Book Review: “Key Of Light” by Nora Roberts

Cover of "Key Of Light" by Nora Roberts.
Cover of “Key Of Light” by Nora Roberts.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Key Of Light” by Nora Roberts! I’ve read several of her books before and had mixed reviews with some of them. However, I thought I would give this book a try. Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“Malory Price’s life plan has hit a snag. She’s in danger of losing her job managing an art gallery in Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania. A welcome distraction comes in the form of an invitation to a cocktail party at Warrior’s Peak, an infamous estate overlooking the town. But no one else she knows has been invited…

There are only two other guests: Dana Steele, a librarian, and Zoe McCourt, a single mother. On the surface, it seems the women have nothing in common, until their mysterious hosts tell them a story—and offer them a challenge.

Legend has it that the souls of three demigoddesses—one an artist, one a bard, and one a warrior—have been locked in a box that has three keys. Now it’s up to Malory and the others to find the keys. Their reward: a million dollars each.

It all seems too bizarre to be true. But none of them can ignore the financial windfall they stand to gain. And now Malory—with her soul of an artist and eye for beauty—must find her key first. She soon discovers that whatever locked the souls away is dark, powerful, and greedy…and it doesn’t want the women to win.”

Plot Development: 3 out of 5 stars

Based on the summary above, I thought that this book would be one of the few books Nora Roberts wrote that (le gasp!) did not involve romance.

I was wrong.

Romance is not necessarily a bad thing, but most books usually hint at some subplot of romance if they have any, in their summaries. I felt a bit ripped off as a reader to find out that there would be, indeed, romance involved in the book and its plotline despite the summary not mentioning it.

As for the rest of the story, I think it made sense overall. The general plotline was fine to read. However, with the way it was worded in the summary, I thought there would be more puzzle-solving and clue finding. Instead, I was treated to the characters inspecting paintings, having a slumber party, and stealing confidential information from the art gallery Malory worked at. I felt a bit deceived by the summary, overall. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it’s the fault of the author or of whoever else wrote the blurb in the first place.

Character Development: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Malory was okay as the first heroine of this trilogy. However, I felt that she was prone to too many bad decisions. These bad decisions include trying to have sex with Flynn while she was still partially inebriated, literally stealing confidential information from the art gallery, and ‘accidentally’ spilling coffee on her soon-to-be ex-boss’ new wife early in the book. Half of those bad decisions were careless and/or could be considered unprofessional. This was surprising considering that Malory worked as an art gallery manager for the first fifth of the book, where she is expected to be neat and professional. I never felt like she went through a change internally. The only changes she had were external, such as getting engaged to Flynn in literally a few weeks.

Flynn was actually better-written than Malory, which is bad when the book mainly focuses on Malory as its protagonist. I enjoyed reading his individual development, even though much of it was attached to his romance subplot with Malory.

Kane as a villain lacked development. I know the characters discuss how threatening he is, and he tempts the main crew a few times and torments them with illusions. However, he merely existed to be a plot device rather than have any individual development. I, as a reader, don’t feel convinced about his motivations to do what he does in the story.

Romance Development: 2 out of 5 stars

The romance between Flynn and Malory was okay, but I felt like it lacked believability and chemistry, considering how fast they got together. The three sex scenes between the two of them were fairly excessive. The book could have been done without all of the said sex scenes. This is because they slowed down the pacing of the book. These scenes added absolutely nothing to the story except for their romantic subplot.

Overall, I’m rating this book 2 out of 5 stars!

This is not one of Roberts’ strongest works; I’d recommend “Bay Of Sighs” or any of the other books in her “Stars Of Fortune” trilogy instead. However, I am curious to read the sequel to “Key Of Light” and see if it is any better.

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