The Final Key is the completion of the duology Triad, which began with the novel Schism, and which reveals the epic story of how a war of galactic proportions first exploded between two great empires and how the Ruby Dynasty reached maturity. Schism ended with the Skolian Empire torn asunder by personal conflict within the royal family.
Nebula Award winner Catherine Asaro's tales of the Skolian Empire have earned tremendous acclaim and a devoted following. War between the Eubian Concord and the Skolians has devastated the galaxy before. Now another epic clash is brewing, and the leaders of both empires might be powerless to stop it. Further complicating matters, both men hide shocking secrets that could spell their doom.
"Great Story Bad reader"
Revered SF novelist Catherine Asaro has twice won the coveted Nebula Award. In Carnelians, the Eubian empire and Skolian Imperialate have forged a peace treaty. But when an explosive pop anthem sweeps across the civilizations, unrest breaks out, and renewed warfare threatens to shatter the fragile peace.
In the galaxy-spanning future, Major Bhaajan is a tough female P.I. who works the dangerous streets of Undercity. Major Bhaajan, a former military officer with Imperial Space Command, is now a hard-bitten P.I. with a load of baggage to deal with, and clients with woes sometimes personal, sometimes galaxy-shattering, and sometimes both. Bhaajan must sift through the shadows of dark and dangerous Undercity - the enormous capital of a vast star empire - to find answers.
"Not her best but I am a fan."
Once Chime had been the most promising mage in the land, feted and celebrated for her potential and future role in the kingdom. Then Iris, her young competitor, made a stunning leap in skill and turned Chime's world upside down. Now no longer the most powerful, no longer promised to a prince - and still unable to harness her magic properly - Chime was set adrift. As was the new king's cousin - and former heir - Lord Muller.
"Magic of geometry"
Schism is how it all began, harkening back to the early years of the Skolian Empire, back to the beginning of the war between Skolia and the Euban Traders. Twenty-three years have passed since the fateful vote in the Skolian Assembly that Roca missed in Skyfall. It created the first open hostility between Eube and Skolia, which has only deepened in the ensuing years. Now Eube senses an opportunity, for strife has riven the first family of the Skolian Empire.
At the age of 17, the young nobleman named Jaibriol Qox becomes ruler of a vast galactic empire - and loses everything he has ever valued. Born of a clandestine liaison between a renegade daughter of the Skolian Imperialate and a scion of the genetically engineered Eubian Traders, Jai Qox grew up in exile, unaware of the powers that coursed through his noble blood.
Eldrinson Valdoria is a bard and leader on the planet Skyfall, a world with a culture considered primitive by the starflung civilization of the Imperialate. As adept with a sword as he is with a ballad, he is also an undiscovered telepath of great power. Roca Skolia, a former dancer, is now the councilor for Foreign Affairs in the Imperialate's governing Assembly and heir to the Ruby Pharaoh of the Skolian Imperialate.
Award-winning author Catherine Asaro, creator of The Skolian Empire, returns to the world of Aronsdale, a place rich with magic and power. One generation after war had nearly destroyed three nations, evil was returning. And only Mel Dawnfield's daring sacrifice could stop it… The promise of peace rested on this young woman's noble vow: to marry Cobalt the Dark - heir to a family of legendary cruelty.
"A light, romantic read"
The Skolian Empire rules a third of the civilized galaxy through its mastery of faster-than-light communication. But war with the rival empire of the Traders seems imminent, a war that can only lead to slavery for the Skolians or the destruction of both sides. Destructive skirmishes have already occurred. A desperate attempt must be made to avert total disaster.
"Good Narrator and a Good Story"
Separated for decades by circumstance and political machinations, the Ruby Dynasty, hereditary rulers of the Skolian Empire, struggle to bring together the tattered remnants of their family in the shadow of a disastrous interstellar war. Too many have died, others are presumed lost. Yet they must move quickly if they are to resume their rightful place as rulers of Skolia.
"Love Asaro, downright embarrassing narration"
The Saga of the Skolian Empire is Catherine Asaro's trademark series. It chronicles the lives of the members of the ruling family of the Empire in the distant interstellar future, weaving a fine blend of action, romance, and hard science fiction.
"ok, but barely!"
For centuries the women of Aronsdale have lived freely among the green and misted valleys. Creatures of exotic beauty and sensuality, they possess powerful skills of enchantment…and young Allegro is no different. But her life - and Aronsdale's independence - is threatened when Jazid nomads invade, carrying Allegro into the desert as a prized trophy…or worse. Until an unexpected ally falls under her spell. From the moment feared Jazid warrior Markus Onyx sees the alluring beauty, he knows he has found his queen. But even the promise of love cannot quell Allegro's determination to save her homeland.
In the distant future, the Skolian Empire rules one third of the human galaxy, and is the most powerful of all. For the ruling family has the power of telepathy, and through it, the ability to communicate faster than light, across interstellar space. But their most determined enemy, the traders, who thrive on human pain, need to interbreed with a Skolian to gain their powers. And now they have her.
"Lots of technology, lots of romance"
Deep in the sun-drenched desert, priestess Ginger-Sun carries the power of shape mages. And whispers abound: Is she descended from the beloved Sunset Goddess? Or are her nighttime rituals filled with wickedness? Ginger herself is uncertain, until a stranger is left for dead at her feet. Thence her magic begins to burn. Fate makes Ginger the stranger's wife and therefore a target for those who would murder this man to crown another - and force her magic into twisted ferocity. For unless Ginger masters her dark powers, violence will rein in Taka Mal - and in her soul.
Kelric returns to Skolian space, only to find the Empire in control of the Allied forces of Earth, thanks to the upheaval of the Radiance War. With little more than the clothes on his back and with his family imprisoned by the Allieds, Kelric is forced to take work on a merchant vessel. But when that vessel enters Euban space, Kelric finds his worst nightmare realized.
"Another Good Asaro Book"
With no teacher to guide her, no mentor to discourage her from the impossible, Mel Dawnfield pushed her magic to its limits - and surpassed them. Only to find that her powers aren't enough to halt burgeoning rebellion within her husband's fledgling realm - or a plot devised to strike at the very heart of Mel's family. The lines have been drawn. Mel's mage strength has become greater than any power ever known, but dare she forge her spells into weapons to protect her people, her husband? For her magic might transform the brutality of war into the birth pangs of a peaceful empire - unless it proves the death blow to her world.
When Kelric, a scion of the imperial family of Skolia, crash-lands his fighter on the off-limits planet of Coba, he figures it will be only a short time before he makes his way home. But he fails to account for the powerful matriarchy of Coba, the mistresses of the great estates who do not want the Empire to know about their recent cultural advances. First they take him prisoner. Then, one by one, the most powerful women on the planet fall in love with him!
"Reader in a bit of a hurry"
This sequel to the acclaimed Primary Inversion continues the story of Sauscony and Jaibriol, each the heir to an interstellar empire, as they become entangled again in the machinations of the Skolian Empire.
"A Nobel Effort"
This collection of Catherine Asaro's show fiction contains five stories, including the Nebula Award-winning novella, Spacetime Pool, the Hugo and Nebula nominated novella Aurora in Four Voices, and an essay on Asaro's use of mathematics in her fiction.
"Good stories too painful to listen to."