Stars Of Fortune by Nora Roberts
The Guardians Trilogy #1
Published by Berkley on November 3, 2015
To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars: one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then they fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces.
Sasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Her visions lead her to the Greek island of Corfu, where five others have been lured to seek the fire star. Sasha recognizes them, because she has drawn them: a magician, an archaeologist, a wanderer, a fighter, a loner. All on a quest. All with secrets. Sasha is the one who holds them together – the seer. And in the magician, Bran Killian, she sees a man of immense power and compassion. As Sasha struggles with her rare ability, Bran is there to support her, challenge her, and believe in her. But Sasha and Bran are just two of the six. And they all must work together as a team to find the fire star in a cradle of land beneath the sea. Over their every attempt at trust, unity, and love, a dark threat looms. And it seeks to corrupt everything that stands in its way of possessing the stars …
I can say from myself, that I love Nora Roberts´ writing style and her books very much. I have read many of them over the past 25 years.
Stars of Fortune reminded me in some ways of other novels of her, where she brought witches and magic as well into the game. The Donovan Saga is one example, her Cousins O´Dwyer trilogy another and her Hornblower Odyssey is pure fantasy in the plot as well. Some spells Bran uses in the new book, sound pretty much alike those, the siblings in The Cousins O´Dwyer books used.
Yes, there are, at least from my point of view, a lot similar things in Stars of Fortune to some of her earlier famous novels.
Sasha is a young woman, who´s born with a gift. A gift she sees as a burden and as something that keeps her away from others. She had to learn very early, that all the people she loved couldn´t bear what she was, even her father left her because of that. But she is open, uses what she dreams as motive for her paintings and decides one day to travel to Corfu. That´s the place she knows by instinct, where she´ll meet with at least one of the others, she has seen. That she would fall in love with one of them, wasn´t neither planned nor expected. And when she faces for the first time Nerezza, the evil from her nightmares, she is no longer willing to let always the others fight for her. No, now it´s time to overcome her weakness, to learn some new things and gain her own strength.
This novel is well written, no doubt about that. Written in the personal perspective, the reader gets to know the thoughts of Sasha and Bran and can adjust to that. The language is kind of poetic in some scenes and the author sets her words well. A sensitive tone comes through and even in the cruel some and bloody scenes where Sasha and the others fight against the evil, the tone stays on the same level and keeps at the highest stage, Nora Roberts is famous and well known for.
The novel Stars of Fortune contain some fantastic fantasy elements and I was at the beginning, as strange as it sounds, a bit skeptical about it. Open minded but still skeptical. I am used to the combination of magic and a regular story set in our modern times in Nora Roberts´ books, as I mentioned earlier in this review. And over more than half of this book I was haunted and thought wow can it get any better than that? Because what I read was so thrilling, so great and well balanced that anything less than five stars would have been not right.
Nora Roberts using witches in her novels, I can live with. She did that before; and during the first one hundred and ninety pages I didn´t mind that she went into the magical element with her plot and her figures. The adding of a mermaid (which occurred to me pretty much the second I read these few hints she gave in some sentences) was ok, I still felt good with everything I read. The atmosphere was perfect, the scenes and dialogues well written. But then she brought up some other creatures and that was in my opinion a bit too much. Still, there is nothing negative to say about the story itself. Everything makes sense, you feel with them, go with them and the love story that unfolds between Sasha and Bran is one of a kind.
And nonetheless, I have to say that the unraveling of the truth about what Riley is, and then bit by bit what the real nature of the men was, dropped a bit of the magic that had swung between the lines till then. I couldn´t find a sense in their appearance or better said, in their real nature – and still can´t. Not really. So I hope that NR will bring a bit more light into that in her next book of the trilogy.
A seer, a magician, a lycan, an immortal, a mermaid and a time traveler – those are the figures that´ll have to work together to fight the evil that will change the world into a dark place. I was okay with the Witch and Sasha being a seer, and it made perfect sense to me, that they were kind of connected with each other. But when I figured out what the others were, I thought that´s a bit too much – for my taste at least. Nothing to say about them in general, not at all, but here in one place, and bound together for a fight that the real world in this novel doesn´t even see, well …
Sasha is a runner, a hider. That´s what she does after she had to experience, over and over again, that everyone leaves her as soon as they figure out that she has a special gift. You could see her as the weakest of the group. And she certainly calls herself that. Since she can remember her gift wasn´t only denied within her family and a topic not worth being mentioned at all, she also fights it every time her visions come up. Short said: she can´t neither control them nor influence that she´s sleepwalking during them. But despite that she has a heart of gold. Open to anything she knows by instinct when something is right, when she sees Riley she walks right to her and starts to tell her about her dreams and why she is in Corfu. The same with the others of the group she´s destined to build to fight against evil.
Bran has nothing in common with other witches. He runs a nightclub and does magic in front of an audience. Showing what he can without being held for what he is: A Witch. He is the one who shows Sasha how to open up to her gift, that it isn´t strange and bad at all and he always knows what the others need to give their best. And as an Irish he frankly sucked in magic and fairy tales with the mother milk. That he would be the one who falls in love with Sasha is the perfect little extra to the story.
Stars of Fortune gets four stars, ´cause I still feel that this book deserves it. To the first half I was up to five, but with the revealing of what the other characters Sawyer, Doyle, Annika and Riley really are, I wasn´t quite all right with. And some scenes couldn´t convince me – so it fell down to four. Despite that, you will find a book with many fantastic scenes, great dialogues and a feeling that will leave you in the end with the need for more.
Nora Roberts, born in Silver Spring, Maryland, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.
Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.” She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.