Nora Roberts writes several new books every year, some of which tend to be part of which ever trilogy she is currently writing. In December of 2007 Blood Brothers, the first book in her Sign of Seven trilogy, was released with the second book, The Hollow, coming out in May of 2008. I loved both books and have been eager to read the final book, The Pagan Stone.
I want to talk a little bit about the Sign of Seven trilogy in general before I specifically discuss The Pagan Stone. There will be some minor spoilers for the first two books if people haven't read them yet.
In 1652, a man named Giles Dent fought and managed to confine a demon near the small town of Hawkins Hollow. The spot where Giles managed to do that became known as the Pagan Stone. On July 7, 1987 Caleb, Fox, and Gage, three friends who shared the same birthday, decided to camp out at the Pagan Stone for their tenth birthday. They accidently released the demon and gained a few unique abilities. The demon then terrorized the town for the next seven days, corrupting the people and causing them to do horrible things. Every seven years, the demon returned on the seventh of July to terrorize the town while Caleb, Fox, and Gage did what they could to deal with the trouble.
Things were different twenty one years later. The demon was started to cause problems months earlier. Quinn, an author who wrote about odd or paranormal things, was in town to write about the things that went on in the town. Shortly after Quinn arrived in town, Layla, a woman from New York City, turned up after having felt drawn to the town for some reason. She also picked up on or saw some of the bizarre things going on. Quinn, who became involved with Caleb, talked her friend Cybil into coming to the town. The six of them decided to work together to figure out how to stop the demon once and for all. They started to feel more confident as they learned more and were actually able to cause the demon some harm. While they were working to figure out how to stop the demon, Layla and Fox started a relationship while Quinn and Caleb started planning their wedding.
The six had managed to but the bloodstone back together, though they had no idea how to use it as a weapon yet. All six of were having shared nightmares, but they remained determined to find a way to stop the demon for good. Cybil and Gage had both seen potential futures that didn't look good for any of them, but they believed that they would be able to change those outcomes. Sybil and Gage were attracted to each other, but they had reservations about getting involved. Neither of them wanted to feel like they had no choice because of what fate had decided. As the date of the final confrontation got closer, it become clear that the demon was getting much stronger.
The Sign of Seven trilogy is really telling one long story, so the plots of all three books have been very connected. The Pagan Stone began shortly after the end of The Hollow, and continued telling the main overall story while also focusing in on the book specific story related to Sybil and Gage. The book built very well on the foundation that had been established in the first two books. Certain things that had happened previously were mentioned again, but there was no actual recap. The books should be read in order since they do tell one main overall story. Some things just won't make the most sense if the books are read in a different order and there will be spoilers as well.
I didn't consider the plot for The Pagan Stone to be simple, but it wasn't that complicated either despite the fact that there was a lot going on. The main focus continued to be how the group was trying to fight the evil and find a way to defeat the demon for good. The demon continued to pop up every so often and do things to taught or try to intimidate the group. All six of them had encounters with the demon and the group was documenting everything in an attempt to find something that would help them in the final fight. Things had been set up very well for the final confrontation by the time this book began and the majority of the book was focused on preparing for that fight. The group did learn more about the demon and even started to notice certain patterns to what was going on. I did feel like there was a little bit of mystery connected to what was going on.
Nora Roberts has written several trilogies over the years. I think there are still a few that I haven't read yet. Of the ones I have read, most of them have included the supernatural in some way like happened with the books in the Sign of Seven trilogy. Some kind of demon was able to influence people in Hawkins Hollow in 1652, making them do horrible things. Giles managed to figure out what was going on and used some kind of magic to imprison the demon. Unfortunately, it wasn't a permanent solution and the demon was released when the three friends did a ritual them came up with on their tenth birthday at the stone. The boys received a few abilities as well, like being able to quickly heal. The demon then caused all sorts of trouble around the town for seven days every seven years. Caleb, Fox, and Gage had mostly been trying to deal with the demon on their own, so it was a little different for them to be working so closely with the women who also had some abilities. The group did use some magic of their own at times to try to battle the demon.
