cover image The Becoming

The Becoming

Nora Roberts. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-250-27270-6

Bestseller Roberts’s second Dragon Heart Legacy fantasy refines characters and beats left hazy in the series opener to create a satisfying mid-trilogy outing. The story picks up immediately where The Awakening left off, just as protagonist Breen is dragged through a portal from modern Philadelphia back into the magical world of Talamh with her best friend Marco inadvertently in tow. Marco—a gay, Black musician who periodically rises above the stereotypical—gets a crash course in Talamh’s history and the impending fight against an evil god seeking to subjugate Talamh, Earth, and the many other connected worlds. While watching Marco grasp much of what Breen learned in the last novel can grow tedious, it also adds depth to aspects that previously felt sketched out, most notably the stakes of the coming war. This outing has a sharp edge, including a violent sex scene, but as the conflict between good and evil escalates, Roberts’s skills with building suspense and crafting stirring relationships truly shine. Readers will eagerly await the final installment. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Nov.)