• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy #1 by Nora Roberts

I listened to this romantic fantasy about a chosen one, a long-lost family, portals to a magical world, and a treasure of a best friendship, and while I wasn't often surprised, I had fun along the way.

When I was asking for dragon-book recommendations so that I could beef up my Dragons shelf on Goodreads and put together a post of my favorite dragon books (that's right, love it or leave it!), several people asked if I'd read Nora Roberts's Dragon Heart Legacy series.

I had no idea Nora Roberts had written any dragon books because, I realized, I don't know that I've ever read a Nora Roberts book, despite the fact that she has published TWO HUNDRED titles.

Anyhoo, in The Awakening, which I listened to as an audiobook (I highly recommend this because: Irish accents) twentysomething Breen emerges from her average life in Philadelphia to realize she is part of a storied clan, a powerful family, and a magical line, and that she is in fact a chosen one and two worlds are depending on her for their existence. (No pressure, Breen.)

So, things are upended for Breen in every way. She tracks down the truth behind the story of her father (who abandoned her years earlier so that she was raised by her emotionally distant, critical mother), she finds warmth in new family connections, and she comes into her own by nurturing talents like singing and writing, but also by embracing her own previously latent but formidable spirit.

This begins as a cozy book, with lots of drinking tea (and wine! so much tea and wine!) as increasingly impactful secrets are revealed. It's a romance, in that the brooding young man Keegan who leads the clan and who seems sure to become a love interest does in fact "connect" with Breen, and they seem destined to be a power couple in the land of Talamh.

Other delightful, convenient, unsurprising, and fun developments: Breen comes into windfalls of wealth that allow her freedom of all kinds. She discovers emerging and astonishingly powerful magical abilities connecting her to others and to animals (her physical-sensation connection to the horses during their mating had me agog as I drove, listening to her account!).

But possibly the most fantastical aspect of the story is the ease with which she secures an agent and her book finds a publisher! The publishing and reading world are clearly poised and ready for her stories. It's a whirlwind.

Breen's best friend Marco and mother figure Sally are irresistibly warm characters. Dragons are very much a side note in this book, alternately soaring in the sky and carrying Keegan to and from his destinations. I wonder if they might be a bigger part in subsequent books.

The point of view starts periodically shifting about halfway through the book from Breen to other characters, which is convenient for sharing information but felt jarring to me.

I'll be curious to find out if there are surprises in store in book two. But if The Dragon Heart Legacy series remains a cozy, convenient, wine- and romance-focused story with some good-and-evil battling and more about Breen coming into her own, I'm still in for it.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I'm in for the second book in this series, fall 2021's The Becoming, but I thought that the series was complete and now I see that the third book doesn't yet show an expected publication date.