Nora Roberts - Key of Valor

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Zoe Searches for the Final Key in Key of Valor by Nora Roberts

Jan 6, 2004 (Updated Sep 7, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Interesting story and characters.

Cons:This is the final book. Some of the characters weren't around enough.

The Bottom Line: Key of Valor was another entertaining book by Nora Roberts. It is a must read for people who enjoyed the first two books in the Key trilogy.

In October of 2003, Key of Light, the first book in a new trilogy by Nora Roberts came out. Key of Knowledge, the second book, followed a month later. I just finished reading the final book, Key of Valor. To really discuss this book, I have to mention things from the first two books. There will be some spoilers for those books for anyone who hasn’t read them yet.

Thousands of years ago a young God, the future King, spent time in the mortal world. He met and fell in love with a mortal woman. He was miserable without her once he returned to his world. His parents bent some of their laws so that he could bring the woman he loved to their world and marry her. There were some Gods who were very upset about that. He became King and he and his wife had three daughters who had mortal souls. There were in danger from the King’s enemies, mainly Kane. The daughters were protected, but Kane found a small opportunity and used it to cast a spell. The daughters slipped into a deep sleep and their souls were trapped in a special box with three locks. The keys were hidden. Only mortals could find and use the keys.

Once in every generation, there would be three women who would have the ability to find the keys. Rowena and Pitte had to find the women and get them to search for the keys. Mallory, Dana, and Zoe were the women for the current generation. Each woman would have a month to find the key they were looking for. If one failed, they all failed. They were given $25,000 just for agreeing to look for the keys. If they all found the keys, each of each of them would receive a million dollars. The three women decided to look for the keys. All of them had job and money problems when they first met with Rowena and Pitte, so the $25,000 looked good to them.

The three women lived in Pleasant Valley, a small town in Pennsylvania, but they had never met each other before they went to Warrior’s Peak, where Rowena and Pitte, were staying. Mallory was the first to search for a key. Dana and Zoe did things to help with the search as well. The three women quickly became close and even decided to go in together to buy a house where they would start their own businesses. Mallory was going to open her own gallery, Dana a bookstore, and Zoe her own salon. Dana’s brother Flynn got involved in the search, along with his two friends, Jordan and Brad. Flynn had heard the story of the three sisters before. Mallory and Flynn started a relationship. Mallory encountered Kane, but she was able to find the first key. Dana searched for the second key. She and Jordan had been involved in the past, but things didn’t end well. She wasn’t happy that he was around, but they did spent time together and work through some things. They became involved again. Mallory and Zoe did what they could to help Dana with her search, as did Flynn, Jordan, and Brad. The three women worked on getting their businesses ready to open. They were doing a lot of work in the house. Dana also encountered Kane, who used a different technique to try to get to her. She was also able to find her key.

Zoe was the last to search for a key. She had seen what Mallory and Dana went through to find the first two keys. Zoe decided to tell Simon, her son, what was going on, only to discover that the sort of knew some of it already. She did take Simon to the meeting at Warrior’s Peak this time. Zoe was worried about Simon’s safety since Kane had gotten violent with Dana and Jordan. Brad was also worried about Simon’s safety. Brad planned to help Zoe with her search. Zoe was use to doing things on her own, and she got defensive at times. She wasn’t jumping to conclusions as much about why Brad did some things. They did spend more time together and started a relationship. Zoe did worry that the relationship would cause trouble with her search.

Zoe wasn’t sure where to start her search at first, but she did get some ideas that caused her to examine her past and even visit some places. She did share things about her past with her new friends. She had a tough childhood and she did think at times that her past would affect her relationship with Brad. Zoe was worried that she wouldn’t be able to find the key and then everything Mallory and Dana had done would be for nothing. Zoe was also stressed about getting her salon ready to open. Things were coming together well for it, along with the bookstore and gallery, but Zoe was a little panicked at the thought of owning her own business even though she had dreamed of it for a long time. The businesses were scheduled to open right after Zoe’s time would be up to find the key. Kane popped up a few times to mess with Brad and Zoe, but they were prepared because they knew what the others went through. Zoe and Brad were in danger from Kane though. He was very determined to prevent Zoe from finding the last key.