Relationships have always been important to the plots of Nora Roberts's books. Like has happened with her previous trilogies, there has been a different romance for each of the books in the Sign of Seven trilogy. Cybil and Gage didn't have the best first meeting, but there was some sexual attraction between them even then. When The Pagan Stone began, they were still dealing with that attraction and how they were both concerned about being pushed into a relationship by fate. They did work together well and they did have several things in common that they seemed to be ignoring at first. They did end up starting a sexual relationship, so there were some sex scenes featuring them. The scenes were descriptive without being overly graphic. Their relationship was important without distracting from the main focus of the book and series in general. Only a few things about the two other couples were shared. The romance aspects of the book were a bit predictable, which might bother some readers.
All three books in the Sign of Seven trilogy have had six main characters, with two different main characters for each book and some various minor supporting characters popping up every so often. Gage and Cybil were the two main characters for The Pagan Stone, with the other four more in the background even though they were all still around. Basically the only happiness Gage got during his childhood was from spending time with Caleb and Fox. His home life was horrible after the death of his mother and his father started drinking. Gage remained loyal to his friends and in helping them deal with the demon every seven years even though he left town as soon as he was able. He traveled the world, making his money gambling. He liked spending time with his two friends, but he felt confined if he stuck around too long. He never thought about settling down before he started to admit his feelings for Cybil.
Cybil did research for all sorts of projects, which was probably why she was able to find out as much information as she did. She knew all sorts of random things that sometimes ended up being helpful. She was an independent woman who had her own issues with her childhood. She was a nice woman who could be tough when needed. Caleb and Quinn had been the main characters in Blood Brothers. They were still involved in what was going on without receiving as much attention. They were working on planning their wedding while also trying to find a way to deal with the demon. Layla and Fox, the main characters from The Hollow, were also receiving less attention. They were also planning for their future. The group of six worked together well and got along well overall. All of them were likable characters, so it wold have been nice if the four of them had a little more to do. Some other people living around the town, like Caleb and Fox's family members, made a few short appearances without having too much to do.
Nora Roberts has been writing books for many years. She started writing shorter romance books before starting to write longer books with more mystery and suspense as well as more complex plots. She started to write a futuristic romantic suspense series, the In Death series, as J.D. Robb. Those books are set about 50 years in the future in New York City and follow police homicide detective Eve Dallas during her different investigations. Those books tend to have stronger mysteries and more suspense than the books she writes under her own name. People who have liked Roberts's books may also like the In Death series since they were written by the same author. One of her books, Remember When, has both names listed as the author. The first part of the book took place in current times and the second half took place in Eve's time. The two halves of the book were connected by a mystery. Eve's part of Remember When took place between Imitation in Death and Divided in Death.
The Pagan Stone was a great ending to the Sign of Seven trilogy. People who have enjoyed the first two books should also like this one. Fans of Nora Roberts or J.D. Robb may also enjoy the series.
Sign of Seven Trilogy
Blood Brothers~ The Hollow ~ The Pagan Stone ~
Three Sisters Island Trilogy
Dance Upon the Air ~ Heaven and Earth ~ Face the Fire ~
Key of Light ~ Key of Knowledge ~ Key of Valor ~
In the Garden Trilogy
Blue Dahlia ~ Black Rose ~ Red Lily ~
The Circle Trilogy
Morrigan's Cross ~ Dance of the Gods ~ Valley of Silence ~
Reflections ~ Dance of Dreams ~ Hidden Star ~ Captive Star ~ Secret Star ~ Night Shift ~ Night Shadow ~ Night Smoke ~ Night Shield ~ Cordina's Crown Jewel ~ Cordina's Royal Family ~
Stand Alone Titles
Angels Fall ~ Birthright ~ Blue Smoke ~ Chesapeake Blue ~ Engaging the Enemy ~ Genuine Lies ~ High Noon ~ Homeport ~ Midnight Bayou ~ Montana Sky ~ Once More With Feeling ~ Northern Lights ~ Three Fates ~ Tribute ~ Sweet Revenge ~ The Villa ~
Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb
Remember When ~
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