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Review: Nora Roberts’ Sacred Circle Trilogy

July 30, 2008

WARNING: The following section contains spoilers for the Nora Roberts Sacred Circle Trilogy. I am not cutting it because, let’s face it, most of y’all don’t read romances and this thing bugs me enough that I want everyone to read it.

I really like Nora Roberts. Especially her latest forays into supernatural romances. But I am currently annoyed with her Sacred Circle trilogy. Usually what happens in her trilogies is this: One character is given a mission. Said character (usually a guy) must round up 5 other characters during the course of the first book. These six will form the group that will ultimately defeat the Big Bad. The six are always three guys and three girls. Over the course of the three books, they pair off, one couple per book. It’s a great way to get suckers like me to buy all three books, since if you want to find out what happens with the Big Bad, you have to buy all three. Unlike books that follow family lines, where you probably don’t give a damn what happens to So-in-so’s bratty kid sister or the rakish older brother.

Anyways.

So here’s this trilogy. Right up front, there’s three guys, and one girl. Ossim. We’ve got all three guys right off, now we just wait for the other two girls. I was especially pleased because one of the guys was black, and I thought it was really cool that she was departing from her usual “white boy meets white girl” formula. Towards the middle of the book, the other two show up. A fairy queen and her shape shifting warrior. Her shape shifting MALE warrior. This really bothered me for a bit, until I decided that maybe, just maybe, the shapeshifting character was actually a girl! After all, if I could shape shift, I’d probably take the opportunity to try out a male body every now and then. Especially if I were part of a male dominated warrior culture. And THAT would be REALLY cool.

Aaand… Then she kills off the black character. NOT. COOL. His replacement? Buffy. Except without the whole “one girl in every generation” thing. I think this partly annoyed me because non-white characters are so damn disposable in romance novels, and partly because it made me realize just how rare interracial romance *is* in the field of romance. Oh sure, it’s okay to fall for a hunky Native American, or a dashing Spaniard. But a black guy? He’s not the hero. He’s just cannon fodder.

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