Customer Reviews for

The Key To The Grave (The Price of Freedom, #2)

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A lot of fun!! Highly recommended.

    Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book's prequel ("The Last King's Amulet") and recommended it highly, I did suggest that it ended too abruptly. Upon hindsight, and having now had the pleasure of reading "The Key to the Grave," I think it would have been more accurate to say "The Last King's Amulet" was something akin to a great Chinese dinner: thoroughly delicious but for some reason not totally satisfying. My hunger pains have now been fully satiated! "The Key to the Grave" is the equivalent of a 7-course feast and "The Last King's Amulet" was but a teasing appetizer to whet the appetite. Taken together, one has no grounds for any complaints and should be fully satisfied. I strongly encourage the author to merge both books into one because neither is well served without the other (my fear would be that "The Key to the Grave" might not be as well received as it deserves if read without the advantage of first having read TLKA.). I praised Chris Northern for his character development in TLKA but it's in this sequel that he really demonstrates the fullness of his talent for characterization and nuanced development. Sumto, as I said before in my earlier review of the first book, was redeemed by his self-awareness, among other things, but in "The Key to the Grave" he matures even more beautifully. In this book we see Sumto's earlier sardonic wit and hedonism ripen into a mature and well reasoned pragmatism as his irresponsible preference for the easy way out is replaced by a warrior's commitment to values beyond one's own immediate self-interest. In this sequel, Sumto's amorality is replaced with a moral awareness (in one example he denounces slavery in a world clearly not yet having gone through such enlightenment) and his innate cleverness is morphed into a richly nuanced intellectualism and wisdom. I especially enjoyed how Sumto respected and then came to deeply love Jocasta and, in the end, found it remarkable that after fighting so savagely for her he had the wisdom and reserve to allow her to claim a far different destiny than the one his own dream envisioned. This ending left me somewhat conflicted because the feminist in me wanted to applaud Jocasta on one level while the romantic in me wanted to kick her in the butt and ask her what the hell she was doing... and do you know why? Because (and this is telling) by then I had fallen in love with Sumto and thought Jocasta was making a grave mistake. To me this is the proof of Northern's success -- having first found Sumto somewhat shallow and juvenile I now found him quite manly in all the best ways and in that regard he became attractive to me. Perhaps in the next book (which I would encourage the author to write) we'll learn more about Jocasta's reasoning and whether it was wise. I hope so anyway because as full as this meal made me, I could still be talked into dessert. (Maureen Gill, author of "January Moon") [PS to Northern: I'd still like to see you write historical fiction!]

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    Very enjoyable

    I really enjoyed these books. The first one got me hooked and I just can't wait to see what happens to Sumto next. Aside from some slight editing issues these books are really well written and engaging.

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