Daw, Oct 2003, 6.99, 432 pp.
Queen Usharna Rosetheme is dying, but is not worried about the succession, as her oldest son Beryama will inherit the throne. Instead she is concerned with how the Twenty Houses will support her son and his three half-siblings. Especially concerning her is her youngest, Lynan, son of a deceased war hero commoner.
When the queen dies the keys that were the prime source of her power and her victory in the deadly Slaver War is distributed one each to her four children. However, unity fails when Areava and the twenty houses decide to eliminate Lynan, holder of one of the magical keys. Only the loyalty of his father's faithful Captains from the Slaver War Kumul Alarn and Agar Parmer save his life following the betrayal. What worried Usharna in life has come true after her death as her children are divided and her country is split with Lynan vowing vengeance and using his key to claim what was stolen from him.
The opening gamut of the “Keys of Power” is an incredible epic fantasy that is must reading for sub-genre fans. The story line is action-packed yet insures readers follow the exploits of fully developed characters. The adventures never slow down even as Simon Brown introduces the cast in such a way that the key (no pun intended) players seem real and the magic genuine. The only problem with INHERITANCE is waiting for book two to be published.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner