The Power of Three: Nora Roberts and Serial Magic

Publication year

Any Roberts series offers particular pleasures to the reader because of its scope and stretch. All of the elements readers have come to expect from a stand-alone novel by Roberts are multiplied geometrically rather than arithmetically. Romance readers crave fresh beginnings and middles on their way to happy endings. The addition of the paranormal, or the mystic, or the magical in many of these series further enhances both the content and the characters in the romance in demonstrable ways. (229)

Roberts may make magic explicit in only some of her series, but the message of empowerment permeates all of them. Her stories are peopled by powerful women and so suggest that women are powerful. While only some of her characters practice magic in the sense of Wicca or wands, all of them, Roberts argues, practice a potent magic when they care for homes, and gardens, and loved ones. Plot lines that seem fantastic feel affirming for readers who, having come to expect that true love is possible, can begin to believe in the power of magic as well. (238)