Saturday, June 26, 2021

Nora Roberts - Of Blood and Bone

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.
Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

Comment: This is the second installment in the Chronicles of the One trilogy by Nora Roberts. This is probably the author whose books I've read the most of (and she does have plenty) so it is no surprise I have continued with the trilogy. In this second book we follow the characters as Fallon, the key protagonist, has become a teenager.

After the terrible event of the Doom, which killed so many people, things have kind of settled in a seemingly routine situation, with people wanting to survive and thrive on one side, and on the other people who gave in to their evil side wanting to cause even more havoc. Everyone seems to know a battle between the "good and evil" will have to happen one day and, in the meantime, both sides prepare themselves. That is why Fallon, the girl born to save the world, needs to practice and learn how to do it and how to be able to help others. She has also been developing more powers and when necessary, she can try to help to warn others. However, the warning signs aren't always obvious...

This felt like a very classical "second book in a series" because many things happened but none really interfered with the big scheme of things. It was still entertaining but I admit there was quite a repetition of the same things although I must applaud the author to do it in a way that didn't feel too annoying.

Fallon is now a teenager and she has to follow her destiny (what a silly expression) to be the savior of the world. Much of that means training and learning with a mentor, away from her family. I suppose I can see where the author went with this tactic but it's certainly not anything special or new. How often this happened in other YA or fantasy series? Even saying this, however, the story isn't too bad for what the author aimed for and, for her, this is actually refreshing since it's so out of her usual style.

I liked the family connections Fallon and her brothers and their parents had. Of course they are meant to symbolize unity and stability and love and to be even more impressive why Fallon has to go away to study. On the other hand, it sort of establishes the fact only a loving family could give Fallon a strong enough base so that she won't use her powers wrongly nor will she be tempted by the evil side. Everything is very formulaic, that's for certain, but even recognizing the signs, I still kept reading.

What I liked the best was how the characters got along, how they worked together to create peace and stability for those who were part of the community. I don't mind reading about ordinary, domestic lives and Nora Roberts can use this very well in her books. The focus on this novel was on Fallon's family but also on the New Hope community, where the main events of the previous book took place. When this was reaching the final part, the main characters seemed to converge there again, so I can only assume that it will be there where the big battle will happen too.

There's an enemy in this book too, though, someone who plays quite a role closer to the end and although the author wrote things in a convincing way for the situation it was, I can't help but think it was a little cheesy how the big reveal was done when we learn who the bad person is within the community. Lack of imagination, not wanting to go too far..who knows what the author's reason was but the effect, for me, was a bit weak.

I don't know what to say further on this, basically the book works as a bridge to the final one when the big events will happen and the end is reached. From the point of view of a fan, this is indeed new for the author, so good work in trying something outside of a comfort zone, but from the POV of a reader, this was nothing special. I'd have to conclude with "it was so-so but since I did like to spend time reading...
Grade: 7/10


  1. Este é daquelas trilogias que não sei se iria gostar. Não sou a maior fã de fantasia, mas gostava eventualmente de voltar a ler um livro da NR.

    1. Olá Filipa!

      Acho que não ias ter grandes problemas, a sério. É verdade que é um bocado diferente do estilo habitual, mas nada que não se aguente, não é assim tão distinto das histórias/trilogias que ela já escreveu com elementos paranormais. Mas, pois, se fantasia não te cativa, também poderia dizer que terás coisas melhores para ler!