Monday, November 22, 2021

Review: The Becoming by Nora Roberts

The Becoming by Nora Roberts
Series: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 2
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Fantasy 
The Becoming cover
ISBN: 9781250272706
Release Date: November 23, 2021
Source: Publisher
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The world of magick and the world of man have long been estranged from one another. But some can walk between the two—including Breen Siobhan Kelly. She has just returned to Talamh, with her friend, Marco, who’s dazzled and disoriented by this realm—a place filled with dragons and faeries and mermaids (but no WiFi, to his chagrin). In Talamh, Breen is not the ordinary young schoolteacher he knew her as. Here she is learning to embrace the powers of her true identity. Marco is welcomed kindly by her people—and by Keegan, leader of the Fey. Keegan has trained Breen as a warrior, and his yearning for her has grown along with his admiration of her strength and skills.

But one member of Breen’s bloodline is not there to embrace her. Her grandfather, the outcast god Odran, plots to destroy Talamh—and now all must unite to defeat his dark forces. There will be losses and sorrows, betrayal and bloodshed. But through it, Breen Siobhan Kelly will take the next step on the journey to becoming all that she was born to be.

Return to the world of the Talamh, a world of the Wise and the Fey, of dragons and trolls; a world a fallen god seeks to destroy. In The Becoming, Nora Roberts continues to build on what she started with The Awakening, weaving a story of light versus dark. And at the center of it all is Breen Siobhan Kelly, the key to Talamh’s rise or fall, and a woman coming into her full power.

The Becoming is very much a bridge book, for better or worse Much of the story follows Breen as she continues to learn more magic, develop her craft, train to fight, and search for clues as to what her evil grandfather is planning to do next. By her side is her best friend Marco, a man who is thrown for a loop after being transported from Philadelphia to Talamh. Breen and Marco are both easy to like and their bond is one they cherish above all else. I loved their friendship and how they always supported one another. Despite being a city boy, Marco is quickly enveloped in Talamh and Breen’s friends and family become his. I enjoyed watching Breen and Marco become further enmeshed in Talamh but it did grow repetitive. As a longtime fan of Nora Roberts it pains me to say the first half of this book is painfully slow. There’s a lot of filler with small bursts of excitement as we follow Breen, Marco, and Keegan on their daily tasks. At a little over halfway the story picks up the pace, as Breen travels to the Capital. There politics and false faces add drama and interest, but the story still doesn’t hit its full stride until the last third of the book. There insidious evil creeps through and forces our heroes to come together and act. I was hooked at the end, though what occurred was still just a taste of what I hope is to come in the final book.

The Becoming isn’t a romance, but there are love stories throughout. From the slow and steady to the lightening quick, from tragic to one-sided, and more – love is the counterpart to the dark and violent elements of this story. Breen and Keegan’s romance, the one you would expect to be the most prominent, remains understated. I liked them together and I actually enjoyed that they are focused on saving the world more than exploring what they could have together. The practicality of it makes sense, though because I expect a romance when I read Nora Roberts I hope to see more sparks between Keegan and Breen in the final installment.

The Becoming moves the overarching plot of the Dragon Heart Legacy series forward but on its own it’s a book I liked but didn’t love. I enjoyed my time in Talamh, liked watching the characters grow and relationships develop, but the pacing made the story drag a bit. I am, however, very much looking forward to seeing what comes next as Breen and all those who stand with her in the light take on pure evil.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.