Here are some excerpts from a few actual letters from readers of The Circle of Ceridwen Trilogy, along with some snippets of reviews from professional reviewers. The letters include those from readers in Britain, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Spain, and USA. I'd like to sincerely thank each and every reader who takes the time to write. Your letters are deeply meaningful to me - thank you. Writing is communication, and when you write back, the circle is complete.
Please note that I have attempted to receive permissions for all the following excerpts. If you see your letter here and prefer that I remove it, or remove or abbreviate your name, please write to me and I will be happy to do so. Thank you for allowing me to use your words to help other readers around the world enter the Circle.
wes thu hal (be whole and hearty)
I don't know what else to say but the fact that I read all three trilogies almost without a break and I still have dried tears on my face... I think are words enough. Beautifully written.
Last week I happened to find your website, whilst I was looking for information about the viking-age. I was stunned about how much information you put together.
I also downloaded your trilogy "Circle of Ceridwen". I already read the first book, and I'm half through the second one. Reading it I really feel like beeing in that time. Though sometimes it's a little strange to me seeing things throug a woman's eyes. ;)
I will for sure continue looking at your site since there are so many interesting things to be seen.
With greetings from Elmshorn near Hamburg in Germany.
I am on chapter 50 of your wonderful book. I wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying it and can't wait to find out what happens next. I love historical fiction, you have done a great job with all your research and I hope that you have continued to write since you finished this trilogy. Thank you again for your wonderful gift.
Ellen in Weaverville, NC, USA
Your story was so well written that I felt as if I was there.
What a well-crafted story...I have just pulled an all-nighter reading the first fifty-six chapters...
Matt Weed, Connecticut
I discovered "The Circle of Ceridwen" a couple of days ago, and I haven't stopped reading until I finished it. I must say you did a great work, I enjoyed it so much! The amount of research you must have done to write it is amazing, and it's like a gift to all of us lovers of the ancient times...
Forgive me if I make mistakes, I'm Spanish and English is not my first language. I like reading in English as much as I can, and your book helped me learning new words of ancient English that I wouldn't know otherwise. Now I can't wait to read "Ceridwen of Kilton"....
Thanks in advance,
I just wanted to say thank you for writing The Circle of Ceridwen Trilogy and thank you for making it available for free online. I'm a voracious reader but one who has a limited budget to spend on books, so I read a lot online.
I loved the story because I'd like to believe that a man can love so deeply and I'm sure you get this a lot, but your story made me wonder where my Sidroc is.
After reading the final chapter I had to send my thanks, something I've never done before. All the very best wishes to you.
I loved your trilogy about Ceridwen and just can't get it out of my head! I'd love to read it over and over again, but I don't have access to a computer all the time and wondered if it was available in hardcopy to purchase?....Again, sorry to bother you with this simple request, but I loved the story so much its something I'd like to enjoy over and over again.
Just writing to say how very pleased I was to find your books online. I had never read them before, nor really, any online books. But as I left to travel throughout Europe, English books became more difficult and expensive, and in this day and age, not necessary to carry with one physically.
I have completely enjoyed your books. They are some of the best of their genre I have read, and one of my favorite periods of history. Thank you so much for making it possible for ones like me to read them!
Very best wishes to you, and great good luck from Germany,
I started reading Circle of Ceridwen and could not stop. I started Monday afternoon and read through the night until Tuesday afternoon. I can not remember the last time I was so enthralled by a book. It was a gift to read and I thank you.
I thought you might want to know that I LOVE your books (Circle of Ceridwen, Ceridwen of Kilton and The Claiming).
I have never read a book such as these. I don't know how to explain it but I felt like I was in their time doing what they were doing. It was a wonderful feeling, something that I never experience before from a book.
The character Sidroc, I think I'm in love with him. You made him so strong, loving, powerful and very loyal. The love he holds for Ceridwen was true and real; makes me wish I was there with him.
I hope you will continue to write more about Sidroc and Ceridwen and her family that she had left behind. The truth, I can't get enough of Sidroc.
I thank you for writing this book and I hope I will read some more of your work soon.
Again, Thank you!
I read all 3 books and they kept my attention focused for days. The characters of Ceridwen and Sidroc were human, believable, yet engrossing....Thanks so much for many fascinating hours.
What a lovely story. From the first chapter I was captivated by
the richness of detail and the truth of the characters. Thank you
for making it available online.
I am a 22 year old mother and wife, and my ambition in life is to write.
That is all I have ever wanted to do, and your writing has inspired me,
but it has also scared me! When I see writing as masterful and well thought
out as yours, I cannot imagine anything I write being any where near as
If you have a chance, I would love to hear from you!
I loved this trilogy. It gives a continuing history of England where Marion Zimmer Bradleys "Mists of Avalon" series left off with the point of view of both the conqueror and conquered. I felt like I was there living that period in history through Ceridwen.
Thank you for a great read.
I have finished the first and second books and my treat for myself this weekend is the third book. Fascinating subject matter and so very well written. I do not want to say good-bye to the characters!! I am an avid reader and have been all my life. It has been a bit of time since I have become as engrossed and enraptured in a tale as wonderful as this!! My great thanks for all of the pleasure of time, travel and joy of the written word.
My very best regards,
I loved reading these! You are an excellent writerówrite more!
Dear Octavia Randolph
I have just finished reading your Ceridwen Trilogy made available on the internet. Your novels will forever stay with me. Few books can make me cry and your book did. There were so many poignant moments in the story. You have a wonderful touch at saying just enough and never waffle. Although , as with all good stories, you did not say enough at the end of your book The Claiming :)
Thank you for making your books available to read on the internet. I am only curious as to why you make it available for free? I would love to know since I would like to write a novel too and wonder why you chose to do this.
