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Dark Witch

The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1
Written by: Nora Roberts
Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From number-one New York Times best-selling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love.…

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland.

County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations - and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself - and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope - and love – alive.…

Don’t miss the next two books in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy!

©2013 Nora Roberts (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

"So mote it be..."

If you read the Guardians trilogy then you're in familiar territory with the Dark Witch and the Cousins O'dwyer trilogy by Nora Roberts. Six friends band together to defeat a terrible villain, rooted in mythology. Aside from that, the series is it's own. Five friends and one distant cousin come together in Mayo, Ireland to reconnect with their magical heritage, take down an evil sorcerer that has been following their ancestors for centuries, all the while navigating love, loss, and family ties.

This particular book follows the inner thoughts and actions of Iona as she runs away to Ireland to find the home she's always been searching for. Katherine Kellgren does a good job of bringing the characters personality and distinct voices but tends to make the Irish women sound much older than they are written.

All in all, worth the read if you have a mind for romance, magic, and friendship.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

janice

truly enjoyed the book and the narrator did an excellent job. cant wait foe the next book in the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not a book for children

I liked the story, but couldn't finish as the book has too many 'f bombs' and too much sexual activity in it. Shame to ruin a good story with such vulgar.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • J. Gilbert
  • 2013-10-30

Turn the volume down!

Would you listen to Dark Witch again? Why?

I am only half way through the audio book. I love the story but I have had to stop several times to rest my ear drums. The narrator keeps yelling in a high pitch voice through most of the book so far.It's like listening to a high pitched drama queen narrate a good book.

Might be a better book to curl up on the couch and read instead.

What didn’t you like about Katherine Kellgren’s performance?

Stop yelling!

100 of 105 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ****** -**
  • 2013-11-04

Narrator is just awful...

What made the experience of listening to Dark Witch the most enjoyable?

The accents were wonderful.

Would you be willing to try another book from Nora Roberts? Why or why not?

Absolutely - she is my favorite author of romance novels.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Katherine Kellgren?

MacLeod Andrews did a wonderful job with the Inn Boonsboro trilogy - I would happily listen to anything he narrates in the future. Ms Kellgren was entirely overdramatic in this performance. The opening chapters were very "breathy", which was annoying. I found that speeding up the narration mostly eliminated that. However, although she does use voice inflection, her main problem is volume. When the scenes got dramatic, she shouted them. They need to back her away from the microphone or tone down the entire performance in post-production. This book made me wonder if the director was asleep, or if there was a malfuntion with the soundboard. I only made it through Chapter 9 - I just can't listen to the rest and will read the book from start to finish, with my own voice as narrator.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jeri
  • 2013-10-31

Gotta love/hate Nora Roberts

Would you listen to Dark Witch again? Why?

Maybe in a couple of years. The plot is already much too familiar - have I read/listened to this before?

What was most disappointing about Nora Roberts’s story?

Have I read/listened to this before? There is somethng about a good Nora Roberts book, but I didn't really find it here. I really like her style, and I really like her paranormal books. This one was cheating a little by using the familiar formula - but I guess that's the same as writing about all the members of a family or sci-fi all set on the same world so I'll accept it. It's a good thing she doesn't get into more descriptive sex - that's a weakness for her-one she avoided here by the G rating I'd give it.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Some of the narration was so good I was really sucked in. I loved the running off at the mouth main character - I talk too much when I'm nervous so it was fun and well done. Great accents and very easy (90% of the time) to tell the characters apart. Then she just got way too loud in the important or dramatic scenes. Tone down the drama and I'll give her 5 stars.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

not one particular moment - but Nora made Iona's lack of family background subtle and poignent (wish i could spell)

Any additional comments?

Solid enjoyable read that was more that the sum of it's very weak parts. I'm not sure why, but I did enjoy it.

53 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Elisabeth
  • 2013-11-01

Another bad narrator!

What did you like best about Dark Witch? What did you like least?

I don't mind the repetitive magic stories so much, but I wish it wasn't quite SO formulaic. Right off - there's 3 women, 3 men.... gee I wonder how this will end!

The narrator is another miss. (Just like Whiskey Beach). Only this time I'm having a hard time hearing the different characters. The female and male Irish accents (which sound more like Newfie accents to a Canadian ear) all sound alike.

She's overly dramatic, and gets very excited and way over the top way too fast. Very distracting from the plot. I bet she'd be great on stage... maybe, but not so hot in audio form. Re-do!

Was Dark Witch worth the listening time?

No, I don't think I'll finish it. Maybe if you re-record it.

59 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Donna Barck
  • 2013-10-31

Narration kills it

What disappointed you about Dark Witch?

Although the story feels like a repeat of other Nora Roberts trilogys, I could get past that because she throws in some new twists. I have both the Kindle edition and the Audible version so I can read at home and listen at work. That being said, I'll stick to the Kindle after suffering through 2 hours of the audio at work today. This narrator is terrible and that's being kind. She is over dramatic, yells for no reason, has a horrible Irish accent, and all the female Irish characters sounded like old ladies while the American protagonist sounded about 14. I was amazed to find out she has won awards for her audio performance. This is my first review and I felt strongly enough about the performance to write it.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Haven't finished the book yet.

