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The Becoming: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 2

Review

The Becoming: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 2

Nora Roberts is a talented author whose breadth of writing spans modern romance, futuristic murder mysteries and fantasy. Her latest trilogy is The Dragon Heart Legacy, which is not to be confused with her recent stand-alone novel, LEGACY, an intriguing story of a strong, successful woman stalked by a crazed killer. The books in this series are mostly set in Talamh, an alternate world that is accessed through a portal in Ireland.

In the first installment, THE AWAKENING, we are introduced to Breen Siobhan Kelly, who has no idea of her heritage or the money that her father sent for her care. People from Talamh ensure that she finds her way there because her help is needed and they care about her. She is working a job she doesn't like, hugely in debt from student loans, and hiding her light beneath drab clothing and dye that covers her naturally bright copper hair. It’s a lovely and compelling story, with dragons, faeries, gods and elves, and magic of all kinds (spelled "magick.") Breen is taught to fight and find her own magical abilities. We also meet Marco, her best friend from childhood, who was her roommate in Philadelphia where they both lived. A musician, a bartender and practically her brother, he is also Black and gay.

"[T]he fantasy setting is beautifully described, and Roberts does a fabulous job of summarizing THE AWAKENING for newcomers without making the retrospective obvious."

In THE AWAKENING, Breen meets Keegan, the leader of Talamh who became the taoiseach at a young age, replacing Breen's father when he died. Breen’s blood is of the faeries, the elves, the gods and humans, making her incredibly powerful. Her grandfather is the outcast god Odran, who desperately wants her in his control so he can use her blood to increase his power, thereby enabling him to dominate other worlds and take them over. However, her maternal grandmother, who was the taoiseach in her own right, is determined that will never happen.

The book ends on a cliffhanger as Marco grabs Breen's hand and jumps through a portal to Talamh to be with her. The action in THE BECOMING moves the plot forward, but the dialogue feels stilted, and too often I found myself going back to see which character was speaking. Sometimes I couldn't figure it out, and while that didn't ruin the story for me, it did make it easier to set the book aside. There was also the uncomfortable way (at least for me) that Marco and Keegan use the words "girl" and "woman," often when addressing Breen. Calling a friend "girl" once in a while is normal, but when it's used in excess, along with Keegan referring to Breen as "woman," it feels demeaning.

Nevertheless, the fantasy setting is beautifully described, and Roberts does a fabulous job of summarizing THE AWAKENING for newcomers without making the retrospective obvious. She has written a prologue in which the history of Talamh and its travails, along with Breen's story, is told as a myth or fairy tale, which is clever and quite effective. She also creates a truly horrific villain from a character in the first book, Shana. Strangely, Shana's betrayal of Talamh and Marco's romantic interest are given more weight than Breen's own romance with Keegan, which seems to be on the backburner until they are sure that Odran's threat is neutralized.

We can expect that Nora Roberts will use her storytelling genius to bring it all together in the final entry --- complete with plenty of action, finally some real romance between Breen and Keegan, a continuation of Marco’s romantic relationship, and a happily-ever-after for Talamh. Perhaps we will even see a reconciliation between Breen and her mother, who isn't really mentioned here but was painted as a pretty rotten parent in the first book. Fans of Roberts will certainly anticipate a climactic ending to the trilogy.

Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on November 23, 2021

The Becoming: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 2
by Nora Roberts

  • Publication Date: November 23, 2021
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 125027270X
  • ISBN-13: 9781250272706