I was so excited to read this book. I’ve read a lot of Nora Roberts and generally walk away happy I spent the time with her. But this book just didn’t hit the mark for me. Granted, it’s possible my expectations were too high — I love anything involving magic and the supernatural.
In this tale, you begin with the original Dark Witch whose descendants come back together in modern times to finally defeat the wizard who took her down and wreaked havoc on the lives of many. We follow Iona in particular, a young woman with more backbone than I’d ever have (she ups and moves to Ireland with no job, no home, no plan). She vaguely knows her family’s history and is quickly taken under the wing of two cousins, the other two parts of the Dark Witch’s power. Of course, along the way there is a tall, dark, and handsome man to keep her from being swept up entirely by the darkness surrounding her family.
Storywise, I was very much looking forward to finally reading this book and the rest of the trilogy. Roberts always puts in a lot of effort to give her story some substance, not just a love story where things are happening in the periphery. But here I felt the story was pulled too thin. There is a lot of attention paid to the growing love story, Iona’s acclimation to her new powers, her acclimation to her new environment, occasional run-ins with the bad guy, and a battle at the end that has far more build up than I thought it deserved. To be fair, it was a good way to leave off the first book in the series, but all the preparation and planning and replanning when things changed . . . it simply felt disappointing at the end of the day.
The characters are endearing, especially the cousins. And the love story doesn’t take a ridiculous turn until the last pages so it’s very easy to root for this couple. The supernatural aspect of it was very thoroughly thought out. But it didn’t come together for me. I of course have no trouble with the romance taking center stage often, but I was honestly hoping for more about the bad guy. More of an adventure, especially for Iona who uprooted her entire life to better understand her heritage. After such a great introduction to the Dark Witch and her bloodline, it was surprising to see the run-ins with Cabhan take such a back seat. Almost as an after thought.
2 out of 5 Whatzits
For a reader who isn’t as motivated by the supernatural aspect of the book, I think this could be a very enjoyable read. There is some violence, but it’s more psychological than anything else. And I do think there’s potential for the second and third books to have more substance to them. Now that the romance part is fairly well settled and all. But for me it was a miss that ended up taking a long time to trudge through because it was so different from my expectations.