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Publisher's Summary

With Nano Nagle, 2018 Audie Award Nominee, Best Female Narrator - Silver Hammer, Golden Cross (Book 6)!

It is the year 871, when England was Angle-Land. Of seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, five have fallen to the invading Vikings. No trait is more valued than loyalty, and no possession more precious than one's steel. Across this war-torn landscape travels 15-year-old Ceridwen, now thrust into the lives of the conquerors. 

Lost in the frozen woods, Ceridwen is discovered by the warriors accompanying young Aelfwyn, daughter of a Saxon lord, sold against her will in marriage as part of a peace treaty with a marauding Viking war chief. Their destination is the captured fortress of Four Stones, a ruin holding glittering treasure. There Aelfwyn must keep her vow and wed Yrling - and Ceridwen must do all she can to support her new friend in the rebuilding of the ravaged village and great hall. 

But living with the enemy affords Ceridwen unusual freedoms - and unlooked-for conflicts. Amongst them she explores again her own heathen past, and learns to judge each man on his own merits. Yrling's nephews Sidroc and Toki, both formidable warriors yet as different as night and day, compete to win Ceridwen for their own. 

Through both guile and goodness Ceridwen and Aelfwyn begin transforming the world of Four Stones. But the threat of full-scale war escalates, and a midnight party of furtive Danes delivers someone to Four Stones who destroys the girls' hopes of peace and contentment. Now Ceridwen must summon all her courage - a courage which will be sorely tested as she defies both Saxon and Dane and undertakes an extraordinary adventure to save a man she has never met. 

©1995 Octavia Randolph (P)2016 Octavia Randolph

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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I feel like I've waited FOREVER for this day!


Great historical novels are rare, and great historical series are even more rare. Not surprising, since for those who love them, we demand authenticity, as well as a grand sweeping story of romance. We don't just want a history lesson -- we want our characters to really live, and that includes falling in love.

If you love that kind of series, you will find it here.

Octavia Randolph is an amazing writer, researcher -- and based on her website -- she is very passionate about the historical accuracy of the age in which the series is based. Her joy in the subject matter is palpable and contagious. (Check out her website for videos related to the Vikings, and other information about Ceridwen -- such as the proper pronunciation of her name (Care-id-when!) There are even recipes!

When this book begins, Ceridwen is a girl of 15, and wise beyond her years, but she grows up quickly as the series progresses. Because she is of marriageable age, the Prior has found two men for her to choose from. One is old and the other is stupid, so neither of them will do. Unlike most women of her time who have few choices, she has been educated to read and write, skills she can use to earn her own way, so she strikes out on her own to find a position with a Lady of rank.

While on the road, Ceridwen is rescued by a young woman who is traveling to a distant land in the north where she will marry a Dane warlord. She is being given in marriage as a peace offering, so that her family and their rich holding will be safe from attacks. But things are not so simple in this lawless world, where every Dane seeks treasure and land for himself.

There are few historical novels that have moved me as much as The Circle of Ceridwen, and I couldn't be more excited that this is only the first book in a captivating series that is just now coming to Audible. The books are true to this exciting historical period, as well as passionate and deeply romantic. This is a series to be savored and listened to, over and over again.

The narrator, Nano Nagle, brings the perfect tone to her performance, and I applaud Ms. Randolph for her choice. With this reader, she has elevated her wonderful book to an audio treasure. Thank you, Octavia!


HIGHLY, VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: For people who love books set during the early history of the British Isles, sensual romance, betrayal, lust, pain, joy, and thrilling battle scenes, and most of all -- Vikings!


Important Note: Although the character of Ceridwen is 15 when the book begins, this is NOT a YA book. Ceridwen grows to womanhood over the course of the series, and there is sexual content and violence in war, depicted. The results of rape are described, but not the rape itself.

47 of 48 people found this review helpful

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Amazing story- sad to get to the ending

This story is so well written; the details, the research that must have been done... just blew me away. I had to force myself to put it away so I could actually sleep! This is just part one though so I'm heading off to Ceridwen's next chapter.
You can tell how she's maturing just from this talented narrators tone. Her voice becomes deeper and you can tell she's less wide eyed than when she started out. She's such a likable character though, so strong for one so young. Loved it!!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

At last!

Fourteen years ago I had the happy luck to stumble across Octavia Randolph’s Circle of Ceridwen. Since that time I have traveled alongside Ceridwen through her many (and ongoing!) adventures. I was so extremely pleased to hear that Ms. Randolph was giving Ceridwen new life, via the magic of audio, and Nano Nagle’s exceptional handling of the narration did not disappoint! I have been an avid “audio-reader” for about eight years, and as such have many favorite narrators; I am happy to say that I will search out Ms. Nagle’s other works.

Having a new baby makes my reliance on audiobooks, to achieve any decent amount of reading, even greater. What a delight, therefore, to find myself immersed, once again, in the richly-detailed world of Ceridwen’s ninth century England. The tapestry of words so finely woven by Ms. Randolph is brought to vivid life by the skillful reading of Ms. Nagle, and I know this will be a repeat-listen for me, just as it has been a repeat-read over the years. I find Ms. Randolph’s writing reminiscent of the greatly detailed historical novels by Ken Follett; if you are a fan of his Pillar of the Earth series, I think you will enjoy Ms. Randolph’s work.

Happy Listening!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Great Book

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I have searched for books similar to my much loved "Outlander" books but have yet to find any recommendations that I really liked.

