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Pandora's Key

Pandora's Key

The Key Trilogy: Book I

The key to saving the world hangs from her neck...

Evangeline Theopolis has nightmares about the violent deaths of women she has never met. Her single mother, Olivia, suffers delusions she can't hide. And Malledy, a brilliant young man, may have a disease that will leave him paralyzed and insane. Their lives are about to collide.

On Evangeline's 16th birthday her mother gives her a necklace with an antique key charm—a family heirloom, though no one knows what the key unlocks.

Everything changes. Her mom is hospitalized. Her godmother attempts murder. An ancient Order tries to kill Evangeline, and a lethal sect to kidnap her.

Nothing makes sense—especially Evangeline's own face, which has morphed from geeky to eerily stunning; the ancient key that feels strangely alive against her skin; and the magical abilities she begins to possess.

Evangeline must use her wits and supernatural powers to fight her deadly adversaries and discover her true identity. But can she accept who she really is and save the world?

Read an excerpt
Read about Pandora's Key at
Read an interview with Nancy in the Hood River News
Nancy and Pandora's Key are mentioned at the Bologna Children's Book Fair

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Praise for Pandora's Key

"With this fresh, intriguing novel, Fischer is clearly laying the groundwork for a trilogy that will successfully continue to bring ancient mythology forward into a modern tale of self discovery... Fischer's fast pacing and numerous plot twists are sure to keep the reader turning the pages... Characters are well fleshed-out and sympathetic, and some have hidden alliances that serve to make Evangeline's plight seem all the more realistic. With vivid imagery, compelling characters and plenty of bursts of action, this first novel weaving mythology and contemporary teenage troubles is thrillingly memorable!"
   —Kirkus Indie

"In this inventive debut installment of The Key Trilogy, an Oregon girl's life is uprooted by the discovery of her pivotal role in a prophecy stemming from Greek mythology... Surprising twists add to the story's intrigue. The co-author of several sports autobiographies, Fischer hits her stride in this quick-paced novel."
   —Publishers Weekly

What they're saying on Amazon

"Pandora's Key is a delightfully magical story about two separate peoples' lives and how they end up intertwining. Once the background is established in the first three chapters, the book becomes spellbinding. The words just flow! From young teens through adults, all aspects of the story are clearly understandable. The Greek mythology in the prologue serves as a hint of where this inspiration began. I am a retired educator and I loved the book!"

"I really enjoyed reading this book and everything about it. Honestly, I did not know what to expect when I started reading Pandora's Key. But, let me tell you that this book is happy, sad, exciting, romantic, scary and full of action! This book has everything to keep the reader turning pages like a mad person.
The character of Evangeline is a strong female lead, especially for being barely 16. She faces things that seem impossible and has a hard time not asking questions. The great thing is that she never gives up her search for truth and hope. Evangeline wasn't the only fantastic character. I would say all of the characters, even if they were barely in the story, gave off a definite sense of meaning and purpose. Even the nurses that tend to her mother were memorable. That is quite a feat you have accomplished there, Nancy Richardson Fischer!
The plot was just...perfect. I don't know what other word to describe it that would give it justice. The plot basically starts out with two stories. One is the story of Evangeline while the other is the story of a young man named Malledy. Both stories are so gripping separately, but when the characters collide it is impossible to stop reading Pandora's Key after that.
I want to say so much more but I don't want to give away too much about the book. That is why my reviews are always short, sweet and to the point. I think anyone that enjoys a great work of Fiction, YA or not, should read Pandora's Key. Just trust me on this one! Plus, it is only the 1st book in the Key Trilogy! I am very, very, very excited about the next two books.
5 stars because Pandora's Key is a gift from the gods!
   —Think Wise 

"This page-turner was a quick read for me because I simply couldn't put it down. It was a pleasure to read such a beautifully written novel in this genre of coming-of-age fantasy thrillers. It's a bit like Dan Brown meets Twilight with a mythological twist. I would recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike who appreciate strong heroines, suspense and unexpected twists in their novels. I felt like I was solving a puzzle along with the characters."
   —A. McKenna 

"Pandora's Key was a wonderful spin on Greek Mythology. The characters were engaging and there were twists and unexpected turns throughout the book."
   —The Norman Howard School 

"A great read for the young to not-so-young readers alike, Fischer has a captivating imagination and wonderful story telling ability. This book will throw you an unexpected twist, just when you think you figured it out. I can't wait for the next two!"

