all points of the story.
Nov 13, 2016 Derek rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm starting to get really pissed about GR losing my reviews...

I should know better than to post them only on GR.

So,  suffice it to say that I loved The Eight, and this isn't that. It isn't even a shadow of that. 

What's worse, it's ground covered by Dan Brown, and others, and Dan Brown did it better.
Aug 05, 2010 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too much history...blah, blah, blah. The story was interesting when the book was not refering back to Roman time, Druids, Caligua, Hitler, Greel gods. See my point with too much history, over half the book was useless to me.
Fay C Page
By the end of this long and convoluted book I was really starting to wonder what I was reading about. I'm still not sure who was related to who and exactly what the point of the story was. Very disappointing from a author that I have enjoyed reading in the past.
Nov 02, 2015 Alison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the intricacies of the book, but incest freaks me out.
Feb 28, 2008 Tripp rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the Platonic form of bad.
Lily Kerry
Sí, sí me gustó, aunque no lo parezca. Altos y bajos, claro, y desesperación por partes, pero me guardaré la reseña larga para el blog. Muchos temas interesantes desperdiciados y una interpretación muy personal y completamente subjetiva. Demasiado intrincado, sobre todo las relaciones familiares, me hizo sentir que mi familia es sencilla y me dio dolor de cabeza.
En fin. Lo mismo de El Ocho y El Fuego que no puedes encontrar una mujer suya que no sea guapa guapísima, que sea la elegida pero que
A la autora la conocí primero por "El ocho" su best seller mas conocido desde que se publico hasta la actualidad,"El circulo mágico" lo leí en la biblioteca,sin saber que me encontraría,porque la lectura anterior de esta gran escritora, había dejado el listón muy alto.
Cuando analice el libro que acababa de tener entre mis manos,todavía me acuerdo que decidí que por muchos años que pasasen y muchas novelas leyese,este siempre seria mi libro favorito y lo sigo manteniendo.
Confesaros,de que una vez
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I so desperately wanted to like this book. The Eight is one of my all time favourite books, the sequel, meh not so much. So I pinned my hopes on this one.

All I can liken it to is the Silmarillion, the book Tolkein's son finished after he died. There is vast quantities of information dumping with very little storyline interweaving it. We travel back and forth between Joseph of Arimithea, numerous
What happens when you mix Native Americans, Hitler, Gypsies, nuclear weapons, human sacrifice, Mongols, the Cold War, the Roman Empire, the early Christian church, Druids, the Knights Templar, sex, and Greek gods together? A whirlwind, globe-trotting adventure that spans the centuries. Though not as engrossing as her earlier novel, The Eight, this story still has quite a bit to offer. The year is 1989. We meet Ariel Behn, your average nuclear engineer whose world is turned upside down with the s ...more
Sep 30, 2013 Marilyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
To be fair, I have not yet finished this book. I'm not sure I will, so I decided to go ahead and rate it.

This book had so much potential. Initially, I was not sure I liked the parts that took place during Jesus' time, but upon reflection I decided she did not do a bad job of envisioning what Joseph and others may have been thinking at the time. The contemporary mystery started off so strong. The funeral. The mysterious package. What lost me with this book, and quite frankly is the main reason I
Jul 16, 2009 Luthien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro muy interesante ya que permite hacer un enlace entre el pasado y el presente. Aprendes varios "secretos" de diferentes culturas que se encuentran en distintos lugares en distintas epocas. La trama te mantiene al borde del asiento y sin parar de leer. El final no era lo que esperaba.


Ariel recibe en herencia unos viejos manuscritos de gran valor que encierran un secreto relacionado con los objetos sagrados de las tribus de Israel. Quien consiga descifrarlos sera depositario de una s

In The Magic Circle Ariel Behn, a toxic materials expert at a remote nuclear site in Idaho, has her well-ordered life shattered when her cousin is murdered. His death leaves Ariel as sole heir to a family legacy: a cache of manuscripts containing arcane secrets that serves to sweep her into the centre of international intrigue and the uncovering of an ancient mystery linked to the coming millennium. Ariel is estranged from her 'terrible family' and along the way she uncovers an even darker side
Jul 04, 2015 Carlosmover rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unos de los peores libros que he leído, cuando lo tuve en mis manos las ganas por leerlo fueron increíbles pues de esta autora conocía "El Ocho" y la segunda parte de este "El Fuego", y fueron muy buenas lecturas. Antes de empezar la lectura de "El Círculo Mágico" me metí en Goodreads y todas las críticas que leí eran horribles y ponían al libro por los suelos, pero aún así yo quise darle una oportunidad.

El libro es lento, sin acción física, sino acción dialéctica. Si realmente lo que buscas es
Jan 27, 2009 Kerri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2015 Marinos rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People wanting to punish themselves for some reason
I'll sum it up in one perfect little word: Boooooring.

In case this was not enough to dissuade you guys from taking a shot at reading this caricature of a novel, let me elaborate a bit further. This book was exhausting, overlong and tiresome. I rarely find difficulties in finishing even the longest and most overdrawn novels, but this one has rightfully gained the top spot in my newly made list of "most-excruciatingly-awful-and-tiresome-books-of-all-fucking-time" or MEATBOAFT (the f is silent). Ye
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Please add the book cover from amazon 1 3 May 30, 2015 02:35PM  
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Katherine Neville is an American author. Her novels include The Eight, A Calculated Risk, and The Magic Circle. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and she previously worked as a photographer, a model, a consultant at the Department of Energy, and a vice president of the local Bank of America.

More about Katherine Neville...

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