St. Martin's, August 2001, 25.95, 500 pp.
He was born to be a leader of the Druids, destined to save them and their way of life from the New Religionists by finding a new land were they could live and prosper. Madoc ap Owen Gwyneth does not know that his destiny was foretold before his birth because he was raised as the child of crofters who found him as a baby floating in the river. When he was seven they sent him to the Druid Colony in Ireland because his thirst for knowledge was great.
Eventually, he traveled to Wales for further teaching. There he learned that his birth father was the Prince of Wales and that his mother was his mistress. When his half-brother poisoned his father and took up the mantle of leadership, the Druids were hunted down and killed. The Archdruid gave Madoc a fortune in jewels to build a floatilla so that he could find a place for them to call home. Eventually, ten ships with twenty men on each sail for what will be later called the new world, enduring hardship and trouble nearly every mile of the journey.
CIRCLE OF STARS, a work of literary historical fiction, continues the story that began in CIRCLE OF STONES and is every bit as fascinating and enthralling as its prequel. Readers will be amazed to see the early influence of Henry II of England on the political and religious situation in Wales and Ireland and they will see a side of Thomas Beckett rarely seen in history books. Anne Lee Waldo has written an epic yet this reviewer believes there is more to the story to tell.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner