The Magic Circle

Progress report (17th October 2021)

I love a good fantasy book, particularly ones with interesting characters, a good dose of realism, and a solid system for magic.

I love it even more when that fantasy element gets blended with contemporary of science fiction settings, so that you can really develop ideas and run with them. But, in the vast majority of books that attempted to take fantasy out of the middle ages, I was always a bit disappointed.

Why? Because you'd have, say, modern witches and wizards and heroes using swords. I mean, who takes a sword to a gun fight?

At this point, I must point out Brent Weeks' Lightbringer series. He did an amazing job of having full epic-fantasy in line with a world that was of a similar technological age to the 1700s. I'm sure there are other authors who have done a similar job, but as yet, I've not read them.

What this has meant for me as a reader is there has always been a hole, a missing tooth, where you could seamlessly blend modern or futuristic tech with magic and fantasy. That hole has been nagging away at me for years, but it's only been recently that I've had the skill or knowledge to do something about it.

Hence, The Magic Circle.

Set over a hundred years from now, and nearly forty years after a devasting global nuclear war, The Magic Circle shows us a world that has been carefully rebuilding itself. Many countries simply don't exist anymore; others conquered over in the years following the war, strengthening countries into massive super-continents. The rest simply kept their heads down, dusted themselves off, and did the best they could to come back. To ensure these world powers don't destroy each other again, strict rules of non-contact were agreed, so that the superpowers were never allowed to talk, let alone fight, with each other again.

It's in this setting that we meet three very different characters.

Bethany Roberts

Bethany was born and bred in Hull, Greater Scotland. Her mum came from Little England, though she had Jamaican heritage, and her dad was local to Hull. Fun, shy, eager to experience life, she is just turning eighteen and is a first-year student at the Paris College of Art. After making a fool of herself in flirting, she soon discovers not only that she can do magic, but that she's not alone.

Yevgeny Arafyev

As a polar opposite, you can't get much more different that Yevgeny. Devout Christian, he works as a spy for the Russian Orthodox Church. He is in no doubt that the abilities that make him special comes directly from God. He is always striving to convert any others with such powers to the Church, and isn't afraid to guarantee those other people don't get the chance to use their skills for another country instead.

Wikus de Klerk

Born in Praetoria, South Africa, Wikus is old enough to remember the war from when he was a child. Back then, he watched things on the news that confused and disturbed him: people seemed to do unbelievable things, magical things. He spent the rest of his life building up the Federation of Africa in order to get the financial and political clout to find this magic himself.

Where are you now?

The first draft is complete. The second draft is halfway through, and is currently being read by alpha readers. Already, feedback has been great. Things like:

Great and can't wait to read some more!

It's a solid story and I love the dystopian vibe.

Right now, I'm still editing the rest of the book before I do a third edit, and then I'll send it off to my lovely editor. After that, it shouldn't be much longer until release. 🤞

If you would like to be an alpha reader (i.e. it's still quite rough around the edges) or a beta reader (i.e. it's nearly ready for publication) or, just before launch, an ARC reviewer. then DO GET IN TOUCH. I'm always looking for people's views on the book to help it sing.