Key of Valor was released on December 30, 2003. The book is in the paperback format. Books by Nora Roberts are in the romance section of my local bookstore. That is where I have seen them in other bookstores as well.

The books in the Key trilogy were released in three consecutive months instead of there being many months between the release of each book, like has happened with previous trilogies that Roberts has written. The books did take place over three consecutive months and I think that had something to do with the way they were released. There were different things going on in each book, but they were connected by the search for the keys. Each book focused in on the search for one of the keys. The women went about their own searches in different ways. No matter who was currently looking for a key, the other two women and the three men would do what they could to help with the search. There was a conclusion to each book, but all three need to be read to get the final conclusion regarding the search for the keys and what happens to the three daughters. I think that the books should be read in order. The books could stand alone, but some things probably won’t make too much sense if the books are read out of order.

I really enjoyed Key of Valor. The plot was unique and I thought it was very interesting. The book grabbed my attention from the first page. I had been looking forward to getting the book ever since I read the first book in the trilogy. There were a few things in the book that were predictable, but there were several other things that happened that I didn’t expect. I wasn’t bored by any part of the book. It was very descriptive, so I was easily able to imagine what was going on. Every Nora Roberts book that I have read has been descriptive.

There was some mystery in Key of Valor related to Zoe’s search for the final key. She had no idea where the key would be when she started. She didn’t know when Kane would turn up or what he would do to try to prevent her from finding the key. The mystery wasn’t as complex as some in other Nora Roberts books, but it was still entertaining. There were some suspenseful moments at different times throughout the book. There was some violence in a few scenes, but the book wasn’t really violent overall. The scenes that did have violence weren’t extremely descriptive. People who don’t like to read books with violence in them may want to stay away from this book. There were some funny things that happened every so often that helped to lighten the mood of the book. There was some swearing throughout the book, but it wasn’t excessive. The word that rhymes with luck did make a few appearances. People that are offended by swearing in books may want to avoid this one.

Zoe and Brad’s growing relationship provided some romance for Key of Valor, but it wasn’t the main focus of the book. They met during the first book, and have spent some time together in every book. They did get to know each other better in this book since they were working on finding the key together. There were some sexual situations in the book. Those scenes were descriptive, but didn’t seem that explicit to me. Some people could be bothered by those scenes. Zoe and Brad each had separate conversations about sex with Simon. He’d heard things from a friend and had questions. I thought those parts were handled well. Mallory and Flynn were living together in his house and engaged. Dana and Jordan were also engaged. Jordan moved into Dana’s apartment with her until they could move. There was a little concerning the other two relationships, but nothing much. There were no sex scenes featuring the other two couples.

The plot of Key of Valor was a bit different since it did deal with some magical things. I really enjoyed that about the book. I’ve always enjoyed books and movies dealing with magical things. People who dislike those types of books or movies probably shouldn’t read this book, or the other two in the trilogy. People need to keep an open mind to really enjoy this book. I think that people who enjoyed the books in the Three Sisters’ Island trilogy, also by Nora Roberts, would also enjoy the Key trilogy. There was more magic stuff in the Three Sisters’ Island trilogy.

Nora Roberts writes the In Death series of books as J.D. Robb. Those books are set about fifty years in the future. The main character, Eve Dallas, is a homicide detective for the New York police department. She was married to Roarke, a very rich business man. They met in the first book of the series, and their relationship, along with the ones between Eve and some friends and co-workers, grew and developed over the course of the series. A different case is the focus of each book. Roarke usually ends up involved in Eve’s investigations someway. There is some romance in those books from the relationship between Eve and Roarke, but the main focus of the books is the cases that Eve works on. People who have read the In Death books and enjoyed them may also enjoy the books she writes as Nora Roberts since they are the same person. One of her recent books, Remember When, combined a story set in the present day written as Nora Roberts with one set in the time of the In Death books by J.D. Robb. Things from the first part of the book carried forward into the case that Eve ended up working on. I really enjoyed how she combined both in one book. I started out reading the In Death books, and once I read all of them, I started in on the Nora Roberts books. The In Death books are in the romance section of my local bookstore. I have also seen them in the mystery section of other bookstores.

Zoe and Brad were supporting characters in the first two books and the main characters in Key of Valor. They weren’t developed too much in the previous books since they weren’t in them as much and they were rather flat in those books. Zoe seemed to be temperamental and judgmental since she was always snapping at Brad about something. She had a few of those moments in this book as well, though Brad did snap back at times. Things about Zoe’s past, including her relationship with Simon’s father were shared. That did help to explain why she did certain things. Simon’s dad was rich, like Brad, so that influenced her feelings for Brad at first. Simon did turn up a little more, but he still wasn’t in as much of the book as his mother or Brad. Mallory, Flynn, Dana, and Jordan weren’t in much of this book at all. Mallory and Dana were around a little more than Jordan and Flynn were. I was disappointed that the previous main characters weren’t in more of this book.


Zoe - She was a single mother. She had never been married to her son’s father. She worked hard to make a good life for her son. She loved him very much. She was protective of him. Zoe was kind, but she did have a temper. She was use to doing things herself and got bent out of shape when people helped her at times. She did make assumptions about people and why they did some things at times. She could be very stubborn. She was a hair dresser and was going to open her own salon.

Brad - He was a member of the richest family in town. His grandfather had started a chain of home improvement stores. Brad grew up in Pleasant Valley, but left to work in New York for a while. He returned and planned to make the local store the best in the chain. He was a kind man. He got irritated with Zoe and her attitude at times, but he was patient. He really liked Simon. Once Brad decided to do something, he was determined to finish it. He was protective of Zoe and Simon.

Simon - Zoe’s ten-year-old son. Simon was good and didn’t cause trouble. He knew more than his mom gave him credit for at times. He wanted a dog, but didn’t bug her to get one because he knew they cost money. Instead, he was saving his allowance to get one. He enjoyed playing video games. Simon really liked Brad.

Mallory - She was starting her own gallery. She liked decorating and having pretty things. She dressed very fashionably.

Flynn - He was engaged to Mallory and Dana’s brother. Flynn ran the local newspaper and had a huge dog named Moe.

Dana - She had been a librarian and was now going to open her own bookstore. She was more cynical than Mallory or Zoe. Dana loved books and had them everywhere in her apartment.

Jordan - He was a successful author. He’d left Pleasant Valley for a while and recently returned. He was able to renew his relationship with Dana.

Rowena - She was from the world of the Gods. She had been the teacher for the daughters and worked with their bodyguard to protect them. She was in love with Pitte, the bodyguard. Since they failed to do their job, they were exiled to the moral world to search for the women who could free the daughters. Rowena was a talented painter. She was very kind. She did what she could to help Mallory, Dana, and Zoe, but there were limits on what she could do. She was

Pitte - He was from the world of the Gods. He had been the daughter’s bodyguard. He fell in love with Rowena. They became distracted with each other and that provided the opportunity for the spell to be cast. He was exiled with Rowena to the mortal world. He missed his home, but he did enjoy certain things about the mortal world. He also did what he could to help the women, especially once rules for the search were broken.

Kane - He was a God that wasn’t happy with the future King taking a mortal for a wife. He cast the spell that trapped the souls of the daughters in the box. He tried to do things to mess with the women’s minds when they were looking for the key. He didn’t want the keys found and used. He did break rules of the search when he actually hurt Dana and Jordan. He would have killed them if he had the chance.

I really enjoyed Key of Valor. The book was interesting and entertaining for me. People who enjoy Nora Roberts books, will probably enjoy this one as well. Anyone who has read Key of Light and Key of Knowledge has to read this one to get to the final conclusion.

Key Trilogy
Key of Light ~ Key of Knowledge ~ Key of Valor ~

Reviews of Other Nora Roberts Books
Dance Upon the Air ~ Heaven & Earth ~ Face the Fire ~ Reflections ~ Dance of Dreams ~ Hidden Star ~ Captive Star ~ Secret Star ~ Night Shift ~ Night Shadow ~ Night Smoke ~ Night Shield ~ Cordina's Crown Jewel ~ Cordina's Royal Family ~ Once More With Feeling ~ Midnight Bayou ~ Three Fates ~ The Villa ~ Sweet Revenge ~ Genuine Lies ~ Chesapeake Blue ~ Birthright ~ Engaging the Enemy ~ Remember When ~

Reviews of J.D. Robb Books
Seduction in Death ~ Reunion in Death ~ Purity in Death ~ Portrait in Death ~ Imitation in Death ~

Recommend this product? Yes

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