Catherine Asaro has won numerous awards for her Saga of the Skolian Empire novels, including the Nebula Award and two Romantic Times awards for Best SF Novel. Combining cutting edge scientific theory with grand romantic adventure, this series represents space opera at its finest. The Final Key is the second half of the story arc known as Triad, which began in Schism.
Schism ended with the Skolian Empire torn asunder by personal conflict within the royal family. With The Final Key, the Skolian Empire comes under all-out assault from its nemesis, the Euban Concord, who have undermined the Empire via subterfuge and assassination, leaving it ripe for conquest. The Skolian Empire's only hope? A young woman barely out of her teens who hasn't even complete her training as a cadet.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Catherine Asaro.
©2006 Catherine Asaro; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Bachelor Chef and Mathematician
I loved Final Inversion and many of the other stories in this series but this and Schism are not the best and in many ways, because of the reader, are probably the worst in the series. I am very disappointed in Audible and Catherine Asaro for the reading of these books as they are not to the level of the first books which were offered on this service.
Consistency is the key and there have been too many versions of the pronounciation, inflection and pacing of the reading, let alone the obvious lack of effort from the author.
Stick with the original four or five stories which were offered on Audible and don't waste your money on the last four or six.
This and the previou book, Schism are great books that provide background info on the Skolian Empire.It is important to know that these two books are all in this series - there is no third as the series title "Triad" seems to imply. In this case triad has to do with the political system.
One thing that bothers me about these books is the narrator. While she is articulate, she does not have the vocal range of the better narrators and she consistently mispronounces words. One that gets me every time is "puh syon" when reading psyon - it's not 'puh sychic", the p is silent. Every time she does this, it kind of jars me out of the story line and is so very distracting.
If you can deal with a flat reading and can ignore mispronunciations then I think you will find this a great book.
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