Keren Landsman, "The Heart of the Circle" (Angry Robot, 2019)


Reed Katz is in many ways an ordinary guy. He shares an apartment in Tel Aviv with his best friend, Daphne, works in a coffee shop, crushes on Lee, a green-eyed man from abroad, and dreads family dinners with his nosy mother. Yet when Reed gets on a bus he has to stand in the white marked section, and he loses his job when the coffee shop gets bombed because of “people like him.” Not only is Reed a person who feels emotions strongly, he’s actually an empath, who can manipulate other people’s emotions, preferably at their invitation, and project feelings into books. His circle of friends includes a seer, Daphne, and his ex, a pyro. They’re all considered sorcerers and feared by most norms. A secretive group, the Sons of Simeon, disrupt the peaceful marches that Reed and his friends participate in, targeting sorcerers for murder in a bid to take power for themselves. Daphne fears that Reed’s continuing presence in the movement will put him in harm’s way. Her visions tell her that Reed may die soon. But Reed, understanding that his survival may create a future in which someone else dies in his place, seems set upon his path. Not even a scorching love affair with Lee can convince him to step aside and let that happen. Join me as I talk to Keren Landsman about her new novel The Heart of the Circle (Angry Robot, 2019)
Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the YA fantasy, Girl of Fire, the first in the Berona’s Quest series, and the historical fantasy Falcon series. You can follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor, or visit her website at

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