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Valley of Silence: Book Three of the Circle Trilogy    by Nora Roberts order for
Valley of Silence
by Nora Roberts
Order:  USA  Can
Jove, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The sorcerer, the witch, the warrior, the shape-shifter, the scholar and the vampire have stepped through the stone Dance and returned to the mythical kingdom of Geall. They have much to do before their final confrontation with vampire Queen Lilith; convincing the peaceful Geallians that their world is in peril isn't easy, but once Moira takes her rightful place as their new queen, she works tirelessly to ensure that her people understand the danger and the price Geall and all of mankind will pay if Lilith and her hordes defeat them. To ensure they prevail, the Six tap into every means necessary to assure victory: they oversee training night and day, fashion magical shields and ammunition and set all manner of vampire traps. They even enlist the aid of the shy dragons so they can take their battle into the air as well.

Moira the shy scholar soon blossoms into a fierce protector of her heritage and her people. No one recognizes her amazing transformation more than Cian, and this inflames his passion for her. But he chooses to avoid her at all costs, knowing that she needs a living breathing man at her side, not a creature of the night whose unnatural existence dooms him to watch those he cherishes age and die. Once Moira realizes that Cian is becoming increasingly distant, she's determined to show him how much she's come to care for him. A single kiss ignites a passion neither has ever experienced and that Cian can no longer resist. The pair become lovers and immerse themselves in each other during the short time they have left before the ultimate battle.

The love story between Cian and Moira is one of the most poignant Roberts has created in some time. Against their better judgment the pair give in to the attraction that's been simmering since they first met in modern day New York. Both understand that though their love may have been fated, it is nonetheless doomed. Roberts develops both leads and all the complications they face, with marvelous detail and emotional insight, particularly the dark and brooding Cian who over his thousand years existence, has never found such true and all consuming passion as he finds with Moira.

Nora Roberts has often injected fantasy elements into her books but this is the first time she's penned a story that encompasses such dark and fantastical themes. Readers who follow her J.D. Robb alter ego, as well as her single title romantic suspenses, know that Roberts regularly demonstrates her skill, versatility, scope and imagination in these genres. In the Circle Trilogy she's combined elements of myth, fantasy and vampire lore and made them her own, confirming that no matter where this skilled storyteller's imagination takes her, she sweeps readers right along with her. Valley of Silence is a riveting and often stirring conclusion to Roberts' first - and hopefully not last - paranormal trilogy.

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