Book Review: THE CHOICE by Nora Roberts

THE CHOICE by Nora Roberts cover featuring bluish-grey clouds in a circular formation centered above mountains and a winding river

The Choice, The Dragon Heart Legacy #3, by Nora Roberts
ISBN: 9781250272720 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781250272737 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781250859327 (digital audiobook)
ISBN: 9781250859310 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B09Q75MDWK (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B09NTKJXFR (Kindle edition)
Publication date: November 22, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction | Fantasy | Romantic Fantasy

The conclusion of the epic trilogy from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Awakening and The Becoming.

Talamh is a land of green hills, high mountains, deep forests, and seas, where magicks thrive. But portals allow for passage in and out—and ultimately, each must choose their place, and choose between good and evil, war and peace, life and death…

Breen Siobhan Kelly grew up in the world of Man and was once unaware of her true nature. Now she is in Talamh, trying to heal after a terrible battle and heartbreaking losses. Her grandfather, the dark god Odran, has been defeated in his attempt to rule over Talamh, and over Breen—for now.

With the enemy cast out and the portal sealed, this is a time to rest and to prepare. Breen spreads her wings and realizes a power she’s never experienced before. It’s also a time for celebrations—of her first Christmas in both Talamh and Ireland, of solstice and weddings and births—and daring to find joy again in the wake of sorrow. She rededicates herself to writing her stories, and when his duties as taoiseach permit, she is together with Keegan, who has trained her as a warrior and whom she has grown to love.

It’s Keegan who’s at her side when the enemy’s witches, traitorous and power-mad, appear to her in her sleep, practicing black magick, sacrificing the innocent, and plotting a brutal destruction for Breen. And soon, united with him and with all of Talamh, she will seek out those in desperate need of rescue, and confront the darkness with every weapon she has: her sword, her magicks—and her courage…

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In the first book in this trilogy, The Awakening Breen “O’Ceallaigh” Kelly learns about her “true” heritage. She’s a child of the Fey, a demigod, and a child of Man. Her father, Eian, and paternal grandmother, Mairghread, both served as taoiseach or leader in the world of Talamh, the land of the Fey. Her grandmother resigned when she discovered the true nature of her partner and father to her son. Her son died fighting his father, Odran, and the evil he has wrought. Breen not only learns her heritage, but she uncovers her creative nature as a writer as well, writing one middle-grade book, and obtaining an agent and a publishing contract. As she grows her writing skills with her second middle-grade book and an adult fantasy book, she also grows her skills as a child of the Fey. Learning spells, how to heal, how to ride a horse, combat with a sword and later a bow and arrows, Breen is simply becoming more.

In the second book, The Becoming, Breen is accompanied back to Talamh by the current taoiseach, Keegan O’Broin, and her bestie, roommate, and “brother from another mother,” Marco Olsen. Both Breen and Marco become enmeshed in the battle of good versus evil in Talamh. Breen continues to grow her relationship with her grandmother, meets other family members, and learns more about herself and her paternal grandfather, Odran. As she adapts to living in two worlds, Breen also begins a relationship with Keegan and must deal with the black jealousy of Keegan’s former bed partner, Shana, who eventually turns to the dark and Odran.

As mentioned in my review of The Awakening, this series is somewhat reminiscent of several of Ms. Roberts’s other fantasy trilogies, namely The Cousins O’Dwyer and Chronicles of The One. All series where someone is “awakened,” discovering their previously dormant magical talents, and then must accept the duty that comes with their awakening, namely to fight against evil. For Breen, this means protecting Talamh and all worlds from the madness and despotic nature of Odran. The Choice presents Breen, Marco, Keegan, family and friends battling that ultimate evil and his minions. Of course, The Choice isn’t just about the fight against evil, it’s also about living life to its fullest no matter what. Marco has fallen in love with one of Breen’s Talamhish cousins and is planning a wedding. Breen has tried to make amends with her mother but has had to give up on that for now (what can I say, she’s an optimist). There are plenty of ups and downs in the battle against Odran and Breen’s Fey skill development. I forgot to mention, there are dragons folks! Dragons, trolls, elves, weres, faeries, merpeople, magicks, fights against evil, and romance, what’s not to love! I particularly enjoyed watching Breen’s development from a shy, anxious young woman to a strong, talented, and kick-a$$ woman. There’s a lot to unpack in each of these books, but Ms. Roberts provides fantastical storylines, wonderful characters, and amazing action, not to mention a great resolution. I found all three books to be fast-paced and engrossing reads. If you’ve read The Awakening and The Becoming, then you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of The Choice to read. I re-read the first two books before my initial reading of The Choice. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve already re-read this trilogy (and am looking forward to re-rereading it soon). ♦

Happy Reading, y’all!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”