Great novel, Circle of Ceridwen. Brings back memories of my Old English days at NYU. I hated Old English then, but I love it now, reading your novels. I'm a history buff, and have a weak spot for the Middle Ages.
I'm now reading Ceridwen of Kilton. Please keep writing, we love you
I just recently discovered the Circle of Ceridwen as I was looking for well actually more history on Ireland which has been my current passion although your book has thrown me into a century long ago and I can not do much else but read. I hope this is a published book because it is as good as or better than anything I have read in this time period. I have yet to fully explore your site as so far the story won't let me go. Of course I love to read, but it is an amazing experience when you find a story or book that just grabs you and pulls you all the way into it. I am just enthralled with all of these people and the history and the time itself! You have done an absolutely stunning work here... I have read many good books and some great ones but I have not been so drawn in like this since I read the Velvet series by Jude Devearaux a good many years ago. That tells my age, doesn't it! I am only on chapter 32 and I just started yesterday! I must go back now to see how things are going to continue to develop.. THANKS for sharing your knowledge and your talent! I sure wish I could write and get some of these "people" out of my head and onto paper. I am sure glad for those that can and do it with such grace and beauty.
Great work and kind regards,
absolutly loved this book and can't wait to start the next. My
Please, keep up the wonderful work.
With my best regards,
I have read your first two books Circle of Ceridwen and Ceridwen of
Kilton....(which) boasted the third in the series, but to my great disappointment
I have not been able to locate it!
Thanks so much for your wonderful stories
Dear Ms. Randolph,
I have just completed your online novel, "The Circle of
Thank you for writing such an intriguing book,
What a lovely read! I absolutely enjoyed this book and would like to read others you might have written. I found this book on a free online library. Thank you for an exciting adventure.
"When you start Ceridwen of Kilton, be prepared to disappear into another time, another world."
- Rebecca Brown, Rebeccas Reads.com, January 26, 2003
"...an excellent feel for the era."
- The Historical Novels Review, August 2002
"The characters in Ceridwen of Kilton are many and quite diverse, but each is represented with precision and care. These are possibly the most convincing I've come across. Ms Randolph has a rare talent for bringing her characters to life - these are real people. Each character has their own distinct emotions and motivations. Ceridwen, the character we grow to know the best has deep and conflicting thoughts. She has flashes of insight and moments of deep confusion. There are no dramatic flourishes from any of the characters - Ms Randolph has managed to bring the story and the personalities out through small gestures and human emotion. And for me, this subtlety is one of the best aspects of the book. Another excellently handled area was the historical accuracy...this really is a work of art. Full marks all round."
- Five Stars from Amazon Listmania Reviewer Lauren O'Brien, Yateley, Hampshire United Kingdom - August 17, 2002
"... adroitly written historical novel of romance, the struggle for survival, and harsh cruelty set against an England suffering from the onslaught of Danish Vikings...a powerfully written and highly recommended saga depicting the best and the worst of human nature."
- Mid West Book Review June 2002
"We all learn a bit about Anglo-Saxon history in English class. The Anglo-Saxons, part Celtic, part Germanic, faced incursions of the warlike Vikings (Danes) many times. What if someone could make that dark period in history come alive?
Well, Octavia Randolph has written a well-researched novel about Ninth Century England and the Danish invasions. Typical of historical fiction, there is plenty of bloody sword fighting, and a good deal of hearty romance as well. But this is no "bodice-buster." Author Randolph attempts to recreate the sense of the language as well as tell the story of Ceridwen. I found this gave the book a wonderful feel of the times, like listening to a bard tell a saga of bravery and love. ... The book culminates in a single, pivotal battle and the writing is crisp and thrilling..."
- Joanna Daneman, Amazon.com Top Ten Book Reviewer, June 13, 2002
"... This book will enchant lovers of Anglo-Saxon England (449-1066) with its evocation of pre-Christian common law; old custom and lore; struggle between Christianity and paganism; ancient virtues of honor, courage, and fealty to lord; folk remedy; ancient names; old-fashioned words; and sentence structures that evoke the Olde English of Beowulf. No one writes better in this style than Octavia Randolph.
Randolph makes us feel what life was like in an age when ones only hope was in community - and its future was in strong young men who could fight with swords, and young women with fertile wombs. ... All the characters in this book are struggling to survive in accordance with their nature and their God (gods). History, when Ms. Randolph write it, has a sense of inevitability - and a hint of sadness for an age long gone..."
- Tom Blair, Pennsylvania
"... what follows is one of the most thrilling, bloody chapters ever written in modern fiction...(the) characters play upon a stage of actual historical events... She has meticulously researched her story and brings it to life in an engaging and compelling manner. Highly recommended."
- reviewer Allen Gardiner, The Valley Falls Vindicator, Kansas 9 May 2002
"... Ceridwen of Kilton is a richly woven tapestry of characters with great depth, beauty and strength. The tale holds an appeal to the human plight of survival and love...The narrative itself is masterfully written and its complex historical details are a testament to a novel well-researched with much care..."
- reviewer Beverly Wong, Bev's Bookshelf
"... a tale of passion and high adventure. The straight simple style of narration puts life and colour into the scenes and characters..."
- reader Gayatri Vathsan, India
"... had everything a good novel should - great characters and page turning plots..."
- reader Kitty Kennedy, Boston Massachusetts
Ready to read Circle? You'll find all three books here.
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