Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
Not normally a fan of Nora Roberts, nothing against her but she has not been a go to read. That changed with this trilogy, in fact you may just want to buy all three books at once this way you don’t have to wait between books. After finishing the first book, it pained me to sleep before starting the next book, Shadow Spell. Iona’s Nan has been telling her of magik and that it is in her blood since she was a young child, but her mother forced these stories to be stopped. Iona never felt like she fit in and after deciding she needed to do something drastic to change her life, Iona sells everything and heads of to Ireland in search of a job and family. Almost instantly, Iona realizes she is meant to be in Ireland and has the family and life she wanted all her life. Meeting her cousin Branna she realizes she will stay and Branna helps her get a job and hone her abilities. Iona even finds love with Boyle, her boss, which has its complications. Iona, Branna, Connor, Boyle, Meara (Branna’s best friend), and Fin (Connor’s best friend) for an odd group forced to fight an ancient evil, Cabhan. The trust issues between Branna has with Fin start to be smoothed over by Iona, but sadly it appears the third book in the trilogy will be the one to let readers know if there is a happy ever after for those two. With family, friends, love, and a fight to the death why wouldn’t the reader love this trilogy. The first book is a great start, and having started book 2, it keeps getting better. Highly recommended and one that would be recommended to anyone looking for something to read whether they link Nora Roberts, magic, Ireland, and rom-coms or not.
Character List/Book Summary:
Iona Sheehan – 5’3″ tall and curvy, gambled on a trip to Ireland in 2013 and it pays off for her. Her Nan taught her magik and told her stories of her being blood to the Dark Witch. Has a connection to horses and works to improve her magik so that when they face Cabhan the three witches from the blood of the Dark Witch are strong.
Branna O’Dwyer – not shocked by Iona mentioning Cabhan visiting her in a dream. Has a shop in the village where she sells soaps, candles, and lotions. Makes potions and sells other things out of her workshop. Has a connection to dogs. Plays the violin. Invites Iona to live with her after her week long stay in the castle is over. Helps her get a job working at the stables with Boyle and Meara. When Cabhan tries to go after Iona she mother hens Iona and works with the others to create a plan so that she is not alone should Cabhan try and attack again . Works with Fin to create a plan of attack for when the six of them face down Cabhan.
Connor O’Dwyer – falconer and has a connection with birds, can see into people’s thoughts/feelings. Understands that Iona wants love given and received because she has never had it before in her life. Easy going attitude. Best friends with Boyle and Fin since they were children.
Boyle McGrath – owns the stables with Fin and hires Iona because she is good with horses. Kisses Iona while helping her move in with Branna and Connor and tries to resist his feelings for her because she is his employee and cousin to his best-friend. Goes at his pace. In a panic over his feelings for Iona he says something he shouldn’t to Fin and hurts Iona who overheard as she was walking to her horse.
Finbar “Fin” Burke – owns the stables with Boyle and a good bit of land. Comes from Cabhan’s blood and has powers but not like Iona, Connor, and Branna. Was involved with Branna when they were younger, but hid the mark Cabhan gave him which ruined things with her. Advises Boyle to grovel and buy Iona something shiny to apologize for hurting her.
Meara Quinn – works at the stables and has known Branna her entire life. Shows Iona the ropes and goes into the woods with her for guided trial rides after Cabhan attacks her and Boyle there. Knows what Branna, Connor, and Fin are so it doesn’t bother her what Iona does with horses.
Sorcha – in 1265 she was known and respected as the Dark Witch. Cabhan wants her power but she loves her husband. After Cabhan attacks she calls out to her husband to come home because she is weak and wont survive another battle, Cabhan tricked her and kills her husband. Sorcha passes down her power to her children and saves a little to kill Cabhan.
Eamon – in 1263 he was 5, connected to birds and wants to stay and help his mother fight. Promises to take care of his sisters.
Brannaugh – in 1263 she was 7, Sorcha’s oldest and connected to dogs. Able to heal her mother but not restore her to full strength after the battle with Cabhan.
Teagan – Sorcha’s youngest, connected to birds. Throws rocks at Cabhan and marked him when he attacked Sorcha and her.
Cabhan – a sorcerer who wants the power that Sorcha has. Tells Sorcha that he sees the future and they are together and ruling everything. Says that Brannaugh will bear his children. Somehow his power survived and he is continuing to try and get the Dark Witch’s power from her blood decedents.
Eimar – blood of Sorcha and Iona. When Iona was touring the friary with Boyle she felt Eimar’s bitterness at dying and that she would be passing not only power by the burden of trying to kill Cabhan to her granddaughter.