Ancient Greek philosophers thought that everything in the world was made out of four elements: earth, fire, water and air. This belief in four fundamental elements lasted throughout the Middle Ages, until the advent of the Scientific Revolution in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. Exploration, inventions and scientific discoveries led to expansion of knowledge that changed people’s beliefs and widened their horizons. There were exceptions. As late as 1692, villagers in Salem, Massachusetts, did not bother to look for or care about facts. In their zealous hunt of witches, they hounded and murdered innocent women.
“Away from hate let this land be torn. Lift if from fear, from death and scorn. Crave rock, crave tree, crave hill and stream. Carry us with it on midsummer moonbeam. Out past the cliff and out past the shore, to be severed from this land forever more. We take our island out to the sea. As we will, so mote it be.”
Fast forward three hundred years, and the quaint Three Sisters Island is thriving. Tourists enjoy its beaches and shops during the summer months, crime is practically non-existent, witchcraft and magic are limited to local lore and to souvenirs for the interested visitors. Or so it looks, for where would fiction be if magic perfectly solved everything and then vanished?
Nell Channing is young, pretty and talented, yet she lives in constant fear. It has not been long since she had risked her life to escape from years of soul-destroying marital abuse. She trusts no one when she comes to the Three Sisters Island, yet the beauty of the place and a mysterious sense of kinship lead her to stay on the island.
In Cafe Book, Nell finds more than a sympathetic boss and a day job. Despite the risk, she makes friends and tries to rebuild her life. Since this is a romance, a very appealing guy steps into Nell’s live. Sheriff Zack Todd is drawn to the beautiful woman, but Nell’s good looks and exceptional cooking is only part of the package. Before long, Zack will have to deal with Nell’s wariness of physical contact, with the lies she feels compelled to tell, and later on with the fact he is having sex with a woman married to someone else. Since this is Nora Roberts’ book, Nell and Zack’s love is only part of the story. Nell’s possessive-abusive husband finds out that she is alive. Nell learns about her connection to the witch Air and gets to know the descendants of Earth and Fire, who still live on the island…
I enjoyed the stories entwined in Dance Upon The Air, I and recommend the book to anyone who would like to take a vacation on a beautiful island, and doesn’t mind witches fighting ancient evil while savoring mouthwatering cream puffs.
I read other books in the trilogy straight after the first. Heaven and Earth focuses on the love between Zack’s sister and a wealthy but clumsy researcher who comes to the Three Sisters Island to investigate the rumors that there are still practicing witches on the island.
The last book is Face The Fire. Mia Devlin is amazingly beautiful, forcefully independent, rich and successful. Although she is used to do everything her own way, Mia’s life is far from being perfect. Years ago, she was ditched by the only man she had ever loved. Now, she is targeted by magical evil. Her own and lives of those she loves are at stake. Moreover, if she does not break the three hundred years old curse, the entire island is in danger of sinking into the sea like Atlantis. It takes Nora Roberts to convincingly resolve Mia’s challenges. I especially enjoyed how she wove in the legend of Selkie, and finally meeting the fourth element, the Water.