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  • Corrina Lawson 4:00 pm on 2016/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: , island of glass, , , , the guardians trilogy,   

    Island of Glass Concludes Nora Roberts’ Epic Guardians Trilogy 

    I picked up Island of Glass, book 3 in the Guardians series, having not read books one and two. I also picked it up not having read any fantasies by Nora Roberts before.

    No matter.

    I was sucked into the story and finished it in one night. Which is not to say I’d recommend reading this volume before reading Stars of Fortune and Bay of Sighs, the first two books.

    I’m that weird person who is happy to read a series out of order but, even so, it takes me time to parse who is who and what is what. That I could do that within ten pages speaks highly of Roberts’ writing skills, especially since the book begins with the arrival of our group via magic portal to a castle perched on an ocean cliff in Ireland. They’re fleeing a confrontation with, well, a mystical goddess.

    More than anything, reading Island of Glass made me want to go back and read the first two books, and then re-read Island of Glass to see what nuances I was missing.

    Essentially, the Guardians Trilogy is about three couples with varied powers and abilities, including a wizard, a seer, and a mermaid. Doyle, the hero of the third book, is an immortal warrior and Riley, an archeologist who is like a female Indiana Jones, is the heroine. But their story has been percolating for the first two books so what was in this final volume was more a culmination of their relationship than a full romantic story. They’ve already met, fought together, made friends together, and faced death together.

    Aside: I’m a total sucker for world-weary repressed immortal warriors, so Doyle caught my attention immediately. Maybe it’s just as well I read this first because if I’d read them in order, I’d want more Doyle in each of the first two books. Yes, I’m that much of a sucker for this trope.

    The couples already together have moments in the third book that are essential to their happily ever afters. In the finale, the party of six are in the last stage of their quest to take possession of the three “fallen” stars and return them to the Island of Glass in the title, attempting to overcome the goddess who has left the fold and only wants to destroy.

    The fantasy is built around Irish mythology. As I noted above, it’s the first fantasy I’ve read from Roberts. I’m generally a fan of her romantic suspense novels and the J.D. Robb series, but apparently, I’ve been missing out because the worldbuilding is as sure here as in any regular fantasy novel. (And would probably serve as a good introduction to Nora Roberts for fantasy fans.) The magic is well-handled with specific rules, including the wizard/mage’s power, the seer who glimpses the future, and the curse placed on the immortal warrior. Also, I loved the mermaid but I may also be a sucker for an “outsider who knows little of human civilization.”

    Each of the six main characters has their own strengths and weaknesses and while they’re paired off, they also have meaningful if platonic relationships with each other as well. So often in ensemble novels, paired-off characters are on their own islands, only interacting with their romantic partners, but this group has bonds that cross every which way.

    In short, the six are a cohesive team, and Island of Glass provides both them and the Guardians Trilogy with a satisfying ending.

    Island of Glass is on B&N bookshelves now!

    The post Island of Glass Concludes Nora Roberts’ Epic Guardians Trilogy appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 3:00 pm on 2016/06/14 Permalink
    Tags: , guardians trilogy, island of glass, , , , the stars align   

    Dive into Romance with Nora Roberts’ Bay of Sighs 

    In Nora Roberts’ Bay of Sighs, mermaids can walk the earth, time and space can be traveled in a single second, and three precious stars must be returned to the sky before a seductive and bloodthirsty goddess plunges the world into darkness.

    We first met Annika, Sawyer, Bran, Sasha, Riley and Doyle in book one of the Guardians trilogy, Stars of FortuneSix people, some human, some not, all born with a special gift or talent needed to help reunite three stars before they are possessed by Nerezza, an evil goddess. Sasha, the seer, and Bran, the warlock, were the love story at the center of their first mission to find the Fire Star on the Greek island of Corfu—and after a terrible battle with Nerezza, they managed to all escape with their lives and kept the star from her reach.

    Their journey takes the six guardians to Capri, a beautiful island in Italy I happened to visit once when I was ten, but it rained the whole time so we barely went outside and I remember none of. Guided by the compass of time-traveler Sawyer (think kind of Dr. Who but without a TARDIS and with a lot more lust), the six know that the next star they need to find is located somewhere on the Island—possibly hidden in one of the banks of beautiful caves lining the sea. As fate would have it, Annika is a mermaid—gifted legs by a sea witch only for the duration of her mission, and cursed to return to the ocean once all three stars have been found.

    While the attraction between Annika and Sawyer began in book one, this novel is one in which their relationship flourishes. Their personality differences are striking: Sawyer is an experienced traveler who has put up emotional walls that prevent him from having steady relationships, and Annika is a sheltered, naïve young girl who sees only the good in people. But her curiosity about the world is enticing to Sawyer, as is her innate ability to find joy in small moments of humanity such as cooking a delicious meal…or exploring the nuances of sex as a human.

    However, their mutual pleasure is short-lived when Nerezza employs a dangerous man to hunt the six and winds up kidnapping Annika and Sawyer. Sawyer knows that his first loyalty is to his mission—protecting the stars—but when Annika is in danger, he comes perilously close to risking it all to save her. And for what? After all, she is cursed to return to the sea when their mission is complete.

    Bay of Sighs is written as beautifully as an Italian summer can be; Roberts’ descriptions of the romantic Capri coastline and beaches made me see what I was missing that rainy trip during which I was unable to truly explore. I am always fascinated by villains, even in the novels where we’re not supposed to root for them—and Nerezza’s corrupted and slightly vampiric relationship with Malmont, her hired assassin, fascinated me, and was a great foil to the pure sensuality Annika experienced with Sawyer. I’m certain that in the third book, Island of Glasswhich focuses on Doyle, the immortal man who is incapable of dying, and Riley, the scientist-turned-werewolf—we will get a Nerezza confrontation that will turn the pages into shooting stars.

    Full of magic, mythology and some steamy ocean scenes, Bay of Sighs is the perfect novel for someone looking for a paranormal read with a hint of romance.

    Bay of Sighs is in stores now.

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