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The Golden Key by Kate Elliott
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The Golden Key (1996)

by Kate Elliott, Jennifer Roberson, Melanie Rawn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Golden Key (1)

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7621017,535 (3.85)30
  1. 10
    The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold (Severn)
    Severn: Different style of writing, yet similar plot content. Definitely recommended.
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» See also 30 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I read this way back in the late 90s and found it absolutely fascinating. Hope to reread it some day when there's more time:) Definitely a must for fantasy fans and possibly quite appealing for historical fiction fans too. It has that kind of feel to it. ( )
  booksandcats4ever | Jul 30, 2018 |
Recommended by Carolyn at Chris Shuda's wedding, November 2017
  JennyArch | Dec 6, 2017 |
An old favourite of mine, which puts art and painters at the heart of a complex, sprawling novel - a blend of fantasy, family saga and Gothic horror. With its compelling antihero (the kind you secretly cheer on) and its vivid evocation of a fictional world influenced by Spain and Italy, it's enjoyable and absorbing. It is also long (more than 1,000 pages in my edition) and you may find towards the end that you, like me, begin to think that the editors could have been a little more ruthless - but everything goes towards building the fabric of the world. The presence of three authors doesn't affect the book too much because it is structurally divided into three parts and they take one each. Personally I love the first section, setting the scene and bringing the characters to life in sumptuous rich language - laying the foundations of a story which crosses four hundred years, fuelled by ambition, jealousy and the desire to create a perfect painting. Recommended as an alternative to the usual sword-and-sorcery style of fantasy.

For a longer review, please visit my blog: http://theidlewoman.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-golden-key-melanie-rawn.html ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Aug 24, 2012 |
So I thought I would add a new feature to the blog. I'm going to call it Wayback Wednesday (for now at least!). It will feature books that are from at least 10 years ago that I think you should all read. :)

For our first selection, here's a book that I was thrilled to find is being re-released!

I'm going to take a moment here to talk about the authors and cover artist.

Melanie Rawn has written numerous books since 1988 and been nominated for the Locus Award on three occasions. The rumor is that a prequel to The Golden Key is coming up later this year, the title? The Diviner. Jennifer Roberson has been publishing since 1984. She has multiple stand alone books as well as series and is still releasing books. Kate Elliott has been publishing since 1988 under her Kate Elliott name and also under Alis A. Rasmussen. She is still publishing and has more books in the works right now. Cover Artist Michael Whelan has done illustrations for authors such as Stephen Kin, Isaac Asimov and Anne McCaffrey. Pretty impressive, eh? He's also done CD covers for Sepultura and Meatloaf. If you look at the picture on The Golden Key you'll see many elements of the story and it's an amazing picture. The most amazing part - go look at a picture of Michael Whelan from the 1990's and then look at the painter on the cover. Look familiar? :)

This book was a World Fantasy Award finalist for Best Novel of 1996 and Voya's 1996 SF, Fantasy, and Horror Books of the Year.

So finally. The story is multi-generational and covers approximately 400 years. It concerns two families; the Grijalvas - an artistic family and the do'Verradas - the royalty. The Grijalvas give up one female member of every generation to be the official mistress to the reigning Duke, while one male member is the official artist to the Court (Lord Limner). The d'Verradas don't always realize that they are given these Grijalvas, they believe that they are choosing them. Some of the male artists in the Grijalvas family have an ability to manipulate time and reality in their paintings. All records - birth, death, marriage, treaties, etc., are documented by paintings rather than written documents in thisstory. The language used in the book seems to be a blend of several languages with made up words added in. There is a dictionary of sorts in the back of the book, but I caught on quickly and thought that this is such an easy language, we should adopt it!

The two main characters are Sario and his cousin Saavedra Grijalvas. Both have been born with the genius for painting, although girls aren't supposed to have it so no one believes it. Sario loves Saavedra and cannot stand for her to give her heart to another. He uses his talents in a new and dangerous way to prevent it.

The story moves along quickly and the political elements keep the story fresh and exciting. This is a must read! ( )
  SevsOnlyGirl | Feb 25, 2011 |
Painters and court intrigue. Too many machinations and set over too many years of history. ( )
1 vote roseread | Feb 12, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elliott, Kateprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jennifer Robersonmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rawn, Melaniemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Siegrist, MartyMap artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
In Memory of
Elsie Balter Wollheim
June 26, 1910 - February 9, 1996
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Sario Grijalva saw at once what had become of her; where she had gone, despite her physical presence.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0886778999, Mass Market Paperback)

The authors have devised a fascinating setting based on medieval Italian, Spanish and Portuguese models for a novel of love and power -- both political and sorcerous. This is one of the few genre books I've seen in which an effort is made to take religion into account as a social force, though, even here, it's watered down. The story spans centuries and centers on the limner Sario Grijalva, whose love for the arts he has mastered is corrupted by his egotism. Grijalva's ruthless use of sorcery can, however, be thwarted by chance events, and this novel thus avoids the pitfall of the unbelievably powerful (and dull) character. Many stories -- love stories, Machiavellian thrillers, coming-of-age stories and stories of magic -- are tightly wound together in this suspenseful, enthralling one-volume trilogy (yes! you get the whole story in one book!); the painterly focus is unusual and interesting, too.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"After nearly being killed by both a hired hit man and her former secretary, Agatha Raisin could use some low-key cases. So when Robert Smedley walks through the door, determined to prove that his wife is cheating, Raisin Investigations immediately offers to help. Trouble is, Agatha hates divorce cases - especially when the client is as pompous as Smedley - but she has a business to run and she's not about to turn away a paying customer. Unfortunately for Agatha, Mabel Smedley appears to be the perfect wife - young and pretty and a regular volunteer at church." "Although Smedley's case doesn't look promising, Agatha's attentions are diverted when she stumbles across the body of missing teenager Jessica Bradley. In a sudden gesture of kindness (and good public relations), Agatha offers to investigate Jessica's death free of charge."."Agatha's two biggest cases are turned upside down when Robert Smedley is poisoned. The prime suspect, his sainted wife, Mabel, immediately hires Agatha to find the real killer." "With the help of her old friend Sir Charles Fraith and some newly hired staff, Agatha Raisin sets off on another crime-solving adventure in the English Cotswolds."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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