"Highly recommended. The storyline and characters in this fantasy novel paint a glorious tale of a familiar world intertwined with the mystical. Pandora's Key is a beautifully tragic coming of age story that throws innocence into the snares of power and evil. What I see in Richardson-Fischer's writing that grabs me most is her ability to suck you into an intelligent world of imagination. There is depth to her characters and a fascinating history into mythology. What a breath of fresh air! This is my first time reading Nancy Richardson Fischer and I can't wait to read more."

"You are going to want to read the other books in this trilogy and they are not in print yet! This is a story based on Greek mythology with paranormal flavor but is classified as an urban fantasy. I can't wait for the other books to be available. In a field of YA books, this one stands out. It is a refreshing change of pace from the vampires. This is not just another Twilight wannabe!"

"I loved Pandora's Key. It has adventure, is character driven and has just the right dose of magic. From the moment I picked up the book at 8 PM I was rooting for Evangeline on her heroine's journey. I knew I was in the hands of a great story-teller when I looked at the clock and it was midnight and the story was racing toward it's heart pounding and satisfying conclusion!"
   —A. Anderson 

"I have a high standard for the books I'll read. I take advantage of the Kindle feature to sample books before I buy. I reject quite a few. Life is too short for mediocre books. This book however was fantastic. It's similar to The Hunger Games and Harry Potter series... on the surface it's a kid's story but will be enjoyed by readers of all ages. It's got all the ingredients of a classic adventure story with some fresh perspective (conspiracy, thriller, heroes, villains, adventure, plot twists, parallel story lines). Similar to a Dan Brown book (Angels & Demons). It sucked me in from page 1 and I never slowed down. Good luck putting this one down. Can't wait for parts 2 and 3."

"I just finished Pandora's Key and loved it. I have not read any other books by this author but you can bet I'll be getting them. Pandora's Key set a wonderful pace from the first page. I loved the way the story flowed and all the twists and turns in the tale. I cannot wait for the next two books in the trilogy. Great book!"

"I'm a big fan of mythology, so I was intrigued by the opening chapters and immediately I was hooked. This book is wildly entertaining, imaginative and creative—the twisting plot propels the reader to the end. It's perfect for teens but also for adults who enjoy a great fantasy with lots of symbolism and interesting characters. Definitely worth the read!"

"Pandora's Key is Greek mythology with a suspenseful, modern twist. This story hooked me from chapter one, and then again, and again with each consecutive chapter. Evangeline (heroine) is super cool... a seemingly normal girl thrust into a freaky, twisted, almost unbelievable adventure. Except it's written in such a way that it feels like it could really happen. You won't put this one down... I didn't. Can't wait for the next story in the trilogy!"

"I previously had read most of Nancy Fischer's sport biographies and her Junior Jedi books and found them to be extremely well-written so I was very excited to read her new fiction book. Like her other works, this is a great read. Ms. Fischer sets an excellent page and creates a compelling story. I look forward to the next ones!"

"An outstanding read for young and old! I bought this book for my daughter, but ended up reading it myself first. From the beginning, I couldn't put it down. Now my daughter is reading it. She is completely enthralled with the fantasy, and constantly wondering what will happen next when she has to put the book down."

"As each chapter would end, I couldn't wait to tear into the next one. The author does a great job of blending Greek Mythology with a modern day suspense thriller. Richardson Fischer draws you into her story in such a way that you feel you are right there with the characters. I hope the next book in this trilogy comes out soon!"

"This book is amazing i just adore it. It is such a pager turner and very emotional. Enjoy all of you readers."

"I was so enthralled that I read all but a few chapters the day I cracked the first page... The first few pages clearly introduced both the struggle of an individual as well as the fury's of humanity. Details of color, shape, dress and speech sparked my imagination and pulled me farther into each character's idioms. As the characters developed, so did the history and mythology of the story. The fate of the feminine heroine and her guardians is an eerie yet powerful tale. Your conveyance of Malledy's self-absorbtion with his personal ailment distinctly progresses into his desire for omniscient power through control and manipulation. Ooo, evil. Evangeline's traumatic metamorphism is engaging and it's powerful to watch the growing of her awareness and confidence. Plus, her all-lady posse is bad ass. Congratulations..."

"This book is a fun read. I couldn't put it down. I read it cover to cover the night I started. I couldn't wait until morning to find out what happened. I can't wait for book two."

