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Saturday, November 11, 2006

**** Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts. Contemporary paranormal romance.

This is the 2nd book in the Circle trilogy, and I liked it both more and less than the first, Morrigan's Cross.

The focus this time is on Blair and Larkin. The Six are stepping up the pace, and preparing to go to Geall, and Lilith, the evil vampire, is targeting demon hunter Blair.

Actually, this is just Blair's story. Everyone assured me when I expressed doubts after reading Morrigan's Cross that Moira and Larkin would grow on me, and that they'd be more developed in the next two books. Well, Moira did grow on me once I saw her in her element as Queen-to-be of Geall, but Larkin never did.

First, why does he sound Irish? Isn't Ireland a foreign place to him? He comes from Geall. (I'm also pretty confused about why Moira ended up speaking Gaelic when she was disoriented. Maybe it was a typo, and it was supposed to be Geallic?) Worse, though, is that the entire extent of his character is that he's always hungry, he doesn't take anything seriously, and he's very naive and impetuous. In other words, he has the personality of a stereotypical teenage boy. I live with two (okay, one and an almost-teen) teenage boys. This is not a romantic fantasy.

Oooh, he can turn into any sort of animal he wants... but that skill/gift is curiously underplayed. We're told that all he has to do is envision the animal in his mind, and that if he turns too frequently, he'll get tired. But that's really never a problem. At one point, the other characters are concerned that he won't be able to make it back to the house and sanctuary, but there's a distinct lack of tension there.

Ironically, we get told over and over again what Larkin sees in Blair, which was unnecessary--it's obvious that she's admirable and desirable, etc. In fact, there's a little aside where Cian says that he sees his sister in her, which is supposed to explain why Cian doesn't go for her, because otherwise, they'd have been a much better match. Plenty of conflict, etc. What we don't get told, and I couldn't see, is what Blair sees in Larkin, other than that he accepts her because the one boyfriend she had before couldn't accept what she was. That's a really flimsy foundation on which to build a relationship, and unless he grows up soon, I picture the novelty of acceptance wearing off really fast. Same with the lightheartedness. I can accept that she could use some light in her life, but Larkin's all surface and no substance.

But Blair, that's good story. Trained from a very young age to be a demon hunter by her cold father, who was disappointed that she'd inherited the ability instead of her brother, and then left on her own at the age of 18, she's got some issues. She grows and develops through the course of the book and confronts her demons, both real and emotional. Maybe that's my real objection to Larkin--that he doesn't grow at all.

Anyway, my sense from these first two books is that it would have been vastly better as a duo than a trilogy. Larkin and Moira, even though I'm warming up to Moira just a tad, are less well-developed than the other four, and putting Cian and Blair together would have made much more sense.


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Tell me how you REALLY feel, Darla! Me? I couldn't stand Blair--too much of a *itch. And I told you, TOLD you Larkin was too happy go lucky for me--there was NO FRICTION between these two. And Moira got on my nerves too, until almost the end, with those two captured vamps. I don't have to tell you how thrilled I was when I read that "moment" with Cian and Moira.

I agree, however, that this trilogy would have been better as a single title and written like Three Fates was: One goal, with three romances. Does that make sense?

~Geets :D
Oh, yeah, that would have worked much better. All three stories in a single title would have eliminated a lot of the problems I had with it. Good call. :)
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