Dear Ms. Roberts:
As you can tell by my book pimping post, I was excited to read this book. It was exactly what was promised: A Nora Roberts take on the paranormal. The characters and the magic felt familiar. The vampire lore followed traditional paths. I hadn’t read a Roberts book, though, with as many action scenes. I appreciated the way in which they were written because I was able to follow them (which I can’t always do).
Hoyt Mac Cionaoith is beset with rage and grief when his twin brother is taken and turned by an old seductive vampire. He attempts to vanquish Lilith, the vampire, and during the fight is attacked by his newly turned brother. This is a heartbreaking scene. The goddess Morrigan comes to Hoyt and tells him that he has been chosen to be part of a group to battle Lilith and her minions as she attempts to control this world and all others. Morrigan tells him that he must join forces with five other individuals and form a circle that will defeat Lilith. Hoyt agrees in exchange for concessions which Morrigan grants.
I liked the way that the mythology developed through natural conversation amongst the characters rather than one character dumping all the information on another. I loved the relationship between Hoyt and Cian and felt that theirs was the more poignant character connection. It was a unique take on the Cain and Abel story and I appreciated the blending of biblical and pagan lore. I actually got a bit misty eyed over one scene toward the end involving Hoyt’s familly.
One character we quickly meet and fall for is King, a large wonderful black man
The challenges I had with this book was that it is an ensemble cast and much time is devoted to the gathering of the six and fleshing out each character rather than focusing on the romance. Despite the small screen time for each character, you did a great job of creating individuals who were multidimensional. To some extent, though, the romance was almost incidental to the story which didn’t make me enjoy the story any less but seemed true nonetheless. I also thought that the ending was so open that if I did not know that these books were coming out one after the other, I might be cursing right now.
Two minor niggles. I wondered why contractions were used by Hoyt and a couple other characters because you made such an effort for the dialogue of that group to be more formal, more in keeping with time period from whence they came that the use of contractions seemed odd. The other niggle isn’t really a niggle but a personal problem I had with the schmaltzy ending. I got that it was bringing closure to the circle (the theme of the story and the series) but thought that parts were overdone. Maybe I am just not girl enough to appreciate those scenes but I liked the fight scenes so much more. This was a hard book to grade because the romance took second fiddle to the setup of the trilogy and I honestly enjoyed one character more than Hoyt and Glenna. Yet parts of the book made me a bit teary eyed (which is pretty hard to do) and I loved the storyline of the brothers. Balancing all of thoseI have to give it a B. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.