"I really loved this book! While the story is supernatural, it's believable. What if pandora's box truly did exist? Who would protect it? Who would want it for their own selfish needs? And what about the descendats of pandors? It's a page-turner—fast paced and never boring or drawn out. I'm ready for book #2! Hope it comes out soon!"
   —Lisa A. Mitchell 

"When I first started to read this book there was no way I was going to put it down. The story sucks you in and when something sad or scary happens you feel the emotion too. Pandora's Key has a range of everything, from mystery to romance it creates detail of the characters and you feel like you are there with all of them."
   —Lucy Bishop 

"Pandora's Key is a fun read for just about anyone one. The book is a thrilling young adult novel about sixteen year old Evangeline Theopolis. Without knowing her family's secrets, Evangeline eagerly accepts her birthday gift from her mother—a black key necklace that her mother has never taken off—until now.
The novel, written by Nancy Richardson Fischer, is one of three of the Key Trilogy. I am looking forward to getting my hands on the second one. I am curious to see the direction Fischer takes the trilogy and if we will see Evangeline again."

"In Pandora's Key the story of Evangeline moves along quite quickly, a wonderful thing after reading so many books with slow starts. Hearing about the mythology of Pandora and Pandora's box was a treat, I don't think I've read a book based on the Pandora mythology previously. The entire story was well written and there wasn't a dull moment to be found. I felt bad for Evangeline upon her discovery that her life wasn't really her own and that there were so many falsehoods placed upon her. People aren't who she thinks they are and she ends up having to put her trust in someone new. While this story wrapped up the beginning, there is still so much more that can be had in continuing on the series and I would love to see where it goes."
   —Jessica for Book Sake

"Twisted, supernatural, shocking... a sinister, addictive ride!"
   —Viv Mitchell, age 17

"For any teen that enjoys action, suspense and mythology, Pandora's Key is the perfect read. With compassionate characters and exciting plot twists, it truly kept me on the edge of my seat. Pandora's Key is action packed, filled with magic, and has just the right amount of romance mixed in to make it a wonderful coming of age tale."
   —Abby Dennis, age 14

"This book is packed with creepy mystery, Greek mythology and action, which kept me glued to the story until the last page. I can't wait until the next book comes out."
   —Jack Bishop, age 13

"I couldn't put down Pandora's Key. It's the kind of book you try to avoid the ending of so you can just keep reading it. I loved this book and I would definitely recommend it to friends."
   —Emily Whitfield, age 15

"The thing that strikes me most about Pandora's Key is that it's such a sophisticated YA book that I'm 40 and couldn't put it down. Seriously, I read it in three hours and can't wait for the next book in THE KEY TRILOGY. Fischer's debut urban fantasy novel seamlessly blends Greek mythology with a gritty, modern world. There's something for everyone—a teenage girl coming of age and forced to accept a terrible gift and burden; a doctor drowning from loss and struggling to find something to believe in; and an antagonist who is brilliant, desperate and devolves into pure evil. There are enough magic, ancient curses, Gods and Goddesses and powerful talisman to create a story that travels at a breakneck pace. Bravo Nancy Richardson Fischer—now get busy writing the sequel!!"
   —Ashley Anderson, age 40

What bloggers are saying

"This was one of the best books I have read all year...I think it should be a book all sixth graders have to read as part of our curriculum...I never thought I would finish a book that was this big and I really liked it. It was so good and full of mystery."
   —The Musings of a Book Addict and her sixth grade class (read the entire review here)

"I couldn't put it down, and I had finished it in a couple of hours. I read it in 2 sits, which hardly happens to me, so that's a very good thing."
   —How I See It Reviews (read the entire review here)

"...I absolutely ADORED this book!"
   —The Fiction Diaries (read the entire review here)

"I loved that the author was able to take such a well known piece of mystery and create a unique story to go with it. It was fresh and entertaining, and I guarantee you'll be left guessing about what's coming next until the very end."
   —Shut Up and Read (read the entire review here)

"...let me tell you that this book is happy, sad, exciting, romantic, scary and full of action! This book has everything to keep the reader turning pages like a mad person."
   —Thinks Books (read the entire review here)

"It was one of a kind for sure... I would give this a very solid 4 stars. It was well written and flowed beautifully."
   —My Guilty Obsession (read the entire review here)

"I think [Pandora's Key] was a brilliant set up to what could be an amazing and creative trilogy and I am really looking forward to the release of the second book." 4 out of 5 hearts!
   —A Daydreamer's Thoughts (read the entire review here)

