Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo

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Synopsis

1151 A.D. In the aftermath of a terrible storm, an old Calusa woman hears the pitiful cries of a wild animal. Searching for the beast, she finds a child instead-a baby girl hidden beneath the rubble. It is clear to the woman that this child is a gift from the Spirits, so she names the baby Cougar and accepts her as her own.

Across the sea on an island called Eire, far away from the Calusa village of Sandpoint, another child is found abandoned in the mossy banks of a stream. Though dearly loved by the family that discovers him, the boy is sent away in his seventh year to live with the Taliesin druids. Upon his arrival, it is revealed to the young boy that he is Madoc, the prophesied savior of the druids, and the son of Owain, Prince of Gwynedd, and Brenda, his favored mistress. For fear of persecution, Madoc must protect his true identity while learning the ways of the ancient druids.

As the new Christians battle the ancient druids for control of Wales, Madoc must fulfill his destiny, and embark on a dangerous voyage to the land that will later be known as America. In this new world he meets his match in the beautiful, gifted young woman called Cougar.

Mixing storytelling and history with consummate skill, Anna Lee Waldo links the legends of a blue-eyed, fair-haired Native American tribe to the heroic twelfth-century Welshman, Madoc.

Circle of Stars led Jean Auel to say "Anna Lee Waldo's exciting story of persecuted Druids sailing west and establishing a colony among the native people of early Florida is a fascinating and dramatic portrayal of an intriguing concept that has tantalized researchers for years--the early contacts between Europe and the Americas. With impressive research and well-drawn, believable characters, the distinct nature of the two cultures is clearly portrayed and gives a little realized global view to the mysterious Druids and the prehistoric Americans. The story is enthralling and the suspense is delicious, one can hardly wait for Madoc and Cougar to meet."
 

About Anna Lee Waldo

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Anna Lee Waldo was born in Great Falls, Montana in 1925. She received a degree in chemistry from Montana State and a master's in organic chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park. She taught chemistry at numerous colleges including the University of Dayton, St. Louis Community College, and St. John's Mercy College. Her novels include Sacajawea and Prairie. She also writes the Druid Circle series.
 
Published August 24, 2001 by St. Martin's Press. 448 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A followup to A Circle of Stones (1999)—which traced the origins and history of the medieval Welsh prophet Madoc—this account moves back and forth between the Old World and the New, providing a good deal more shading to the picture that was sketched out previously.

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Publishers Weekly

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Waldo takes some unconventional risks: Owain's two wives, Gladys and Christiannt, both New Religionists (Christians), are presented as foolish, selfish women, in marked contrast to wise, courageous Brenda, who favors the Old Religionists (the Druids).

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Publishers Weekly

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Madoc's people believe him to have been destined by the gods to lead the Druids, while some in Cougar's tribe fear she might be a shape-shifter.

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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.

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