Thursday, February 11, 2021

Book and Audio Review: The Awakening by Nora Roberts

The Awakening

Nora Roberts
Narrator: Barrie Kreinik
Series: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 1
Publication: St. Martin's Press (November 24, 2020); Macmillan Audio (November 24, 2020)
Length: 435 p.; 15 hours and 27 minutes

Description: #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts begins a new trilogy of adventure, romance, and magick in The Awakening.

In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own…

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, i"t will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…

My Thoughts: Breen Kelly is working in a job she hates as a middle school Language Arts teacher and being crushed under her student loans when she discovers that her mother has been hiding a $4 million investment account in her name that was given to her by her father - the father who disappeared out of her life when she was ten.

Breen decides to finally do what she wants and try to find out who she is and what happened to her father. She and her gay best friend Marco embark on a vacation to Ireland. Marco will stay two weeks and Breen will spend the whole summer. They find that they have rented an idyllic cottage in a wonderfully scenic area of Ireland. The two tour around and explore in their two weeks together. 

When Marco heads back home to Philadelphia, Breen settles in to being alone for the first time in her life. Besides her daily blog, Breen begins to write a book. Once she finds a Irish Water Spaniel, she also begins writing a middle grade book about his adventures. 

One day, while following her dog into the woods, she discovers an ancient tree that is the passage to another world - an unbelievable world where technology doesn't work but Magick does. She also discovers that she was born there as was her father. She discovers her grandmother and her history. She discovers old friends that had been forgotten. She learns that she is the hope of the world in defeating a god who wants to take it over and then take over the other worlds including Earth. 

Breen is torn between her two worlds. She has friends in both and responsibilities in both. And, having discovered her talents as an author, she wants to pursue that dream but it pulled by her responsibilities to the other world. 

Of course there is also a man in the picture. Keegan O'Broin became the ruler when her father died. He knew her father well and is determined to protect Breen because she's his daughter. He is also determined to train her to fight with a sword and her body leaving her magickal training to her grandmother. His methods aren't tender since he knows he has little time before she needs to be able to defend herself against the enemy. 

The worldbuilding is intriguing. I enjoyed the various magical people in the story from the Wise, to Elves, pixies, and dragons.I teally liked getting to know Breen and sympathized with the hard decisions she had to make for her future. As always in a Nora Roberts' book, there are many strong friendships among the characters. I especially liked Breen's relationship with Marco and the other gay men who made up her made-family. And, even though I disliked Breen's mother for her methods of trying to keep her daughter safe, I could understand the impulse.

About the only thing I didn't like about this story was the cliffhanger ending. I can hardly wait for the next book in this series to find out what happens. 

Favorite Quote:
"You're actually talking about, what, a multiverse? That's comic-book stuff."

Marg slapped a hand on the table, made Breen jump. "Why are so many so arrogant they don't just believe they're all there is, but insist upon it?"

"Because science?"

"Bah. Science changes generation by generation—and more. Once in the realm of Earth the science said the world was flat—until they said it wasn't. Science changes, mo stór. Magick is constant."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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