The Golden Key

Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott

DAW Books. $24.95
(paper $6.99)

The Grijalvas of Tira Virte are a family of gifted artists, and a certain, secret magic goes into their remarkable paintings (oh, what goes into those paintings!). Sario is the most gifted of them all; he knows the darkest secrets of magic and painting that not even the other Grijalvas suspect. Sario is young and arrogant, willing to sacrifice everything for his art, and determined to live forever.

The world of the Grijalvas is not so different from our own western civilization. The book is liberally scattered with words from a made-up Romance language, with readily recognizable Latin cognates. Artistic figures, too, recall our own writers and composers, and so we have the Doumas father and son novelists, or Friedrich Shopan, a noted composer.

By turns humorous and tense, The Golden Key is the entertaining result of a collaboration by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott, three authors of popular fantasy. The sheer mass of the book (700-plus pages) can be intimidating, but the story within breaks neatly into three distinct sections, each one a (nearly) complete novel in itself.

For a final dollop of frosting, the dust jacket features a wonderful painting by award-winning artist Michael Whelan, a portrait of himself as Sario.


Tales of Art and Magic:

The Gold Key. By Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott. DAW, 1996.
The Diviner. By Melanie Rawn. Forthcoming from DAW Books in August 1999
The Warrior. Forthcoming from Jennifer Roberson
The Seeker. Forthcoming from Kate Elliott

Visit Jennifer Roberson's web page, Kate Elliott's web page, and the official Melanie Rawn web page 


This review copyright 1997 by Wendy Morris
Information last updated January 18, 1999

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