REVIEW: NORA ROBERTS – THE AWAKENINGThe Awakening #1 by Nora Roberts
Series: The Dragon Heart Legacy #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on November 24, 2020
Genres: PNR, Urban Fantasy
Tropes: Ireland, Celtic Myths
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, St. Martin's Press
Buy on AmazonBuy on Audible
Narrator: Barrie Kreinik
Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
Cliffhanger: Yes


In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own…

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…

I’m gonna come out with it right away…thiswasmyfirstnorarobertsbook. Yeah I deserve those judgy eyes. One thing’s for sure thought, it won’t be my last book by her.

That she is an accomplished writer is crystal clear from the get-go. The world building, the landscape descriptions, the character development, it was all very well done. If you’ve never been to Ireland you’ll want to go after reading THE AWAKENING. I saw every little detail in my mind, every beautiful place Breen visited. I loved to spend time in this world.

The inclusion of LGBT and non-binary characters in romance becomes more and more normal, as it should, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Marco wasn’t just Breen’s best friend by name, he was amazing, a constant in her life. And Sally was a delight!

Two worlds, both somehow hers. How would she ever balance them?

Breen’s journey from an insecure, meek teacher who hated her profession into a self confident, strong-willed witch was slow but rewarding. Her mom did a number on her and Breen always thought of herself as never being enough. Until she has to step up in a big way. Helping her along the way are well-meaning people – one of them Keegan, who becomes her teacher in all things warfare. Here is where I’ll admit that I thought he wasn’t very likable. We know the brooding type but they usually have a sweet and funny side about them too. I think the author failed for a majority of the book to let me see another side of him except the rude hardass and judgmental, impatient jerk he was.

“She’s beautiful. I’ve tried not to notice, but I’ve eyes in my head, after all. When that spirit flashes, she’s more beautiful than any I’ve known.”

So when all of a sudden he admitted to himself being attracted to her I had a rough time believing it. From this point forward though I got to see a softer side of him. His connection with Breen though was a bit of a stretch. I hope that this will become more natural in the next book.

He’d wondered and wondered how she would feel under his hands, how her body would move under his, and now he knew and wanted hours of her, days of her, nights of her.

I also have to say that this book could have been a good 25% shorter. In parts it dragged and made it slower than it should have been. But niggles aside, I had fun with this first installment of this new series and enjoyed this world and its people. The cliffhanger will have you craving the next book. If you’re a fan of Ireland and the magic this country is famous for, pixies, fairies, dragons, were, witches, any fantasy creature you can imagine, then this is definitely a recommendation for you.


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