cover image The Rise of the Magicks

The Rise of the Magicks

Nora Roberts. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-250-12303-9

Roberts’s rushed-feeling follow-up to 2018’s Of Blood and Bone concludes her Chronicles of the One trilogy, which details how 19-year-old Fallon Swift—who is prophesied to save the world—raises an army to prepare for the ultimate showdown between good and evil. The book is set some 20 years after mankind was nearly eradicated by a virus unleashed by a broken magical shield. The survivors either remained human or evolved into creatures with supernatural powers known as Uncannys. Fallon spends much of this volume making alliances and taking out strongholds run by intolerant humans and Dark Uncannys in a buildup to taking back New York City for the good guys. Fallon’s goal is to deduce the proper time to close the shield that started all this, and to settle the score with her evil cousin Petra. While Roberts retains her ability for using humor to break up the heavy-handedness of fantasy writing, her usually on-point pacing is off. There’s a romance between Fallon and her coleader, Duncan, who had a nicely unfurling flirtation in the previous novel but here go from resisting each other to deeply in love to practically engaged in a heartbeat. Showdowns are built up as epic but end before readers can fully absorb them. Fans will see flashes of Roberts’s talents here, but will wish that she had fleshed things out. 1,000,000-copy announced first printing. (Nov.)