by Cait Collins
Take a seer, an archeologist, a magician, a navigator, a sprite, and a warrior, add a legend and an exotic locale and you have Stars of Fortune, book one of the Guardians trilogy. Nora Roberts is a master in writing serial releases. Her fantasy/paranormal romances are among my favorite reads. I got hooked on this line of her works when I read the Three Sisters Island trilogy. I have not been disappointed. What makes the trilogies good reads? It’s in the essential elements of the books.
Characters are the key element of the stories. Each person possesses special skill sets. In many cases, the character knows his primary talent. For others it’s a learn-as-you-go revelation.
E ach character has flaws. Despite their gifts, each one must overcome his weakness in order for the group to fulfill its destiny.
Unity is primary. All skills are necessary for success, but trust is essential.
Good and evil are clearly defined.
Actions or lack thereof are the choices of the character.
Magic is a respected gift that should not be abused.
Locales are exotic. Islands, gardens, forests, Ireland, and country inns provide setting. Bold descriptions make the story realistic. Local lore and customs ground the reader and allows her or him to become part of the story.
Romance is an element of the story, but it is not the story. Some of my friends view romance novels as silly and stupid. In their minds, it all about sex, But if the story were only about sex, it would become unbelievable. There has to be more than the physical response. In good romance novels, it is committed love that permits the characters to keep going when the odds are not in their favor. Love is glue that holds them together.
Friendships are cemented by love. Knowing that the members of the team are willing to fight and die for a cause frees the protagonist to step up to defeat an enemy.
Love is magic. With love all things are possible.
In skillfully combining these elements, Ms. Roberts weaves stories of bold deeds, causes won, and life fulfilled. And it leaves the reader anticipating the next installment of the tale. Even though the second book will not be released until late next year, the author will release a contemporary romantic suspense in April of 2016. And that, my fellow readers, is just one more jewel in Nora Roberts’ long list of successful novels. I wish I had her backlist.