The Dark Witch
by Nora Roberts
When I’m out and about, I always end up looking at books. If there is a book within 100 yard radius, I’m drawn to it. They’re treats to myself when I’ve been particularly good…or particularly bad…or just particular. (Fine, I’m just looking for an excuse to buy a book.) Like a lot of readers, I’ve got the authors I turn in order satisfy a certain mood. Nora Roberts has always been a go-to for a bit of escapism, or even just to get me reading something I know I can finish in a handful of hours. (Especially if I’ve had issues with my focus.) So when I found myself with a nightstand full of half-read novels staring me in the face, I went browsing the supermarket book aisle and found The Dark Witch.
The Dark Witch by Nora Roberts is the first in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy. Set in Ireland, a brother and sister find their long-lost cousin. The final piece in their triumvirate. The O’Dywers have power, passed down through the generations. Each member of the triumvirate inherits a talisman of protection, created in the 13th century by their ancestor, Sorcha The Dark Witch to protect her three children from the power-mad warlock set to destroy her. Sorcha’s dying act was to pass the power the warlock coveted to her children. Flash forward to modern-day, The Dark Witch’s power is reunited in the cousins, and the big bad has returned to take it from them.
Mystery, the supernatural, an exotic destination, and a little bit of romance draw readers in to this latest installment by the prolific author, Nora Roberts. As always, the characters are engaging, the descriptions lush, and the plot full of action. However, this time I didn’t feel like I was reading anything new. The Dark Witch was a quick, enjoyable read, but I could have picked up several of Ms. Roberts previous trilogies and read almost the same story. Three Sister’s Island Trilogy had a set of three sister witches battling an evil that had come from their past to threaten their future. The Irish Trilogy, set in Ireland (obviously) had three relatives on a course set by fairies. Even the characters themselves are mere echoes of those who have come before. The pixieish blond who is sweet but a bit unsure of herself, the long dark-haired beauty who turns men’s heads and is a gifted musician, the open-hearted man with a core of steel…all of these “types” have made previous appearances.
It made me wish my memory was a bit less keen, because it is a good story. The perfect escape to somewhere with just enough intrigue and danger without being overwhelming. I got exactly what I was looking for, but I needn’t have shelled out the extra cash. I could have turned to my own bookcases for something I already owned. To be fair, it has to be nearly impossible to churn out as many quality novels as Ms. Roberts has without leaning too heavily on previous characters. She has published somewhere around 200 novels, and that is no easy accomplishment. Nora Roberts can also almost always be found at the top of a best seller’s list with her latest and greatest. She is incredibly readable and easy to digest.
If you’re new to Nora Roberts, by all means gobble this gem up. However, if, like me, you’ve indulged in her brand of escapism heavily, and are in need of some originality, this is not the place to go looking. The library may lure me in for the remaining to volumes of the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, but that’s a big maybe. All in all, while it won’t stop me from picking up the next hardcover from this author, I was a bit disappointed.
‘Til next time,