Born In Fire
Born In Ice
Born In Shame
Captive Star
Carolina Moon
Chesapeake Blue
Considering Kate
Cordina's Crown Jewel
Dance Upon the Air
Daring To Dream
Face the Fire
Finding the Dream
From The Heart
Heart of the Sea
Hidden Star
Holding the Dream
Inner Harbor
Irish Rebel
Key of Light
Jewels of the Sun
The MacGregor Brides
The MacGregor Grooms
The MacGregors Alan~Grant
Megan's Mate
Midnight Bayou
Montana Sky
Once Upon a Castle
The Perfect Neighbor
The Reef
Rising Tides
River's End
Secret Star
Tears of the Moon
Three Fates
True Betrayals
The Villa
Waiting for Nick
The Winning Hand

Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts
(Jove, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-515-13637-9
Key of Knowledge is the second in the Key trilogy, with the third one, Key of Valor, due out in January . Normally I’d have to wait a full month between books to read books one and two in the trilogy. One of the many perks of reviewing for The Romance Reader is getting books early. As soon as I finished Key of Light, I excitedly dove into Key of Knowledge. I enjoyed Knowledge just as much as Light. I had a wicked idea for the review. I could just change the names and leave in the analysis because most of my praise for Light would be true for Knowledge. Somehow I don’t think a one word review of Ditto would work. (Editor’s note: Linda is correct!)

Part of my anticipation was that Key of Knowledge is Dana Steele’s story. Dana, a librarian, is a far cry from a stereotypical librarian. Yes, she is passionate about books; she cherishes the knowledge that she can find. To Dana, “reading was every bit as pleasurable as Ben and Jerry’s and as essential to life as the next breath of air.” She cherishes the feeling of ownership. How many of us refuse to get rid of a favored book simply because of an emotional attachment? If you’re that kind of reader, then Dana is your kind of heroine.

It’s essential to read the Keys in order. Nora Roberts has built an amazing multi-layered stories that mesh into each other much like adding another correct piece into a jig saw puzzle. Reading them in order adds to your understanding and enjoyment. Unless you’re one of those people who isn’t bothered by coming into the movie in the middle, then ignore my advice.

Key of Knowledge begins with Dana’s quest to find the second key, the one that will unlock the second lock in the box of Souls. As with Malory, she has a month to find the key. Helping her are Malory, her brother Flynn, Zoe and Brad. There’s also Jordan, who is an important link to her past. The romance develops slowly between Dana and Jordan. Dana feels animosity toward Jordan who dumped her when they were younger. Now maturity and expediency means that they must begin to trust each other. The love story unfolds with trust and lust fighting for equal footing.

The knowledge of the first successful quest gives Dana an advantage. However, a surprise is awaiting her and Jordan. The evil that guards the box of Souls is not as willing to play by the rules. That means that the mortals are no longer safe. Even Rowena and Pitte are shocked at this turn of events.

The humor that is so prevalent in Light is also abundant here. It was the humor which made the tension more palpable. Flynn’s dog Moe is back. When the group decides that Dana may be in trouble, Moe is chosen as her roommate and protector.

Now with the rest of the legions of Nora’s fans, I, too, must wait for the final book, Key of Valor. I have high hopes for this book. Zoe and Brad, already paired up from the first book, may have a rocky relationship. Brad has been smitten with Zoe from before they met, which is a wonderful story in itself. Zoe is still uncomfortable around Brad, feeling that the disparity in their backgrounds may be a major stumbling block. We romance readers know better.

If you find yourself with some spare time or if you just need to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, treat yourself to some quiet relaxing reading. And I can suggest a trilogy that will be a good way to treat yourself.

--Linda Mowery

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