Key of Light Hardcover – Large Print, Feb 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Roberts built her reputation writing first-rate romantic tales involving legends and magic, and now she returns to the supernatural realm with a story that's not as stellar as her earlier works but should delight her fans. The life of gallery manager Malory Price is stalled when she is invited to a reception at a mansion near her small Pennsylvania town. Upon her arrival, she discovers that she is one of only three guests-all of whom are feisty young women with life challenges just like her own. Their mysterious hosts explain that centuries earlier, they allowed the souls of the three demigoddesses under their care to be stolen by a sorcerer. Legend says the demigoddesses cannot be freed until three mortal women find the keys to the glass box in which they are housed. Should they agree, Malory, Dana Steele and Zoe McCourt will each receive $25,000 to search for the keys, plus a million dollars if they succeed. They nervously accept, and Malory is the first to tackle her task, with the help of Dana's charming but commitment-phobic brother Flynn. The legend is as mistily silly as the art history Malory uses to search for clues, and the financial incentives smack more of a reality show than Celtic lore. Fortunately, Roberts's crisp writing, earthy humor and vivid characterizations combine to make this a compelling read.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
*Starred Review* A mysterious invitation brings three strangers--gallery manager Malory Price, librarian Dana Steele, and hairdresser Zoe McCourt--to Warrior's Peak, a castlelike estate outside of Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania, where their elegantly enigmatic hosts, Rowena and Pitte, offer the opportunity to participate in an unusual quest. Malory, Dana, and Zoe will each have 28 days to find one of the keys to a mystical box, which holds the trapped souls of three sister Celtic demigoddesses imprisoned by a jealous sorcerer. In Key of Light, the first in Roberts' irresistible new trilogy, Malory begins her search by bumping into Dana's stepbrother, newspaper reporter Michael "Flynn" Hennessy. Malory can't deny her attraction to him, but she doesn't have time for a relationship with the exasperatingly sexy Flynn: she has a key to find! Characters, plot, and setting all come together superbly. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Key of Light is an interesting premise. Three young women, with seemingly nothing in common other than their age and the fact they have been fired or are about to be fired, have been summoned to Warrior's Peak, a brooding Gothic mansion on the hill. There, they meet Pitte and Rowenna, and Pitte spins a tale for them about a god, existing before the time of the Elves and Faeries, who falls in love with a mortal. They marry and she bears him three daughters. But other gods were angry he had taken a mortal to wife and plots evil deeds, and kidnaps the three beautiful princesses, keeping them locked in a half-world.Read more ›
The first of these women are Mallory Price. Just laid off of her job in an art gallery, the adventure and the cash bonus this quest provides are certainly incentive enough. Throw in finding two other women in the same position who become fast friends and a the potential love of your life and you have yourself a winner. I honestly liked this series. The snappy dialogue and steamy scenes far outweigh any sappiness predictability. Perfect summer reading.
I give this book 3 stars because of said predictability. The reader knows within a short period what the key symbolizes and how to acquire it.
Malory was in places irritating and high handed. I'm afraid to say that I turned against her from the first when she said that the money she'd needed to spend on her car had gone on a pair of shoes instead. To me that is simply irritating and immature. Flynn was all right, although I never really found him that sexy or masculine.
I must confess that I don't like the girly chats that go on between the women in these sorts of trilogies either as they always come across as fake, with all the women liking each other too much and acting like sisters five minutes after meeting one another. Call me old-fashioned, but in a romance I'm looking for a little bit more time spent between the lead female and lead male character. If I want a chat with a girlfriend I'll pick up the telephone.
There were high points in the book - the humorous dialogue that Nora Roberts is so good at, the energy around the pairing of Dana and Jordan (I can't wait to read Key of Knowledge), and the down-to-earth grittiness of Zoë. I must say that I agree with a few of the other reviewers who say that the trilogies are becoming like 'cookie-cutter' versions of the ones before. I suppose this was bound to happen as you can only have so many different scenarios, character types and storylines. I guess it's true that the Heaven and Earth trilogy is eerily similar to this one, both in terms of character types and storylines.
Overall this book was all right and although I wouldn't recommend it to others I'll try the other two books in the trilogy.
Romantic fantasy by definition doesn't need to be factual, but when you have Celtic gods and goddesses (with non-Celtic names like Rowena and Pitte, yet) hanging out in Pennsylvania....well, even the briefest summary of the long list of people and devices in this alleged "plot" would take more space and energy than I'm willing to give it. It feels less like a story than a drawer-cleaning of piles of disjointed leftover plot ideas rejected from earlier projects. The characters have their occasional moments, but overall, there wasn't any flow and the story didn't make any sense at all.
I still give it 3 stars, because in the Romance genre, the worst is truly unbelievably bad and this is still Nora Roberts, albeit on a very bad day. She knows how to write sentences at least, her heroines don't simper over-much, and her heroes aren't abusive. Compared to mainstream fiction, the rating would be much lower. What I don't understand is why the author apparently feels so driven to increase the poundage -- tonnage! -- of her published books that she agreed to publish this poor specimen. Surely she could gather herself and write less often but with better results. How can she stand to put her name on a book like this when she is capable of so much better?
Most recent customer reviews
If you are looking for a bit of fluff, romance and a little mystery, this, the first of the trilogy, may be for you. I am new to Nora, but enjoyed this mental respite. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jan
I really enjoyed this trilogy. Interesting concept, good characters.Published 3 months ago by Cynthia Mcmillan
KEY OF KNOWLEDGE introduced me to the indefatigable Ms. Roberts and I was hooked. I followed that with just about every novel she's written and have just finished KEY OF LIGHT. Read morePublished on July 27 2004
I loved this book I read it a few months ago and just started reading the second book today and I'm almost done! I find this series to be wonderful. Read morePublished on July 11 2004 by Bonnie Bilbrey
I went through the phase of a being devout Nora Roberts fan. Frankly, no one can touch her with the number of books in such a short period. Read morePublished on June 17 2004 by Deborah MacGillivray
Why does Nora Roberts have to use God's name in vain SOOOOOOOOOO much? Why can't she just curse without bringing God into it?Published on June 10 2004 by cajuntank
Wow, I was truly in love with this entire series, but this was an excellent start to the series. Roberts introduces the plot, never overlooking any detail, and makes the reader... Read morePublished on June 1 2004 by Meg