BLOOD MAGICK concludes the trilogy of books about the cousins O'Dwyer. It is the story of two people who have loved one another most of their lives and yet have been kept apart by evil hundreds of years old.
THE STORY: Branna O'Dwyer and Finbar Burke grew up together and dreamed of living their lives together. The two are witches who matched incredibly well. The first time they made love as teens, however, Fin was marked with the sign of Cabhan, the evil sorcerer who tried to kill Branna's ancestor. The mark signifies that Fin is descendant from Cabhan. Branna broke things off with Fin because she knew that they could not be together when the evil that is Cabhan continues to stalk her family. Through the first two books of the series, Fin and Branna worked together as the people in their lives intertwined. In this book, the three cousins joined by those who love them, plot the final confrontation with Cabhan that will free them all.
OPINION: This was my favorite book of the series. Branna and Fin have loved each other even though they have been kept apart by the evils of Cabhan and the curse of Branna's ancestor. The pain and angst of these two who love each other and yet know that they cannot be together is beautifully written. At the same time, there is such rightness in the two being together that I had to keep reading every page wondering how the two would work out the problems facing them.
I especially liked that there were no false conflicts set between Fin and Branna. The only thing keeping them apart in this book is the external forces. There is no doubt that they have loved each other through the twelve years of their separation despite the fact that each has gone on to live their lives. The truth and strength of the love of two people who cannot see a way to be together permeates the story.
I also really enjoyed that both characters are strong, but not brittle. They have deep vulnerabilities to each other and to their friends and family, but they use the love that binds all of them. In the end, it is the love that is their greatest strength. The book is about the connections that bind us to others and the strength that comes from opening oneself up to that love.
The story ended as one might expect and yet the journey was deeply satisfying and I am happy to recommend this book.
WORTH MENTIONING: Roberts has a special touch with her witchcraft books. The book is informative and respectful without being preachy or shrill. The subject matter may be paranormal and yet these characters are deeply grounded in reality in so many ways that the witchcraft angle feels real and solid instead of fanciful.
FINAL DECISION: This is my favorite book of the series. I think it is a definite read for those who have followed the trilogy, but I think that it is best as part of that trilogy.
CONNECTED BOOK: BLOOD MAGICK is the third and final book in the Cousins O'Dwyer series. The book can be read on its own, but the story of Cabhan and in fact, the story of Branna and Fin have been a part of all three books and I must recommend that readers start with the first book in the series, DARK WITCH, and continue with SHADOW SPELL in order to fully appreciate the story.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars!