The Golden Key is a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration on a level never before attempted in fantasy literature, a work which magnificently melds the talents of three of the finest and most original writers in the field today. Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott have combines their special strengths to create a complex, fully realized civilization in which one very unique family guards a secret which could turn their entire world upside down.
In the duchy of Tira Virte fine art is prized above all things, both for its beauty and as a binding legal record of everything from marriages and births to treaties and inheritances. And although the Grand Duke is aware that there is more to the paintings of certain master limners than meets the eye, not even he knows just how extraordinary the art ofthe Grijalva family truly is. For certain males of their bloodline are born with a frightening, magical talent--the ability to manipulate time and reality within their paintings, a Gift which enables them to alter events and influence people in the real world.
Always, their power has been used solely to aid Tira Virte and its ruler. Always, until the time of Sario Grijalva. Sario, driven by his own passion and ambition, has learned to use his Gift in a whole new way. Obsessed with both his magic and his beautiful, adored cousin Saavedra, Sario will do anything to win her love. Unable to bear it when Saavedra gives her heart to another, he takes a first, fateful step beyond the boundaries previously placed on the Grijalva spell-casting, capturing his cousin with forbidden arts. And it is this rash, dangerous act which sets in motion the generations-spanning pattern of treachery and betrayal which may cause both the Grijalvas and Tira Virte to pay a terrible price...
Cover Art by Michael Whelan