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Circle at Center

by Douglas Niles

Other authors: Jean Pierre Targete (Cover artist)

Series: Seven Circles Trilogy (1)

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1841119,220 (3.15)2
With his acclaimed Watershed Trilogy from Ace--and his phenomenally successful "Dragonlance" series from TSR--Douglas Niles became one of the most promising stars of epic fantasy adventure. Starlog mazagine raved that Niles "writes so well that his characters come to life after only a few sentences." Now this gifted storyteller has created a rich and complex new trilogy filled with centaurs, goblins and trolls, druids, elves, and other fantastic beings who live in a world of peace--until now...In the realm of the Seven Circles, harmony has reigned since time immemorial. That is about to change...Disaffected members of all the races are gathering into a force that may spell the doom of the Seven Circles. Strangers to brutality and warfare, the inhabitants need a champion who can teach them to defend themselves. For this, they recruit warriors from a world where only the strong survive. A primitive world where life lasts only as long as you can fight for it...A world called Earth.… (more)
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When I picked this book up I couldn't remember where I knew the author's name from, but I decided to buy this book anyway because it sounded interesting. When I got home I realized that I recognized his name from the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance books he wrote that I enjoyed in the 90's.
Circle At Center is the first book in the Seven Circles Trilogy which introduces many interesting and dynamic characters of different races and from different worlds. There are the "typical" druids, giants, elves etc. and some unique races as well such as the delvers which I thought were quite well done.
An evil army is descending on the Circle at Center- the center of all seven worlds and all of the races must come together to try and stop it. My only real complaint about this book- and the other two in the series is that it really shouldn't be a trilogy. It was like Niles shoved all of the Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft (etc) books into 3 books. He sets up a truly massive world with a LOT of developed characters and kingdoms that could have a few books devoted to one specific race or battle or era. Because of this, the first book seems a bit overwhelming at times, when Niles tries to cram a ton of information in and the reader can be a bit lost. The second and third books are do introduce new characters and worlds but it pales in comparison to the first. That being said, all of the characters are fantastic! I love the development and growth and description Niles uses. The worlds themselves are also described masterfully and are each unique and interesting.
I really loved how he used Earth (and the people and history of Earth) with the other six circles. Natac is such a great character and I love that Niles didn't go with the cliche of the hero being a knight or King. The only other minor complaint about this book and the other two would be the lack of a map of some kind. Natac actually makes a map of the world and wonders why no one had ever thought to do so before and I always wondered if that was Niles taking a jab at himself for not including a map for the reader. Regardless of the few minor problems, this series is an excellent one! ( )
  Anvity | Apr 5, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Douglas Nilesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Targete, Jean PierreCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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This book is dedicated to Tim Brown, Jeff Grubb, Rob King, Troy Denning, Steve Winter, Lester Smith, Don Perrin, Dave Gross, and SDS. My fellow Alliterates: teachers, critics, and friends.
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Dawn swelled on the horizon beyond the volcano, and Natac was glad that he would see this place once before he died.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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With his acclaimed Watershed Trilogy from Ace--and his phenomenally successful "Dragonlance" series from TSR--Douglas Niles became one of the most promising stars of epic fantasy adventure. Starlog mazagine raved that Niles "writes so well that his characters come to life after only a few sentences." Now this gifted storyteller has created a rich and complex new trilogy filled with centaurs, goblins and trolls, druids, elves, and other fantastic beings who live in a world of peace--until now...In the realm of the Seven Circles, harmony has reigned since time immemorial. That is about to change...Disaffected members of all the races are gathering into a force that may spell the doom of the Seven Circles. Strangers to brutality and warfare, the inhabitants need a champion who can teach them to defend themselves. For this, they recruit warriors from a world where only the strong survive. A primitive world where life lasts only as long as you can fight for it...A world called Earth.

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