In this first book of the Circle of Nine trilogy Josephine Pennicott paints a vivid picture of the magical world of Eronth, a mysterious land that is accessed via a beautiful mural.

The land revolves around some of the common goddess traditions that have grown up over the years. Hecate, Brighid and Persephone all feature as do some sabbats that are usually observed as a part of Wiccan belief (such as Mabon, Belthane and Lammas). The accuracy and detail of these aspects seem to give an insight into the beliefs of the author as they are handled with a sensitivity that is usually lacking.

When the main character, Emma, is transported into Eronth it is refreshing to see that she has difficulty accepting her situation. I have previously been irritated by characters that arrive in an unfamiliar world and simply take it in their stride with seemingly no language or cultural problems. Compared to some other fantasy novels this is not an easy read. The storyline is complex and requires the full concentration of the reader. However your perseverance is well rewarded with a well-balanced, mature story that keeps you enthralled to the very last page.

As a long-time fantasy fan I must recommend Circle of Nine to any fellow lover of the genre.

Review by Lesley Mazey, Eternal Night Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Fiction Wee (Eternal Night’s Bride of the Stone review is here)

The enthralling first book in a dark fantasy trilogy, Circle of Nine introduces us to Emma, a Sydney artist who inherits her famous witchy aunt’s Blue Mountains cottage (after the aunt has been horribly murdered). Emma soon finds herself reluctantly being drawn into the magickal legacy which her aunt has created, entering a parallel world people by legendary beings, and taking up where her aunt left off in dealing with a vivid and often menacing menagerie of Otherworld creatures, all of which eventually enables Emma to accept her true, powerful self. Australian author Josephine Pennicott has an incredible capacity for story-telling, first hand knowledge of Wicca, and an in-depth familiarity with mythology, a sure-fire combination which makes for compelling reading.

Review by Caroline Tully

Review by Alyssa Curtayne, The Examiner (Tasmania) 21st June, 2003 both for Circle of Nine and Bride of the Stone.


  • an exciting new Australian author
  • Pennicott has put a lot of effort into the history and belief system of Eronth as well as her characters
  • a complex and fascinating plot
  • an enjoyable read

Review by Mark Johnson