Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts (2015)

This novel is the first book in the new Guardians trilogy and is the most recent book released by Nora Roberts, who has written more than 200 books during her career. As a fan of her work, I have read almost all of her books and I can honestly say I enjoy all of them. While I find I love the majority of her work, some of her books just fall a bit flat for me. Stars of Fortune  — while enjoyable to read — is not destined to become a favorite of mine. That is not to say you should skip this book or that I do not recommend it for a quick, light read. Only that I feel this author offers readers other books that better allow her storytelling to shine.

Officially classified as a romance, the book actually belongs in the sub-genre of supernatural romance, of which Roberts has written more than a few novels. The story of Stars of Fortune follows six gifted young people — Bran, Sasha, Riley, Sawyer, Doyle, and Annika — who come together on the Greek island Corfu under mysterious circumstances. Three of the characters are more “traditionally” gifted: Riley is a bright archaeologist, both Sawyer and Doyle are weapons-wielding adventurers. The other three are supernaturally gifted; Sasha is a seer, Bran a wizard, and Annika a traveler from another world (although the details of Annika’s life are not laid out until the end of the book).

These six people are brought together by the Fates to search for three priceless jewels, the Stars of Fortune, that have been hidden on earth by three goddesses from a distant world. They must learn to live, search, and fight as a team in the hopes of finding the jewels and of defeating the evil sorceress who is searching for them herself. This overarching story line is told from the points of view of Sasha and Bran, between whom a romance develops, forming a second story within a story. Readers are left with the impression that Sawyer and Annika then Doyle and Riley will find love together in the subsequent books.

Although this book’s premise is slightly silly — distant planets, hidden parallel worlds, supernatural beings — Roberts book is populated with likable characters and her signature romantic story-arc is, as always, nice to read. It might be the simple fact that she has written similar stories before that make Stars of Fortune seem less than her best.

Among the similar books that Roberts has written, there are several I would recommend in place of Stars of Fortune. If you are in search of supernatural romance, try Three Sisters Island trilogy which follows three witches who must use their powers to stop an dark, menacing presence haunting their beloved island. If you like the idea of a story about six people fated to fight evil together, a better read is the Signs of Seven trilogy which finds the a group of six living and working together to defeat ghost that infects the residents of their town every summer.  If you prefer a picks that are traditional romances rather than supernatural stories, try The Reef (a stand alone novel) and The Chesapeake Bay Saga (four books).

Find a list of all her series, including the ones I mentioned, here http://noraroberts.com/trilogies-and-series/

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