Book Review: The Becoming (The Dragon Heart Legacy, #2) by Nora Roberts

Book Review: The Becoming (The Dragon Heart Legacy, #2) by Nora Roberts

The Becoming by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nora never disappoints. There are so many trilogies and series where reading the second book is something of a doldrums experience; it’s giving you a lot of background and filler to get you to the main event in the third book. I’ve read a bunch of these, some of them in series that I consider to be favorites, especially in the fantasy genre. But that’s not at all what I got in The Becoming, book 2 of Nora’s The Dragon Heart Legacy trilogy. This book was impactful and engaging from first page to last, while still providing the setup needed for the final installment. I thoroughly enjoyed every single scene in The Becoming, and I will absolutely be rereading it and its predecessor before the aforementioned final installment, The Choice, is published in November of 2022. I’m incredibly thankful for Nora’s schedule and work ethic, because I would hate to have to wait any longer to get the end of this story.

If you know me at all, you know that I adore Nora Roberts and read absolutely everything she publishes. She’s one of my very favorite authors, and has been for over half of my life now. I go through phases and changes with other favorites, but Nora’s place in my heart has always been solid and secure. My favorite genre tends to change. Sometimes I’m all about fantasy and horror, while other times I want nothing but literary fiction or thrillers or middle grade classics. I’ve never considered romance a favorite genre until this year, but Nora has always been my favorite regardless of genre. Because of this, I’ve been beyond thrilled as, in the past few years, she’s really stretched herself as a writer and has both tackled tough topics and tried her hand at genres outside of her norm, like dystopian and fantasy. While she’s always had fantastical elements in her work, The Dragon Heart Legacy is the first I would label straight up portal fantasy, and she’s done a brilliant job balancing the worlds on either side of those portals.

There are so many strong, wonderfully developed characters in this series that listing them would take forever, so I’m only going to mention a few. Breen, our protagonist, has grown by leaps and bounds since we first met her in The Awakening. Her determination and drive support her talent and wit very well, but she would have never discovered any of those qualities in herself without the beautiful support system of friends and family she’s managed to accrue by this point in the narrative. My favorites are Marco, her childhood best friend who would follow her anywhere; Sally, the drag queen who is far more of a mother to Breen and Marco than either of their own; and the grandmother and honorary grandfather Breen never knew she had. But the entire cast is wonderful. While the romance of the central characters is far slower developing than is Nora’s norm, she’s balanced that very well with romances in the lives of the supporting characters, especially in Marco.

There’s quite a lot of action and battle sequences for a Nora series, and she has always written them well. As with her sex scenes, she writes more about the atmosphere and emotions than she does the mechanics of the act itself, but her battles suck you in. You can smell the blood and smoke and sheer ferocity in the scenes. And there’s something beautiful and timeless about magic as she writes it, just as there’s something insidious in the magic of the antagonists. This series has no gray characters; there is a very clear divide between good and evil, but I think having such a solid division between light and dark is refreshing.

I have nothing negative to say about this book, or the one that came before it. The writing was lovely, the magic enchanting, the characters endearing, and the battle engaging. I wish I could take a trip to Ireland, find the Welcoming Tree, and take my own journey into Talamh. The Becoming made me want to ride a dragon and make friends with a fairy, yes, but it also made me want to write, to sing, to push myself out of my comfort zone and see who I can become when I get out of my own way. And isn’t that kind of motivation the very most we can ask of fiction?

You can purchase this book from: Blackwell’s | (Support Independent Bookstores)Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible | (Another way to support independent bookstores!) | Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)

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