I will say that this book is entirely different than "Outlander" but very well written and very interesting. I enjoyed this book on its own merit alone. It is an old style of writing befitting of the time period the book is set in. The narrator did an excellent job and I will be immediately getting book two.
Enjoy!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Ceridwen the Brave

Where does The Circle of Ceridwen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book, and saga, ranks at the top alongside Outlander. The story is part history lesson, part romance, part fantasy. As with Outlander, the narration is beyond excellent, and done with such passion that I can't stop listening once I start!

What did you like best about this story?

For starters- Nano Nagle's narration! She can do any voice at any age for any gender! Just as Davina Porter did in Outlander, Nano's talent is one of the main draws for me to this story.

In the story itself, my favorite story line is the trip of Ceridwen and Gyric from Four Stones to Kilton and how their love story evolved into a truly loving and genuine bond. Ceridwen showed her true integrity and inner heart when she stayed with Gyric despite his maiming that would leave him dependent for the rest of his life. In these ancient times, a man's ability to fight and provide for his family meant much, so if he was physically unable to do so, he was looked upon as weak. In this case, Ceridwen's love and courage actually made Gyric stronger and more independent and he actually grew from his experience. I also loved how they met, of all people, Cadmar!

Which scene was your favorite?

I have to say every scene was my favorite. One that does stand out is when Gyric and Ceridwen are one their way to Kilton and they stop by a stream and her hair falls against Gyric's face and it goes from there and he is so gentle and truly in love with her!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Extreme is an understatement! I became almost part of the story myself the more my mirror neurons went into action! I spent a lot of time cheering and laughing at things when they happened. There were some other reactions I had, but I won't share them here...

My ancestors were also Vikings and Anglo-Saxon of the 9th Century, and so I identify in many ways (unfortunately, some not so nice) with their experiences and the experiences of those with whom they came into contact.

Any additional comments?

I love stories like this, and have for most of my life. I came across the saga while looking for another book on my Audible app and when I heard a sample narration, I decided to try it. About halfway through the first chapter, I went back to Audible and downloaded the other 3 books in the series (5 and 6 not on Audible yet, but soon!). Nano's voice skills have drawn me into the story and lives of the people, and I am so immersed in the story that I often join in on the reactions of the characters to things happening in their lives. I also appreciate that, while historically sex was a common focus of marauding and lineage, Octavia has written these scenes into the story with sensitivity and respect so that I can enjoy them without blushing!

I also absolutely love how Octavia introduces each chapter in the "old style"- instead of the usual "Chapter one", she writes "Chapter the First.....etc.", and Nano's voice doing this is like listening to an ancient storyteller. It really adds to the atmosphere of the book.

I am in book two, Ceridwen of Kilton, now, and continue to thoroughly enjoy myself alongside my "ancestors". Good reading to you all!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Captivating!

Wonderful realistic characters, fluid story line and rhythm. I can't wait to start the the next book!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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great story

need something after finishing the outlander series and game of thrones series... this one did not dissapoint!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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One of the best series I have listened to!

I have just finished book4 of the "CIRCLE OF CERIDWEN". I completely enjoyed both the writing and the narration. As I write this, I am going to listen to the series again!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Ceridwen

If you could sum up The Circle of Ceridwen in three words, what would they be?

What a wonderful tale! I enjoyed this story so much! The audio version of The Circle of Ceridwen is performed very well by Nano Nagle. I found myself enthralled; needing to know what would happen in the next chapter and voraciously listened to this book every spare moment I had! Octavia Randolph’s Ceridwen is a wonderful heroine – brave to a fault, spirited but sensible as well. This very determined young woman knows her mind and has very strong convictions and is wise beyond her years. It is a well written story that will transport you back to the 9th century with details so vivid you feel as though you are traveling with the characters, feeling their joys, sorrows, and you will lose yourself in the telling of this tale. Highly recommend this read/listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Lacking

I found this book lacking. The summary of the book is misleading. I was expecting shield walls, battles, and sacrifices to Odin or Thor. What I got was a very bland story line.

The narrator did an outstanding job. Had it not been for the narration of this book, I would not have finished it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • oaklands
  • 01-19-18

Norse Gods V Christian I feel on the Norse side

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely, it has everything, adventure, a slow romance, good story, lots of intrigue,

What did you like best about this story?

Made me feel good, made me happy and content with my world. Even made my husband happy when I kept smiling.

What about Nano Nagle’s performance did you like?

Did not immediately love the performance, but grew on me quite a lot.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Lots of moving incidents in this books but I don't want to spoil the plot.

Any additional comments?

I have now listened to this whole series 4/5 times and love them all will never get bored with this series. I would recommend it to all ages of reader



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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-22-16

Really Interesting

Would you consider the audio edition of The Circle of Ceridwen to be better than the print version?

Yes I thought the characters came alive for me

What did you like best about this story?

Ceridwen and her spirit - also the fact that it was set in the 9th century was so different, I was totally taken on a journey

Have you listened to any of Nano Nagle’s other performances? How does this one compare?

The best yet

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A world like no other!

Any additional comments?

Looking forward to listening/reading the series

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-10-17

Entertaining story, well told.

I am looking forward to the next books in the series when available on Audible.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • HoneyBunny
  • 09-12-17

Experience the lifestyle.

What did you like most about The Circle of Ceridwen?

The details of life in this period of time is outstanding and one which I find fascinating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Circle of Ceridwen?

When Ceridwen realises she is in love with Gyric.

What does Nano Nagle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The emotions of each character.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I laughed and cried but also felt the pain and suffering of the characters.

Any additional comments?

Definitely a book worth listening to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • karen
  • 11-24-17

Narration

Just a few chapters in I couldn't listen to the narrator. I thought I could adjust to her reading style....but no couldn't listen a moment longer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful