Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

Every time Nora Roberts starts a new trilogy, I wonder how she can keep it fresh and original. Early in the
book, it's always easy to figure out which couples will end up together by the end of the series. It doesn't really matter. Roberts manages to turn her characters into living people, and it's hard to let them go at the end of the book. Dark Witch, Book one of the Cousins O'Dwyer trilogy does that. I've now heard more than one reader say they didn't want the book to end. Count me with them.

I can't resist a book that starts with Macbeth's witches, my favorite scene from one of my favorite plays. And, then Roberts set it in Ireland. I was ready to fall for this series before I met any of the characters. She introduces us to Sorcha, known to the villagers as the Dark Witch in 1263 in what would become County Mayo. With Sorcha's husband off to war, she protected her three children against evil, and protected herself against the evil sorcerer who coveted her power. Each of Sorcha's children had a talisman, a companion, and a gift that they would pass on to their descendants.

When Iona Sheehan arrives in County Mayo in 2013, she comes with an amulet given to her by her grandmother, a love of horses, and a knowledge that she's descended from Sorcha's youngest, Teagan, the girl who possessed a kind heart, and was full of questions. When she meets her cousins Branna and Conner O'Dwyer, they all know that the three have been brought together to use their magick gifts to defeat evil in the form of the sorcerer who once battled their ancestor. To do so, they unite with three friends, Boyle, Meara, and the mysterious Fin, a descendant of that sorcerer.

It's fascinating to get to know Nora Roberts' characters. Iona Sheehan's personality shows her descent from Teagan. She's curious, bubbles as the youngest child did, and shares a gift for dealing with horses. But, it isn't just humans that are important in this trilogy. The animals are important to the character of each of the three cousins.

Dark Witch is more than just another bestseller by the author of 199 novels under her own name as well as the J.D. Robb books. Dark Witch is magical in so many ways. There's powerful magick. There's power in the number three; the three cousins, the three friends, the three animals. Ireland itself is a land of magic. And, Nora Roberts' new book has the strongest magic of all, the magic of "love freely given and freely accepted". 

Nora Roberts' website is

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. Penguin (USA), 2013. ISBN 9780425259856 (paperback), 368p.

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