Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Stone Circle” as Want to Read:
Stone Circle
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Stone Circle

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  36 reviews
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 app
Paperback, 286 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Fireship Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Stone Circle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Stone Circle

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  49 ratings  ·  36 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Stone Circle
N.N. Light
In a 16th century Italian village, status and property are valued above all else. The station you’re born into is the same one you’ll pass onto your children, whether you’re deserving or not. Antonius is poor but has a special gift for reading thoughts. He’s always tried to keep it to himself but when the village’s seer holds a competition for an apprentice, Antonius jumps at the chance and secures the head apprentice position while the Comte’s son, Nichola, is the understudy apprentice. Even th ...more
Isobel Blackthorn
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stone Circle is a classic, romantic tale suited to young adult and adult audiences. Set in Renaissance Italy, the story is brimming with the esoteric practice of the era  – geomancy, astrology and 'seeing' are especially prominent. The inclusion of such practices might for some place the novel in the fantasy genre, but I would dispute that. Esoteric practice is not fantasy! This novel might just as well be termed visionary fiction or magic realism.

The story is simple. When seer Savinus needs a n
Sebnem Sanders
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Stone Circle is a fascinating book I had the privilege to read before its due publication date later this year. Kate Murdoch transports the reader to medieval Italy where she tells us a tale of magical realism. Savinus, a seer, needs an apprentice to teach his knowledge. Antonius, a young lad from a poor family, is his candidate though Savinus
must also employ Nichola, the son of Conte Valperga, his patron. As the young boys begin their education under Savinus' guidance, both fall in love with G
Theresa Smith
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2017
Stone Circle, an historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy, is the debut offering by Australian painter turned writer, Kate Murdoch. Mystical elements converge with historical superstitions and romantic notions in this atmospheric coming of age story about two young men vying for the attentions of one woman while also competing for the top position as apprentice to a highly revered seer.

While historical fiction is my favourite genre of all, I generally avoid fantasy like the historical p
Cindra Spencer
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Consider trying to weigh what you value more: truth or privacy?

In a life ruled by class, young Antonius is lucky to find work. His father is dead and his family must eat. Aware that he should count his blessings, being a servant in the home of Conte Valperga isn’t the only thing Antonius has been blessed with.

When a competition is posted, Antonius takes his chance to rise above societal constraints. Using his mind-reading talents, he lunges into a fierce rivalry. He competes for pride, approva
Elizabeth Corbett
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Antonius works as a servant in Palazzo. When he wins an apprenticeship with the town seer he does not anticipating sharing first place with his employer, the Conte Valperga’s son. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy deepens, so does their rivalry for the seers lovely daughter. A rivalry which will threaten family and draw the attention of the church to their hidden practices.

In Stone Circle, Kate Murdoch paints a sumptuous Renaissance world - so rich that her fantasy elements seem to blend
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stone Circle is Kate Murdoch's debut novel. I thought it was good. I found this magical and historical combination to be an easy read. I enjoyed the beautiful setting and 16th century time period. Antonius is a good character that I connected with. He needed to find his way and find where he belonged.

I would give Stone Circle four stars. I hope to see more by Kate Murdoch and see where else her imagination goes to next.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest op
Helen Hollick
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs

'...a solid debut novel; it is pacey and illustrates well the difference between the wealthy and the poor in 16th Century Italy'
Monique Mulligan
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kate Murdoch’s historical fantasy Stone Circle is abundant with historical and descriptive detail, painting vivid pictures of sixteenth-century Italy and the lives of alchemists, seers and servants. Stone Circle reminds me of a still life or a landscape – for as a portrait of its characters, it doesn’t have the same richness and depth and the central love triangle theme doesn’t pull as much weight as I would have liked. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting historical read and I liked it particularly ...more
Ellie Mitchell
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve just finished Stone Circle, by Kate Murdoch, an inspiring debut novel set in the heart of Renaissance Italy (1585 AD). The Story begins in a peaceful, everyday setting, in which we meet Savinus, the powerful local Seer, and his beautiful and equally as talented daughter, Giuila.

After testing several boys for Seer-like abilities, two apprentices are chosen- Nichola (son of the Conte: a noble by birth), and Antonius (a poor young man with a kind heart and an extraordinary set of abilities.)

Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Renaissance Italy in the village of Pesaro, Seer Savinus is looking for someone who shares his talents for divining the future so he is able to cultivate the next generation and Seers. Savinus' daughter, Guilia is talented, however, women in the trade are simply not respected. Savinus decides to hold a competition. One of Pesaro's noble family's son, Nichola Valperga competes as well as a servant in the Valperga household, Antonious. Antonious has far more ability in the field and is recogniz ...more
Kathryn at Book Ink Reivews
A copy of this review can be found at Book Ink Reviews.

Thank you to Kate Murdoch and Fireship Press for this free ARC in exchange for a requested honest review.

Kate Murdoch is a renowned painter, and it absolutely shines in this depiction of a gorgeous Italian setting.

Stone Circle will place you right in the Italian countryside while also bringing up the nostalgia of reading Tom Sawyer for the first time. The novel winnows seamlessly between the entire cast of characters' perspectives using a th
Kali Napier
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Set in Pesaro in 1585, this is a novel of magic, love, and jealousy, as the town's seer Savinus seeks his successor. Two boys are chosen -- Antonius, whose powers of mind-reading equal Savinus's own; and Nichola, the Conte's son, and whom Savinus cannot refuse, without risking his patronage. Antonius's superiority to Nichola is evident from the start, in all matters; however, this is not enough for Savinus's daughter Giulia, who falls in love with Nichola. All he seems to have going for him is m ...more
Andrea Barton
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stone Circle, historical fantasy, is set in Renaissance Italy. Two students of the town seer—one rich and one poor—compete for love. Kate gives the readers insight to social mores of the 1500s and their approach to women, disabilities and mystics. The fantasy elements are shown in a realistic fashion as an extension of science/alchemy. Antonius, the protagonist, is a gentle young man learning to deal with opposition and trying to better his lot in life. His love interest, Giulia, is a talented w ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stone Circle transports you to a magical time and place in coastal Italy. A story of relationships, love and family, the prose is beautifully written, and plot draws you along the the inevitable climax. An great book for all ages - interesting, thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable.
Angelika Rust
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this one. It's a little overly descriptive in places, but the story more than makes up for that. I wouldn't have minded it being twice as long, and going into more details on certain developments, background stories, the magic elements, and I really wish for some sort of sequel, because I want to know what becomes of the characters. ...more
Paperback Paris
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
From lush Italian landscapes, to bustling city streets, Kate Murdoch transports you to renaissance Italy in her debut historical fantasy novel, Stone Circle. Well written prose is combined with world-building talents, as Murdoch takes pains to describe the beauty of Italian architecture and the atmosphere that comes with it across different social classes. Featuring an intuitive and refreshing source of magic paired with a devastating love triangle, Stone Circle is a promising debut novel that w ...more
Carole Rae
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Where shall I start? Hmmmm. I am having a hard time thinking today! All this xmas madness of course. It might have to do with that and the fact I am scared to giveaway any spoilers D: there are so many I want to spill. So I shall try my best.

So, this story follows two men who have the gift of sight and they become apprentices so they can strengthen their skills. This is a once in a lifetime chance to be taught by the best in the country. The men picked is a peasant and the other a noble’s son.
Shelley Carter
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I was initially hesitant to read Stone Circle as I do not usually gravitate towards the fantasy genre, but Murdoch’s ability to weave historical fiction into the story made it easy for me to understand the fantasy elements while still enjoying the plot...

read the rest of the review at Underground Writers!
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stone Circle by Kate Murdoch is a mixture of fantasy, historical fiction and coming-of-age set in Itlay during the 16th century. It is a fascinating story of a young man’s first steps into adulthood.

Antonius has always known he was special. He can hear others thoughts. So when he finds out that the local seer, Savinus, is having a trial to accept a new apprentice he is eager to go. Once Antonius demonstrates his abilities to the seer, there is no question who will be the next apprentice. However
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kate Murdoch’s debut novel, Stone Circle, is a piece of lyrical escapism in the genre of historical fantasy. Her vivid imagination sings in this story of two apprentice-seers in Renaissance Italy, vying for the attentions of their master, Savinus, and his daughter, Giulia. The intrigue begins with mind-reading, ramps up with hallucinogenic rituals, and culminates in fantastical shape-shifting from human to animal form.
Antonius is Savinus's preferred apprentice, but underprivileged and obligated
Anna Brennan
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One word sums up Stone Circle by Kate Murdoch, and that word is 'enchanting'.

