Morgan le Fay in Legend

The legend of King Arthur has been retold countless times. In the canonical version, Morgan Le Fay is the half-sister of King Arthur. But their family tree is tangled with murder and magic.

Uther Pendragon — the King of Britain — falls in love with  Morgan's mother, Ygraine. So he lures Morgan's father, Duke Gorlois of Cornwall, into a fatal ambush. The same night Gorlois is killed, the mysterious sorcerer Merlin transforms Uther to look like Gorlois. In this guise, Uther sneaks into Ygraine’s bed, and they conceive a child -- the future King Arthur.

When Ygraine discovers what's happened, she fears for the life of her daughter. So Ygraine sends Morgan away into exile.

Years pass. Merlin takes Uther and Ygraine’s son away to be raised in secret. Soon Uther is killed, and the land is without a king. According to prophecy, whoever can draw Uther’s sword, Excalibur, out of the stone it is wedged in, is the rightful king. But no one can, until a country squire named Arthur pulls it out... and becomes King Arthur.  He is, of course, Uther’s son.

Morgan reappears. Now a powerful sorceress, she troubles King Arthur’s Round Table, laying traps for his knights, seducing Arthur and bearing him a son, Mordred. In the end, Morgan and Mordred bring about Arthur’s downfall, and the destruction of Britain.

But how did Morgan become such a powerful sorceress? The medieval romances gloss over her childhood. Malory’s Morte d’Arthur says only that she “was put to school in a nunnery, and there she learned so much that she was a great clerk of necromancy.” The Circle Cast is an attempt to answer the question of how an exiled girl became a witch powerful enough to bring down a kingdom.


Who is Morgan le Fay?
Why is the story set in 500 AD?
What is Wiccan magic?
Who is Alex Epstein?
The Circle Cast blog.
An Interview with Alex Epstein on The Young Adult Fantasy Guide
Praise for The Circle Cast
Publication Information