The Circle Trilogy, by Nora Roberts
An interesting change of pace for Nora Roberts: The Circle Trilogy
The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts was so different from her other paranormal romance that I was stunned when I first read it! In fact, the first go-around, I didn't even enjoy it!
This was not the Nora Roberts that I already knew and loved, and I must confess that was upsetting.
I just wish that it was a bit less Anne Rice and a bit more Nora Roberts!
My First Impressions of the Circle Trilogy
A Change in Nora Roberts
The first thought I had when I started reading this series was that it was not written by Nora Roberts. This is interesting, considering that years later I have been going through reviews on Amazon and finding that I am not alone in my assessment of this series. Someone pointed out that it was as though her untalented apprentice had taken a go at writing her novels for her. I have to say that the first time I read Morrigan's Cross, that is exactly how I felt!
The part that really gets to me is that I'm an Anne Rice fan. I like her novels, and I like her as a person. This series felt as though it was an attempt to imitate Anne Rice's themes and style (with Cian being quite a bit like Lestat). Moreover, Nora Roberts seems to have attempted to adopt Rice's tendency to be a bit long-winded, as the entire series could easily have fit within the pages of a single novel (instead of being drawn out into a trilogy).
I am currently re-reading the Circle Trilogy. For what it's worth, this should be an indication to those reading this page that I saw something in the series that made me want to take a closer look. Every now and again this happens with a book or series that I would otherwise rate low. Usually a book or series ends well, or other reviews make me think that maybe I've missed something. In this case, it's the former: the series ended very well and turned out to be very worth the read.
As Romantic Couples Go, The Circle Trilogy was Weak...
I'm always curious, when writing a review of a romance novel or a romantic series, what other readers thought of the couples in the series. I have definitely noticed that for me, there is always one couple I really love, and another that just doesn't sit right for me. Reading reviews on Amazon, it's pretty clear that there is a definite trend in this series toward one particular couple. I'm curious as to whether or not you feel the same way. Take a moment to vote on the poll, which also, coincidentally, lets me know that you were here!
Which couple was the most romantic?
Get the Boxed Set on Amazon
If you are a seasoned Nora Roberts fan, this series might not be for you. It is so divergent from anything that Roberts has ever written that you might find it frustrating and poorly written. In truth, there are many elements to the series that bothered me. However, I am still recommending it because I feel that this series has one of the most amazing conclusions in recent romantic literature (at least as far as what I've read). I hope that you will give this series a shot and will enjoy it through its ending!
Well... At Least they're Traditional Vampires
We've been seeing a lot of variation on vampires lately, haven't we? Stephenie Meyers' vampires sparkle, and Charlaine Harris's are out in the open in the "real" world and involved in politics. It's been a while since we've seen some more traditional vampires in the vein of Anne Rice (and even hers were off the mark in that they could only be in daylight if they were very old and very strong).
One of the biggest complaints about this series is that there isn't a whole lot of substance to it. It's hard to get involved in the plot (in large part because you know how it's going to end) and it's difficult to really get attached to any of the characters in the story. While I found it natural to want the good guys (the circle of six) to win the epic battle to end all battles), my heart just wasn't in it. I wasn't emotionally invested at all throughout this series. And I wanted to be.
Lilith reminds me a lot of Akasha in Queen of the Damned. In fact, several of the vampire story lines remind me of Armand and the Theatre Des Vampires. As the series went on, I have to say that if Roberts had put more of her own ideas into the books, they would have been better. If they had felt less like Anne Rice could have written them, I would have been more impressed.
(Don't get me wrong. I am a huge Anne Rice fan. But Anne Rice Nora Roberts is not!)
The Series has a... Flavor
(Does that come across as a bit too... LOL Cats?)
For anybody who has been reading Nora Roberts for a while, or who has read more than two or three of her series, this book probably seems a bit "different" to you. I know that it struck me funny and flat out rubbed me the wrong way. If I wanted to read this type of fiction, I would have gone straight for one of my favorite vampire authors. I don't think that this was a genre that Nora Roberts should have put herself into. I'm curious what you think about this....
