Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wayback Wednesday

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!

 The Golden Key by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson and Kate Elliott

Publisher: DAW
Original Publish Date:  September 1996
Re-Release Date: June 7, 2011
Pages:  784
ISBN: 978-0886776916
Cover: Michael Whelan

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!

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