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  • Highly descriptive

    Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite The Ring of Mann is the second book in the Circles of Time series by David Thomas Kay and is a well-written novel for fans of historical fiction and fantasy. Fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy this narrative. It is set in the English Lake District in 1663, a locality that is rife with folklore and tales of witches and where people live in fear of the devil. It is here that a runic ring and a black Arabian horse unleash the ghost of a female Viking warrior. A young innocent widow is possessed. The story follows very captivating and richly developed characters. A woodcutter’s disappearance is blamed on three young cousins and while Major Rathbone continues to persecute the Quakers, the young cousins must flee from the Major’s son, Rufus, who is after them with his Constables. It is pulsating and filled with action and romance. The story is captivating and transporting, with a setting that is vividly described and where the day-to-day life of the characters is aptly captured with strong imagery. Readers are confronted with a culture enriched by superstitious beliefs and where people live in fear of those who hold power in the land and spiritual forces. Mary is one of my favorite characters, a widow of Viking descent, and one of the key characters in the story. Her brother is another interesting character and he, a gravedigger, epitomizes the superstitious nature of the people of the town. Thomas is one of the characters that I followed and his role in the narrative is indispensable. The writing is suspenseful and filled with situations that are strangely familiar and characters that, though living in another time and culture, are believable and memorable. The Ring of Mann has a setting that is well-written and I loved the way the author captures the details of the landscape, the politics of the town, and the general beliefs of the common people. It is highly descriptive and sprinkled with well-crafted dialogues. David Thomas Kay just became one of my favorite fantasy writers and the way he mixes fantasy and mystery won me over.

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  • I loved it!

    Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite The Ring of Mann is the second book in the Circles of Time series by David Thomas Kay. The Quakers are being persecuted and Thomas is caught in all this for some reason. His friends try to get him out of this mess, but they are caught and now it looks like his future is bleaker than he ever thought. We also have Mary. She is a young widow who inherited an Arabian colt and a ring. While her life is not easy, she is disturbed by some horrifying visions of her ancestors who were Vikings. She has no idea what these visions mean, but she knows they are trying to tell her something. But what are they trying to tell her? Join these characters as they unravel their destinies while they are stuck inside folklore and a terrifying reality that is worse than a nightmare. I appreciate it when authors give a character list at the beginning of a novel. It helps me to remember the important characters and that is enough for me to form a connection from the get-go. I adore mythology and I actively look up mythologies in different cultures, areas, and regions. The Ring of Mann is a fantasy novel that young adults will love, but I know people who enjoy reading in general will love it as well. It is the kind of long novel that becomes too short because it is so interesting. There are so many underlying meanings to each sub-plot and David Thomas Kay makes sure readers understand the significance of each. I loved the folklore mentioned in the book, absolutely loved the mythological elements, and how the author flawlessly executes them. The imagery is captivating, the dialogues are revealing and descriptions pull the reader into the setting. It is perfect!

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  • Very well written

    Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite The Ring of Mann by David Thomas Kay is the second book in the historical mythology trilogy Circle of Time, preceded by book one, The Sword of Saint Isidore. This installment continues the saga that stretches over centuries. It is broken down into five interconnecting parts that begin in 1240 medieval Cumbria, now known as the Lake District, with an investigation into one of the richest Cistercian monasteries in England. Meanwhile, the descendants of a Spanish slave who married the notorious Viking Chieftain are the heirs to the runic ring, the possession of which is desired for more than just nostalgia. Fast forward to 1663, Mary is a clairvoyant of the past with a deep bond to her Viking lineage and an intense fascination with woodcutting that links her to modern-day trouble. Well written and absolutely full of historical detail, David Thomas Kay puts a diverse cast of characters with varied but all ostensible motives into some of England's most volatile moments. The Ring of Mann reads perfectly well as a stand-alone although to do so would rob readers of an incredible amount of backstory. Mary is a character with almost infinite depth, a beautiful, cunning woman with the mark of the plague on her face and a penchant for mysticism, both welcome and not, that makes her subject to a range of suspicions even among her own brother and cousin. Throughout the novel's meticulous weaving of connecting storylines, Kay is able to balance multiple subplots, particularly with regard to romance and a bit of mystery, with a restrained but evenhanded pace that a less skilled writer might rush through. The runic ring is central as it moves through time and captivates all. I believe this book will be well received by readers who enjoy sweeping sagas along the lines of Bernard Cornwell, relic hunting, and rich historical structure. Fortunately, Kay's third novel in the series, The Inscription, has already been released which will please those who are sure to find themselves engrossed in the series.

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  • A great story

    Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite The Ring of Mann is the second book in the Circles of Time series by David Thomas Kay, a story that melds many genres into one and a great read for fans of historical fiction and romance. It is set in the English Lake District in 1663 and at a time when Major Rathbone persecutes the Quakers. There is unrest in the village after the disappearance of a woodcutter. Thomas hides in his friends' place but before they work out an escape plan, the major’s son and his cronies are on their heels. This is a story that explores social conflict in a setting prone to superstition, and it features very interesting and richly developed characters. The quest for freedom, love, and mythology are themes that are developed in the narrative. David Thomas Kay is a gifted storyteller and while the narrative transports readers to a well-developed setting, the writing is just gorgeous. Characters are rich and rock-solid, starting with Thomas, a kleptomaniac who sees ghosts and who has a great gift for storytelling. Mary is Damian’s sister. She inherits the runic ring and has horrible visions of her Viking ancestors. A character like Damian, the gravedigger, grabs the attention of the reader and makes them stick with him. The Ring of Mann is suspenseful, filled with strong imagery, and following memorable characters in a world rife with tension and conflict. The story is filled with strong descriptions, the use of the epistolary style that enriches the plot, and dialogues that are interesting to follow and that capture the manner of speech of the characters. I enjoyed the way the conflict is developed and the author does an impeccable job in elaborating on the simple threads that bind characters together, writing about different relationships in the story in a way that is natural and enjoyable. It is a great story for fans of historical fiction.

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