As a storm rages, the tale of a powerful vampire's lust for destruction-and of the circle of six charged by the goddess Morrigan to stop her-begins. One of the chosen is a medieval sorcerer whose quest will take him through time-and into the arms of a woman courageous enough to link her destiny to his own.
This first installment in Roberts's paranormal Circle Trilogy (which continues with Dance of the Gods and Valley of Silence) starts off like a storybook, with an old Irishman gearing up to weave a fantastical tale of vampires, witches, sorcerers, shape-shifters and time travel. Hill lends the Irishman a gruff, lilting tone befitting his role, but as the story adopts a life of its own-with more characters joining the mix and the dialogue taking on a snappier edge-his narration falls short. For the handsome and commanding sorcerer Hoyt Mac Cionaith, who's charged with gathering a band of six to battle a power-hungry vampiress, Hill employs a deep, growly voice that evokes images of ogres rather than sexy men. In stark contrast, his female characterizations are muted and ultra-feminine, which suits the soft-spoken scholar who eventually joins Hoyt's troupe but not Hoyt's no-nonsense counterpart, the beautiful witch Glenna. Although these flaws-and an occasional slowness in pace-won't stop listeners mid-track, they sap a touch of magic from what is otherwise an enchanting tale. Simultaneous release with the Jove paperback (Reviews, July 17). (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.