Today is a great day. Why, you may ask? It’s because I’ve secured tickets to visit Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey) this spring. Not only that, but I’ll be enjoying afternoon tea on the estate. It’s going to be amazing. On top of all of that I’ll be returning to Bath, home of Jane Austen and Sally Lunn’s. I can’t wait.
It was the perfect time to book a trip because I was needing something to look forward too. Sure, I’ve got my upcoming Biltmore Estate trip coming up – which I love – but nothing can replace England – Bath specifically. I had just started to contemplate a trip to Ireland as I finished up Nora Robert’s final book in her Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy. A magical family located in stunning Ireland? Sold.
Blood Magick is the final book and I had been waiting for it for what feels like foreverrr. I had pre-ordered as soon as I possibly could (before the book cover art work even existed). And while I loved the final battle and how things finally wrapped up, even though it was my most anticipated book, it was probably my least favorite. The final book, focusing on Branna’s and Fin’s relationship (true loves who couldn’t be together because Finn was a decedent from an evil magick bloodline), fell a little short for me.
I feel guilty even typing that because the genius and brilliance of Nora Roberts is so far beyond anything I could ever hope or dream to do…so for me to sit here critiquing the work feels a little wrong. But I’ll forge on…
There were a few things about this story that had me scratching my head: (SPOILERS AHEAD!)
1. The introduction of a demon. I like that to win the battle the cousins and their partners had to do more than just come up with a spell…but this demon was never mentioned nor thought of in the first two books. It just seemed like it was thrown in there and while it answers the question of why they could never defeat the evil wizard (now demon?) (I honestly can’t remember how to spell his name right now), I guess I just needed a bit more about how it was discovered, the history, the relevance.
2. Branna’s quick change of heart. After fighting against her feelings for Fin FOREVER, it seems like Branna was quick to change heart. Yes, this has been building in the first two books, but as a stand alone story it seemed a little quick to suddenly get over all the reasons why they haven’t been together.
3. No epilogue. I live for the epilogue. I would have loved to see Iona’s wedding or the news that Finn and Branna secretly married at Sorcha’s cabin. Or maybe there’s a magical baby on the way…it’s the best part of the Happily Ever After, so I was bummed that there wasn’t one.
Now that I’ve talked about what didn’t work…let’s talk about what did!
1. Branna’s shop and work makes me want to ditch my job and become an expert in scented candles and healing tonics. Her work seems fun and therapeutic and very creative. If only I had magical powers…
2. Finn is sexy. You know this if you’ve read the previous books. It only becomes better as his story is told. You can really feel the inner struggle he faces – how he feels less than the others because of the black magic in him…but how the light always wins. It makes him very hero-worthy in my eyes.
3. Branna’s tears. When she sheds tears when Finn is having his dream and she can’t stop or heal the bleeding – that was a powerful moment for me. You could feel her love and the relief for when Finn returned to her.
4. The bedroom dream. It’s the first dream in the book and it’s really hot. Granted it doesn’t end how we would all want it to (stupid demon), but it’s a really great way to start.
5. Finn’s house. We get to see where Finn spends his time and come to find out he built Branna’s dream house from long ago. It’s sweet and perfect.
6. Special moments. If you’ve read the other books, there are still some fun and special moments between Iona and Boyle and Mearna and Connor. It makes it fun.
7. Light wins. I love an epic battle scene and Nora does them so well. She’s written several magic/paranormal books previously and they all usually involve a final battle. This battle did not disappoint, although I think some of the battles leading up to this one were a bit more interesting. However, Nora really delivers on a great final battle and of course, the good guys win.
8. Finn comes from light and dark. Finally, the best surprise of the book was how Finn was related to the three through blood. Granted the creation story isn’t all roses (I mean good had to mix with evil after all) but it’s a moment that every reader feels relieved about because it means Finn just might be able to forgive himself and embrace the happiness he deserved.
It was a great read overall and I can’t wait for Nora’s next trilogy. Now it’s back to historical for me as I start the second book in Maya Rodale’s Wallflower trilogy!