Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts… A Review

It has been a while since I've read any Nora Roberts, but like an old friend you haven't seen in years, it feels just like yesterday that you were visiting. I was excited when I read about the new trilogy Nora Roberts had planned, the Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, because it's setting was Ireland, and it had a bit of magic for fun. I have never been disappointed in any novel I've read by Nora Roberts, and Dark Witch was no exception! Filled with a beautiful ancient landscape, a curse, romance and compelling characters, Dark Witch had me totally absorbed and turning the pages late into the night.

Dark Witch opens in the year 1263, with Sorcha, the original Dark Witch, and her three children. We learn that another powerful witch, Cabhan, has lusted after Sorcha and her powers and will stop at nothing to have her and her powers. A powerful fight ensues and a curse follows all the descendants of these two through present time, which is where we land next - County Mayo, 2013. In present day we meet Iona Sheehan, who never quite fit in anywhere before, who decides to travel to her ancestors home in Ireland, to start her life fresh. With the stories from her Nana, County Mayo is no stranger to her. She sells almost all her belongings and makes the trip, to find her cousins, who welcome her with open arms. But there is a purpose for her being there, a purpose she doesn't quite understand until she gets there. Oh, Nana has shared the folklore and the stories, but it all becomes very real once she's decided that she will be staying in County Mayo- permanently. Without giving away any spoilers here, with Iona finding her way "home" to County Mayo, the curse is stirred and all hell breaks loose. But not before we have some romance, explore the ancient ruins of Ireland and mix a good potion or two.

Nora Roberts is a master with mixing all these elements together into a great story. The romance is almost perfect, the history of the area is wonderfully shared as the characters explore their world, and the magic seems real. My only nagging qualm is that I really didn't like our protagonist Iona. I thought she was a bit whimpy and not up to par with what I would have expected. But that put aside, I enjoyed the story, all the other characters, who we will no doubt see again in books 2 & 3, and I can't wait for the second book in the trilogy, Shadow Spell, to come out. But I'll have to wait because it won't be out until March. Ugh! I warn you though, Dark Witch ends at a place where you're looking for the rest of the story! I know that's the usual with these trilogies, but I thought there would be a bit more wrap up where it ended. I wanted to start reading book 2 immediately because of it!

Historical romance with the backdrop of Ireland is what Dark Witch is all about, and a great beginning to the Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy.

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