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New Treasures: The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 | Posted by John ONeill

The Heart of the Circle-small The Heart of the Circle-back-small

Cover by Francesca Corsini

There’s lots of shortcuts you can take while deciding where to spend your precious book dollars. If you’re lucky enough to have friends who read — and read the same things you do — you can trust their recommendations. You can trust reviewers. Or if you’ve been around long enough, you can come to trust editors. I’ve been around long enough now that I’ve learned to trust the editorial team at Angry Robot, who’ve taken a lot of chances on new and emerging writers. Those bets have paid off over the years, and Angry Robot has gradually developed a reputation for both a keen editorial eye and cutting edge taste.

They’ve published some very fine books in the last 12 months from Kameron Hurley, Christopher Hinz, Tim Pratt, Tyler Hayes, Anna Kashina , Cameron Johnston, and many others. So when they introduce an author I’ve never heard of, I pay attention. That was the case with The Heart of the Circle, the first English language release by Israeli author Keren Landsman, which just won the 2019 Geffen Award. Here’s Dr. Dann Lewis from his review at Grimdark Magazine.

Set in an alternate reality whereby magical users (sorcerers) exist, The Heart of the Circle follows the protagonist Reed, an empath, who becomes the next target of the religious extremist group, the Sons of Simeon after a brutal march for equal rights. This is further complicated by a burgeoning romance and the lackadaisical efforts of protection by the government… Landsman not only delicately reinforces the state in which her sorcerers live, but the merciless conditions in which they are treated. I was enthralled with this line and of course, this is indicative of Landsman’s writing throughout. Her skill with the world-building of this alternate reality is masterful…

Landsman’s novel is exceptionally paced and full of intriguing characters and concepts. I do appreciate that this is situated in a vastly different part of the world… Landsman expertly weaves social and political commentary.

The Heart of the Circle was published by Angry Robot on August 13, 2019. It is 391 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $9.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Francesca Corsini. Read the complete first three chapters (36 pages) at Issuu, and see all our recent New Treasures here.

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