Key of Valor
Nora Roberts
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Key of Valor

Nora Roberts
352 pages
December 2003
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Key of Valor is the third and final installment in the "Key" trilogy. Now it all rests on single mother Zoe’s shoulders as it’s finally her turn to find the remaining key to unlock the magical box in which the captured souls of three demi-goddesses have been placed by an evil sorcerer. Besides this far-reaching quest, she also has a young son to look after and is preparing to start a new business. Naturally, she’s completely stressed out. The last thing she needs or wants at this crucial stage is to get romantically involved with a man. But successful entrepreneur Bradley Vane simply refuses to take no for an answer.

However, as Zoe reluctantly accepts, Brad is an integral part of her quest and so the two are often thrown together. Before long, the passion simmering between them ever since they met explodes into stunning reality. Pretty soon Brad is eager for a commitment, but having been badly burnt in the past, Zoe is more reluctant. As part of her quest, Zoe is forced to look over her life choices, analyze and make peace with them. This is a journey of immense self-discovery which is hampered repeatedly by the evil sorcerer Kane, who tries some inventive ways to make her quit the quest. How Zoe wages a war on various fronts and emerges a triumphant winner makes up the rest of this interesting saga.

While generally all of experienced writer Nora Roberts’ stories are interesting, this trilogy lacks the certain sparkle which has long characterized her writing. The stories in this series are appealing enough, but the concept isn’t entirely believable, and the convenient pairing up of three men who’re friends with these three women on a quest also strikes as unimaginative. And the whole evil sorcerer bit is too hokey for words. This final story in the trilogy is a bit different in that the central character Zoe has to do a lot of soul-searching and take a hard look at all the choices she made in life, and as such her characterization is deeper and more believable than the others. Apart from this, the rest of this story is no different from the previous two. Overall, while this middling trilogy is certainly not one of Nora Roberts' best efforts, it still helps pass the time.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2004

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