Murdoch's characters are complex, relatable and spectacularly flawed. Infused with fantasy the story dances the line between plot driven and character driven perfectly. I cared just as much about the magic as I did about who got the girl. The female protagonist (not the main character but probably my favourite) is a delightful feminist which is no mean feat in the 1500s. Her suitors are as different as night and day, a
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book made me want to travel back in time to Renaissance Italy and stroll through the bustling streets and the beautiful countryside. The author's depictions of the setting are vivid and well written. The plot kept me engaged and I was only sorry that Christmas festivities kept me from finishing it sooner. The food references throughout the book had me craving polenta and prosciutto! There were moments in the book that really moved me, particularly the storyline surrounding Piero. ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first thing that struck me about the book was how much I liked the cover. It's simple, uncrowded and professional-looking.
But that aside...
The book begins with an insight into the main character, Antonius, and we are eager to know him better. The family background is handy because it comes in later in the book, particularly regarding the plot with his brother.
We are guided to genuinely care about most of the characters, particularly Antonius and his mentor, and we feel their pain as they fac
Clare Rhoden
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction with some fantasy for added spice: I am tempted to say it's the 16th century Italian version of Camelot, complete with Savinus as the Renaissance Merlin. But there is quite a different vision to this story, and hereditary kingship is not among the qualities to be celebrated.
Kate Murdoch's Stone Circle follows the story of Antonius, a poor lad in Pesaro who works as a servant in the local palazzo's kitchen to help support his widowed mother and his siblings. Antonius gets the
Cel Jel
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A historical fantasy telling the story of two young men, a girl and her father set in the 16th Century. In an Italian village an alchemist geomancer seeks to train his successor and chooses two instead of one. This leads to complications that climax at the end of the book. An enjoyable read.
I hope there will be a second book continuing the story, but know that the author has since had a different book published that is not a sequel.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
"As they approached the marshes, a large black crow flew towards them and hovered in front of their party. Giulia knew the meaning of its appearance. It warned of someone unworthy to visit the sacred space".

A lovely story set in 1600's Pesaro Italy. Kate gives us culture, romance, jealousy and touch of the occult. We get mystical realism in historical fiction at its finest.

The seer Savinus holds a competition to find a mentor... what he finds is two - of very differing classes. Antonius and Nic
Jenevive Desroches
Beautiful descriptions. Read more here: http://winsomegates.jenevivedesroches... ...more
Dean Eizenberg
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stone Circle hooked me in from the beginning. With its great detail of 16th Century Renaissance Italy, the heartfelt journeys and love triangle of innocent Antonius, beautiful Giulia and the sinister Nichola combined well with their different levels of magical abilities including mind reading, alchemy, fortune-telling dreams and animal shape shifting. The elemental themes of love, life, change, acceptance and growing up were all present, with the characters having to make some difficult decision ...more
Rachel Watts
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Stone Circle offers a satisfying story, particularly if you're after an escape into a historical world where magic, and mind reading, is real. I can see it being thoroughly enjoyable on the beach this summer.

Full review:
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Arrangement
  • Grown Ups
  • Fangs
  • Cautionary Fables and Fairy-tales
  • Ocean Atlas: A journey across the waves and into the deep
  • I Would Leave Me If I Could: A Collection of Poetry
  • Unfamiliar Familiars: Extraordinary Animal Companions for the Modern Witch
  • Elephant Family
  • A Prayer for World Peace
  • My Life with the Chimpanzees
  • Dr. White
  • Zebra Family
  • The Eagle & the Wren
  • Giraffe Family (Animal Series)
  • Lion Family (Animal Series)
  • My Wild Life: Adventures of a Wildlife Photographer
  • Endangered Animals: And How You Can Help
  • When Darwin Sailed the Sea: Uncover how Darwin's revolutionary ideas helped change the world
See similar books…
Kate Murdoch exhibited widely as a painter both in Australia and internationally before turning her hand to writing.

Her short-form fiction has been published in literary journals in Australia, UK, US and Canada.

Stone Circle is a historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy. It was released by Fireship Press in 2017. Stone Circle was a First in Category winner in the Chaucer Awards 2018 for pr

Related Articles

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be long remembered as a Dumpster fire of a year. But the nice thing about time is that it...
444 likes · 213 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“The music, the flames, and the night were as much a part of them as the blood coursing through their veins. The pace quickened and they followed, twisting and turning with fluidity.' Stone Circle” 1 likes
“The music, the flames, and the night were as much a part of them as the blood coursing through their veins. The pace quickened and they followed, twisting and turning with fluidity.” 0 likes
More quotes…