Blood Magick: Book 3 of the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy

Image of Blood Magick (Cousins O'Dwyer)
Release Date: 
October 28, 2014
Berkley Trade
Reviewed by: 

“Love. Lust. Paranormal power. An ancient curse, and battles between Good and Evil.”

All in a day’s work for the three cousins Branna, Connor, and Iona, dark witches in County Mayo, Ireland. They are inheritors of magical blood from the original three, centuries ago, whose mother Sorcha, the dark witch of her age, failed to vanquish the demon Cabhan. Today’s three are sworn to finish the job.

[“We won’t fail, for light will always beat the dark, though it take a thousand years.”]

But, despite the dramatic elements of their saga, this is more a story making love not war. The dark witches are aligned with the powers of light, of which the strongest is love. So each volume in the trilogy focuses on one O’Dwyer cousin as they find their romantic partner and add another element to the three.

By book three, then, we have the original three, the contemporary three, their three romantic counterparts, their three animal spirit guides (hound, horse, and falcon), using at least three styles of magic along with the classic three magical tools—bell, book, and candle—to pit against the shape-shifting, time-traveling demon who has outwitted their ancestors while threatening all their lives.

[“It must always be blood. The dark demands it; even the light requires it. . . . Blood magick against blood magick . . . White against dark.”

Though the outcome is predictable, the journey is what engages the reader. Author Roberts has mastered the art of the compelling romance, using similar archetypes in trilogy after quartet after stand-alone after series, but always making each character unique and their love affairs seem real instead of fantasy.

What really works in this novel (as well as volumes 1 and 2) is the matter-of-fact way the characters handle magic. Or magick, as it’s spelled, to distinguish between hocus-pocus sleight-of-hand and an organized, ancient, pagan system of manipulating energies.

Whether or not you believe in supernatural phenomena, they are handled so smoothly in this story that it’s easy to accept that they exist in today’s material world. It’s therefore easy to dive in, forgetting about mundane reality, to the point where, upon closing the book, it comes as a surprise that you can’t just snap your fingers and create fire, or whip up a potion and travel between planes, or communicate telepathically with animals.

Which is kinda disappointing.

Combined with the heartbreaks and heartsongs of romance, however, this closing volume of the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy makes for a balanced, intelligent tale of passion—for family, for place, for possibility, and for love.