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Dance of the Gods (Circle Trilogy) by Nora  Roberts
Review by Mel Jacob
Jove Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0515141666
Date: 03 October, 2006 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

While the circle trains, they also want to cause disruption to Lilith's army. An exploratory raid to her maze of caves reveals a wizard is assisting her. While the circle inflicts some damage on the vampires and frees a few humans used for food, the task almost kills Hoyt, Glenna, and Moira, aspiring queen of Geall. The circle escapes, but Lilith renews her efforts to attack individual members.

A follow-up expedition by shape-shifter Larkin Riddock as a mouse to learn the identity of the wizard has unexpected consequences when he cannot resist the urge to free some of Lilith's captives. As Larkin, now a wolf, tries to flee the vampire stronghold, Davey, Lilith's adopted son, bites him.

Vampire bites have three purposes: to feed, to change a human into a vampire, or to gain a measure of control over the victim. Thus, when an injured Larkin finally limps back to the circle, they must disinfect his wound, a painful and difficult process. The task falls to hereditary vampire hunter Blair McKenna, a descendent of Hoyt and Cian, assisted by Glenna's healing powers.

Blair believes no lasting romantic relationship can exists for her because of rejection by the men in her life. When she revealed her vocation to stockbroker Jeremy Hilton, his anger, disbelief, and rejection caused her to erect walls around her heart. Even charming Larkin, who excels on the battlefield and in the bedroom, can't convince Blair to take a tumble.

Fueled by need and assorted encounters against the vampires, their mutual attraction refuses to subside. Hot and heavy romance between Blair and Larkin occupies center stage.

The way to Geall, the appointed site for the coming war, lies through the stone circle, Dance of the Gods. Vampires cannot use the Dance, which includes Cian. The circle must find some way to move him with them.

Once in Geall, the circle begins preparations for the final battle. They set a series of traps for Lilith's army and plan strategy. They also learn the vampires who killed Moira's mother meant to kill Moira and remain hiding from Lilith. Blair, Larkin, and Cian track these two renegades and capture them. Moira has plans for them. Her people need to learn what they face in the coming war.

Inspecting the traps set for the vampire army, Blair and Larkin encounter a family with a wrecked wagon. The father has a broken leg. As a dragon, Larkin flies them to safety and leaves Blair to finish the inspection. However, Lora and her vampires lie in wait for Blair.

Roberts uses Ireland, Irish myths, and vampire lore, but adds her own spin to provide some new twists. Some purists and dedicated fantasy fans may resent these, but romance readers will focus on the relationship between Blair and Larkin. Roberts sets the scene for the next and concluding novel, Valley of Silence. Romance readers will want to see how she manages love between the two remaining circle members Moira, Queen of Geall, and Cian McKenna, the reformed vampire. Fantasy fans can look forward to an exciting battle between the circle and Lilith's army.

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