Morrigan’s Cross (and I’m not feeling so hot myself)

I have long believed that Nora Roberts is a cyborg. She does things that no human can do, namely write a full-length novel about every six weeks. It’s weird and creepy and there is no other explanation except that she is a cyborg.

So I was hoping that Morrigan’s Cross, which was the #1 Mass Market Paperback of 2006 with some 2.7 million copies sold, would provide some evidence to back up my theory. You know, like a reference in the introduction to her charging station. Or a character that has a robot butler. You know, something.

On this note I was disappointed. Roberts continues to obscure her true identity in her text, though I would argue that her awkward photo on the back of the book suggests she is hiding something big, probably mechanical insides. I’ve got my eye on you, Nora.

But anyway, on to the novel at hand. Morrigan’s Cross is the first of a fantasy-paranormal-romance series called the Circle Trilogy, the other two books of which were also released in 2006 and sold in similarly astounding quantities. Roberts begins with a reverse deus ex machina: Morrigan, Celtic goddess of battle, visits her earthly beloveds in different places and times, informing them that there will be a great war that will decide the future of mankind and they have been called to fight it. This pending conflict will be the dastardly work of Lilith, queen of the vampires, who has charged her demonic subjects with the task of exterminating all humans from the earth. For limited time, free shipping; Use coupon FSWR120. Take a deep breath. Prescription Celecoxib We have the answers you seek. Next-day delivery and privacy asCelecoxib: FDA and Health Canada Actions – December 24, 2004 The incrCelecoxibApr 23, 2008 The five-year results of the Adenoma Prevention with CelecSep 12, 2008 This risk will increase the longer you use celecoxib.

Morrigan’s warriors are a motley crew: Hoyt, a sorcerer from 1128 Ireland; Hoyt’s twin Cian, a vampire himself who was claimed by Lilith a thousand years before but agrees to turn on his own kind; Glenna, a modern-day witch; Moira, a scholar from a mythical land called Geall; Larkin, a shape-shifter; and Blair, a professional warrior and vampire hunter. The gang travels through time and space to meet up in Ireland, where they begin honing their skills and teamwork for the great battle.

Of course, there is also love. Sparks instantly fly around Hoyt and Glenna; by the end of the first month—and the book—they are married. The book features typical romance-novel passion and pacing, with the same flying tempers, swift commitments, and unsafe sex we’ve come to know and love. Or at least expect. How much you wanna bet that Cian and Moira, and Larkin and Blair, will follow suit in the later books?

I did think this book was a little skimpy on plot; not a whole lot happens except training, a few scuffles with vampires, and the building of relationships between the characters. Making this story into a trilogy feels like a stretch. But then, Roberts probably needs the money.

Ha ha.

Still, I have no argument with Nora Roberts, and if people have to buy a million billion romance novels a year from one person, readers could do a lot worse. Roberts is a good writer, and more importantly, her books don’t creep me out. Unlike many other authors in her field, she really does create strong female characters who resist possession and rescue by the men in their lives. Indeed, most of the conflict between Hoyt and Glenna in Morrigan’s Cross erupts because he tries to treat her like a woman of medieval Ireland, which she will not tolerate, no matter how recently he may have crawled into the 21st century. I liked how Roberts actually explored the difference between wanting to protect someone you love and acting like a macho dick. Most other romance authors I’ve encountered have treated the latter like a woman’s dream come true.

So if I had to rank my preferred romance authors or styles (and I’m talking about official romance novels here), Roberts would come in third. First would be Janet Evanovich, because her books are so goofy, and second would be some kind of regency romance, because they are light and cute. The serious romance, I’m sorry, I just find to be dreadful. Roberts walks the line at times: she does inject humor into her novels, which I appreciate, but she can be a tad overdramatic too. When Glenna and Hoyt kiss, for example, all the candles and fireplaces in the room automatically ignite. I burst out laughing when this happened the first time, but apparently it wasn’t supposed to be funny because the same thing happens about ten more times. Remind me to date a sorcerer in my next life! Starting fires with kindling can be such a pain.

While I won’t be continuing on to the remaining books in the trilogy, I can head off to other pastures assured that the world is going to end up OK. The nice thing about reading a genre like romance—for a reviewer, anyway—is that you always know how every book is going to end. Just let me know, people, if you find a reference to a robot butler later in the series. We have to get to the bottom of this cyborg thing.

2 thoughts on “Morrigan’s Cross (and I’m not feeling so hot myself)

  1. I skipped out on the first book and went for the other two: sorry no cyborg butler. (There’s a lot more action in the second two and when, months and months later, I read the first, I kept looking at how many pages were left and waiting for something (anything) to happen. It was odd.) There is a remarkably stiff Irish butler in her “In Death” mystery series, the newer releases of which feature a possibly odder photo of Roberts walking the night in a long leather coat a la Eve Dallas, the cop in the series.

  2. Wow! How did you know to skip the first one? You are wise in the ways of Nora Roberts, my friend. Next time I’m going to ask you what to read. And do keep me apprised about the goings-on of these stiff, cyborgish characters. Someday Roberts’ true identity will be unveiled, and we will be hailed as great prophets.

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