What do you think of the
What I'm Currently Reading
Re-reading a story can be a fascinating experiment. In this case, I find that with knowledge of how the series ends, and having read The Sign of Seven trilogy (also by Nora Roberts) that I have a different perspective on the books. Amazingly, the first time out I felt as though the characterizations were flat and the characters generally unlikeable. This time around, I "feel" something totally different from both Hoyt and Glenna. This time, they fascinate me, and I can feel all of the heat that Roberts intended (but so far, none of the romance).
Although I have already reviewed this book (click on the cover to the right), I will be doing so again after I have re-read it (completely re-writing the current review).
I have to admit that I'm not looking forward to this book. In every one of Nora Roberts' trilogies there is at least one heroine that I don't particularly like. in this series, it's Blair. I do think that this is subjective and that others are entitled to love her and hate Moira, but for me, Blair stuck out as being unlikeably modern. I wanted something different from her than what I got. In fact, I find her to be the most unlikeable of any Nora Roberts Heroine I've read so far!
As with Morrigan's Cross, I have already written a review of this novel. However, once I am finished reading Dance of the Gods, I will edit my review to reflect my thoughts of the book on the second reading. I am hoping that between the first and the second review that you will be able to get a good perspective on all of these books.
You can find my review of this novel by clicking on the book cover to the left.
Valley of Silence
Eagerly reading through the others, to get to this one!
This book alone made the entire Circle trilogy memorable enough that I want to read it again. I thought it was flat-out amazing. While some readers have labeled this book "predictable," I am going to have to disagree with that standpoint. I was amazed by the ending, and truly touched by the book and the series as a whole.
I'm really looking forward to the chance to get my teeth into this one again. I enjoyed both Cian and Moira, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that I've always been a vampire fan. Since in some ways Cian reminds me of Lestat (or Buffy's Angel), I find him even more attractive because I am such a fan of Lestat!
If you click on the book cover to the right, you'll be taken to my book review of Valley of Silence. When I read it again, I will eagerly rewrite the review and add more content relative to what I've more recently read. I hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I do!
There's Something a Little Creepy about The Circle Trilogy
Can you imagine an old man telling this story to his grandchildren? I can't.
A few of the reviews that I've read (mostly on Amazon) have addressed the "creepiness factor" of The Circle Trilogy and I thought that I would be remiss if I didn't address a particular point that could potentially affect whether or not readers would want to read this series.
The story is told by an old man to his grandchildren. Okay,Â maybe that's not such a big deal to most people. But I want you to consider the content of these stories. I would not recommend these books for anyone under the age of fourteen, but this old man is telling the tale to children who appear to be as young as... four or five?
Personally, I don't find myself concentrating on this. In fact, I find it a bit disruptive to be taken out of the "main" story to address the old man as he tells the tale to the children gathered around him. But others may be bothered by the notion of an old man telling a very sexual and frightening story to very young children. I have to concede that the creepiness factor is definitely there!
More Thoughts on The Circle Trilogy
Here are some more reviews of the series. Not everyone agrees with my viewpoint, and sometimes it can help to read other thoughts on a book before choosing to read or not read.
I was surprised not to be able to find more reviews of the series (as a whole). These were the only two that came across as being even remotely personal.
- BookViews for BookLovers: Nora Robert's Circle Trilogy
This reviewer enjoyed the series, but is not a fan of Nora Roberts. I am a fan of Nora Roberts, but did not enjoy The Circle Trilogy. This might not be a coincidence!
- I Just Finished Reading...: Nora Roberts’ Circle Trilogy—Books One & Two
This reviewer essentially echos my thoughts on the series.
I'd love to know what your take on this series was. Did you think that it was too "Anne Rice" for Nora Roberts? I know some people don't like the time travel element of the story. What is your take on the writing? Do you think that maybe the books were written by somebody other than Nora Roberts?
I would love to hear from you and have the chance to discuss this series with you. Please feel free to leave your comments about The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts here in my guestbook. I try to answer all comments as they come in. Just be sure to keep them on topic, even if you're "only" commenting on my review. I do check my comments and I will remove all spam from the guest book before it can appear to the public. Thanks!