‘Heaven & Earth’ is the middle of the Three Sisters Island trilogy, and it is Ripley’s story. It is not necessary to have read ‘Dancing on Air’, but I think that Evan Remington’s presence and condition might raise questions if you haven’t.
The structure of Heaven and Earth is roughly similar, with the Three knowing that now is a time of crisis and that it is Ripley’s turn to face her time of trial. Here MacAllister Booke (Mac) is the stranger to the island, a researcher who’s come to investigate witchcraft. Nice last name for such a smart guy! Mac is absolutely adorable. Okay, Roberts has very much made him conform to the absent minded professor image, but the way she does it is so sweetly funny – leaving his keys in the bathroom medicine cabinet, for example. I would love to meet this guy in real life. This is set off against Ripley’s kick-ass in yer face attitude, and although it’s not a comfortable pairing, it works for them.
Ripley has to work against her reluctance to use her magic, which we discover is because she feels the darkness of it, the temptation of power. She feels it leaves her open and vulnerable, and that isn’t Ripley’s style. Until she lets herself open to Mac and sees that love brings with it strength.
The story contains Roberts signature blend of humour and serious, the rhythm of sweetness and danger, the dramatic and the comfortable. Roberts has long been a master of plot, pace and development, and this second book of the series is no exception. A good example of the Roberts style.
Mia’s story is next, in ‘Face the Fire’.