I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
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 recognized right away by Savinus. Nichola has limited ability, but Savinus agrees to apprentice Nichola as the secondary apprentice out of respect to the noble family. From the start the two young men are at odds, Nichola can not stand that a servant has a position above him and Antonious can not understand Nichola's haughty nature. Tensions rise as Giulia's affections towards one apprentice emerge and jealousy leads to violence.
Stone Circle immersed me into 16th century Italy and the alchemy practices of the time. I was surprised to learn the esteemed role that Seer's played in the society and that they were often employed by nobles to learn the best time for special events to take place and even who they should marry. Savinus was my favorite character, wise and conscientious in his choices, helped along by his psychic abilities. Antonius and Nichola were typical young men, but their strained relationship demonstrated the division between classes at the time. I was waiting for one of them to compromise on their differences as so many of the adult characters suggested. Guilia was an interesting character for me, I really wanted her to take a more prominent role in her father's practice rather than simply be a love interest; however she did show insight and grow as she realized the apprentices true nature. Jealousy was a theme throughout the story, and it was one that had dire consequences. It was interesting to see that even with magic and alchemy all of your problems could not be fixed. Overall, an engrossing story that mixes history, magic and romance.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.