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Review of Face The Fire, a novel by Nora Roberts.
I am reviewing the paperback edition of the novel.
ISBN 0 7499 3298 8
Published by Piatkus in 2002
Cover price £5.99
The prologue is set in 1702.
A woman throws herself off the cliffs of her island home, her lover has gone, her sisters are dead and her life is over. She uses the last of her supernatural powers to cast a spell of protection around her island home. She declares that the spell will hold the island in safety for 300 years.
The main storyline is set in 2002
Three Sisters Island is an island situated off the coast of an un-named area of America. The island is home to Mia Devlin. Bookshop and cafe owner Mia is a proud independent woman in her early thirties. She had her heart broken as a young girl by Sam Logan, a fellow islander who left her to seek his fortune on the mainland.
Mia and her friends, Nell and Ripley are witches, as is Sam. When Sam returns to the island to take over the Magick Hotel, his father's business, he hopes to rekindle his relationship with Mia. Nell and Ripley, along with Lulu, a woman who drifted to the island as a hippy during Mia's babyhood and took a job as Mia's nanny cum companion, are very protective towards Mia. They recognise that behind her businesswoman facade lies a vulnerable and easily hurt person. They are all highly suspicious of Sam's intentions and vow to protect her.
Mia, Nell, Ripley and Sam each represent one of the natural powers, fire, water, earth and air. As Mia and Sam begin to bury their differences and resume their affair, the atmosphere on Three Sisters Island begins to subtly change. Lulu is troubled by dreadful nightmares, Nell is pursued by memories of her former husband, a vicious psychopath who has tried to kill her in the past, strange events and visions appear to the four witches and their loved ones. Mia realises that the curse on three Sisters Island that her ancestor guarded against has returned and only she as leader of her coven can defeat it.
The outcome makes a cracking good read, which I have no intention of spoiling for others!
Face The fire is the third novel in a trilogy, I must be perfectly honest here and state that I have not read the previous two books, however the storyline is so well crafted that this did not actually matter. Events unfolded in a natural fashion and the references and explanations of past events were woven into the novel in such a skillful way, that Face The Fire can easily be enjoyed in it's own right.
==Author, Publisher and pricing info==
Nora Roberts is an American author, she was born in Silver Spring Maryland. Nora was the youngest of five children and the only girl in the family. She married young and settled down in Keedysville, Maryland, where she worked briefly as a legal secretary. After her sons were born she stayed at home and threw herself into craft work and the role of a stay at home Mum. During a blizzard in February 1979 she decided to try her hand at writing. She says on her website that she was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate! It was here that Nora Robert's literary career was born. After several rejections, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.
Nora Roberts is a prolific writer and has written 160 New York Times bestsellers including 23 written as J.D. Robb.
A full list of her works can be found on her website along with further information about her life and family.
Information about Piatkus, the publisher of my copy of Face The Fire can be found at www.piatkus.co.uk
My copy of the novel carries the cover price of £5.99, however I purchased it for £1 in a local second hand book shop! Face The Fire can be obtained from www.amazon.com for £.25 new or 1p used.
==My thoughts and conclusion==
This book is marketed in the romantic fiction genre and I would have to say that yes, there is a romantic thread to it, however please do not let that put you off. Face The Fire is an unusual novel, this is not a "Cartlandesque" romantic novel. There is a little of everything in this book, witch craft, horror, history, sex, female friendships and a glimpse into island life.
Nora Roberts has created a story with strong characters who are very well drawn and depicted warts and all. We see Mia's initial resentment of Sam returning to Three Sisters Island, Sam's efforts to be accepted and forgiven, Lulu's fear of losing Mia to Sam, Nell's terror of her ex husband and the inner battle policewoman Ripley struggles with to balance her life as a law enforcement officer with her natural inclinations as a white witch.
It is rather difficult to make a generalisation of this novel, I would recommend to others but with the proviso that you read it with an open mind and do not expect a romantic romp!
Thank you for reading.
© brittle1906 March 2009
Also published on ciao.co.uk