Circle of Nine #1: Circle of Nine: Beltany – by Valerie Biel



Below is a summary from 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!)

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I received a free copy of this novel for my Kindle as my blog is one of the stops on it’s blog tour! Now on with the review…

Circle of Nine: Beltany was a very well written book by Valerie Biel. This was the first time that I have read about Ireland or it’s history and I actually quite liked reading about it.

My favourite part of this novel would have to be getting to read the book that was given to Brigit Quinn by her mother about their ancestors. It felt like I was really looking through her ancestors eyes and seeing what they got up to in each of their own eras. I think that it would be cool to read a copy of the ancestry from each woman’s point of view rather than just the few though.

Brigit may have thought that her mother seemed weird to other people, but I agree with her and think that her mother was pretty cool.

At one stage I did think that Bigit was going to end up with someone else in Ireland, but I think that the author was right to keep Brigit’s boyfriend and her together as it also kept his grandmother in the picture – giving Brigit’s mother a reason to tell the story of their past together.

If you like reading about the history of Ireland, or even Ireland itself then I would say this book is one you might like to read.

Rating: 4/5

1 * 2 * 3 * 4 *


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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4 thoughts on “Circle of Nine #1: Circle of Nine: Beltany – by Valerie Biel

  1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed the story. There’s more to come on the historical side of things . . . I’ll keep everyone posted. And you’re not the only one who wants to see more of Bodie (the cute Irish guy). I think one reviewer called him “yummy bodie”, and I couldn’t agree more! Thanks!!


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