Would you be willing to try another one of Katherine Kellgren’s performances?

No

What character would you cut from Dark Witch?

Nora Roberts doesn't really put too many extraneous characters in her book so they all gotta stay.

39 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Marla
  • 2013-10-29

No Sample took a chance WELL Worth the credit

What did you love best about Dark Witch?

I took a chance on this book there was no sample available by have enjoyed Nora Roberts book before. All I can say is that after listening to only 3 chapters I was hooked. I have never written a review before but felt the need to write one now. The books release timing is prefect with Halloween only a few days away. So take a chance and get this book . I will write more after I finish it.

Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not. But her voices are great. I usually will not listen to books with out hearing a sample first because the narrator can make or break a good book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It hooked me from the first sentence. an intense need to hear more and find out where and what was going to happen next.

Any additional comments?

I listen to books because I'm not a strong reader have listen to over 200 books in the past year all types . So I know Nora Roberts writing style.But again the Narrator can make the story good or bad and Katherine Kellgren does an excellent job.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ann
  • 2013-11-01

Over the top

Would you listen to Dark Witch again? Why?

Not sure I would - the delivery was a bit over the top for me. Sometimes bordering on hysterical.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The setting was very interesting.

Would you be willing to try another one of Katherine Kellgren’s performances?

Probably.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not necessarily.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • 2013-11-01

Good Story, Weak Romance, Terrible Narration

What did you like best about Dark Witch? What did you like least?

In 1273, Sorcha, the Dark Witch, engages in mortal battle with the evil Cabhan, sacrificing her life to protect her three young children. Cabhan is left damaged, but unvanquished. Sorcha's last gift is to divide her her magical powers and bond each to horses, dogs or hawks. In the present day, American Iona Sheehan arrives in Ireland seeking understanding of her heritage as a descendant of Sorcha's youngest daughter, Teagan. She is embraced by cousins Branna and Connor O'Dwyer and their close-knit circle of friends. Her attraction to the gruff stablemaster, Boyle McGrath offers the hope that she at last will find the permanence and love she was always denied. Roberts, trodding familiar ground with this opening chapter in the O'Dwyer saga, does a wonderful job developing the 800 years long feud between the indomitable Sorcha and evil Cabhan. The opening chapters start strong and draw the reader in. If only the present day story kept up the tension. Iona's arrival trigger's the long-awaited showdown with Cabhan. While the witchy elements and obligatory friends, family and Irish setting work well in this book, the romantic pairing is less convincing.

Would you be willing to try another book from Nora Roberts? Why or why not?

The book will please Roberts fans and is a fair read in general. It is not her strongest story, nor does it evoke Ireland as well as other trilogies.

What three words best describe Katherine Kellgren’s voice?

Katherine Kellgren, brilliant in Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness series, is not well-matched here. Her delivery is terrible in many ways from characterization, to pitch to volume. The women, with the exception Iona, all sound old and craggy. I can't imagine Branna and Maura as heroines with these old crone voices.There is very little of the lilt that one would expect from west country Irish folk in any of the characters. Those that know Darcy O'Mara's warm brogue will be shocked at the harsh Irish accents. The many scenes with witchy incantations and magical conflict are delivered in harsh yells that hurt the ears. This isn't the Katherine Kellgren I know and have enjoyed elsewhere.

Was Dark Witch worth the listening time?

Better to read than listen.

Any additional comments?

I suggest having KK rerecord the narration. She is capable of better. As it is, I can't recommend the audio version.

50 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Raemar3356
  • 2013-10-30

Over narrated

Would you listen to Dark Witch again? Why?

I probably would when the rest of the series comes out just to refresh it in my mind.

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoy the concept of the whole good vs. evil story line and a group of friends working together.

What didn’t you like about Katherine Kellgren’s performance?

To me, the characters sounded much older than what I imagine they are. Also , she over dramatizes nearly everything. I had a difficult time trying to get past that to enjoy the story.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Read the book!

Any additional comments?

I've waited months for this book to come out since I listened to so many of Nora Roberts books. I've liked most of them enough to listen to repeatedly. I think the narration spoiled much of the story, so I may just get the book and read it to see if that helps.

33 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Norma Felker
  • 2013-10-31

Dreadful narrator ruined a decent story

What disappointed you about Dark Witch?

Too much like previous stories -- felt like a rehash of old themes, and we're used to Ms. Roberts coming up with fresh ideas.

Would you ever listen to anything by Nora Roberts again?

Yes. This was okay, but I had expected better based on her record. However, I will not buy anything performed by this narrator

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator was dreadful and absolutely annoying. Simple reading would have been a thousand times better than the breathless dramatics... If she had confined the drama to the conversational bits it might have been marginally better, but I doubt it

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dark Witch?

We don't need the bedroom scenes

Any additional comments?

As this is part of a series I'll probably buy the next, but NOT if the next ones have this narrator, I tend to re-listen to stories, especially to refresh my memory before the next book comes out, but don't think I could stomach this one twice. Get a better narrator.

33 of 40 people found this review helpful