"The writing was superb and spot on. There was intrigue and a great plot. The characters were written very well and complex. The author did a great job with this book and I look forward to reading more from her." 4 Stars!
   —Doctor's Notes (read the entire review here)

"...this book is happy, sad, exciting, romantic, scary and full of action! This book has everything to keep the reader turning pages like a mad person. " 5 Stars!
   —Thinks Books (read the entire review here)

"This book is exceptional!...It keeps things fresh without venturing too far away from the original myth surrounding [Pandora]. " 4 1/2 Paws!
   —Happy Tails and Tales Blog (read the entire review here)

What they're saying on

"This book is exceptional!...what a great fun story!!! The main character is a literal descendant of Pandora, and she becomes involved in a crazy new world without even knowing it existed... you get some big surprises! I very much look forward to seeing how things will turn out and continue in this series!"
   —Maghon Thomas, reviewer/blogger 

"I really enjoyed reading this book and everything about it. Honestly, I did not know what to expect when I started reading Pandora's Key. But, let me tell you that this book is happy, sad, exciting, romantic, scary and full of action! This book has everything to keep the reader turning pages like a mad person... The plot was just... perfect. I don't know what other word to use to describe it that would give it justice... I think anyone that enjoys a great work of fiction, YA or not, should read Pandora's Key. Just trust me on this one! Plus, it is only the 1st book in The Key Trilogy! I am very, very, very excited about the next two books."

Thanks to Nancy for letting my group read her book for the book of the month! I really appreciate it. Also, It's great that we got such an awesome book for our first read!
I really liked this book. I haven't really read anything like this. Think about Percy Jackson and the Olympians, mixed with a teenage girl's life. EXCEPT WAY MORE EXCITING. hah
When I first saw this book, I wasn't really sure what it was going to be about. I mean, I read the description and things like that, but I still didn't expect it to be like this! Also, I learned something! Hah. Not that I didn't know about the greek gods and everything like that, but I didn't know that Pandora was interesting. hah I never really paid attention to them until this book.
All I'm going to say is that there is a lot of action, and I really couldn't put it down.

"I read this book in such a short time It was a page-turner. Each chapter leaves you wanting the next. There was never a dull moment, but there were plenty of sweet, scary, terrifying, and thrilling, moments to satisfy. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars because I enjoyed reading it soo much."
   —Taylor Thompson 

"One of the better books I've read this year! I didn't want to put it down once I started.
Some things I really loved about Pandora's Key:
Engaging story line
No love triangles!
Evangeline learns to deal with her life without excessive teen angst.
Plenty of action and is appropriately geared toward the YA crowd as well as adults (one of my pet peeves are YA books that are in my opinion too violent for the crowd they are marketed to)
I can't think of anything I didn't like about this one:-) In short I'll be recommending this one to my friends and also to their preteen/teen daughters. Thanks Nancy for an excellent read! I'll be looking for the next one!"

"Pandora's Key by Nancy Richardson Fischer is a brilliant urban fantasy that combines the legacy of Greek mythology with a story of mystery, romance and adventure. Fischer writes with uncommon fluency and excellent imagery to tell an intriguing story from start to finish."

"I loved this amazing book! I love the suspense, the romance and the fictional history! I cannot possibly wait to read The Key to Tartarus [Book II, The Key Trilogy]!"
   —Oscar Portilla 

"As a middle school teacher, I am constantly on the lookout for books that will hook 8th graders. Pandora's Key is definitely one of those books. Fischer has created a book that mixes mythology, realistic teen fiction, mystery, and romance all in one."

"I really loved this book! While the story is supernatural, it's believable. What if Pandora's Box truly did exist? Who would protect it? Who would want it for their own selfish needs. And what about the descendants of Pandora? It's a page-turner—fast paced and never boring or drawn out. I'm ready for Book #2! Hope it comes out soon!"
   —Lisa A. Mitchell 

"... This book was so fantastic it left my brain paralyzed... the book left my heart in pieces. It really did. Now go read the book to find out why."

"This book is a whirlwind of intrigue and excitement. The heroine is caught up in a freaky tailspin of unbelievable events. A fun, fast read!"

"Great storyline, well written but now can't wait to read Book 2."
   —Natalie Cobb 

"Everything about Pandora's Key is intriguing, from the title to the last word. Nancy Richardson Fischer will have you begging for more. From Geek mythology, to romance, to a girl that is cursed and doesn't know it, this urban fantasy novel is full of surprises."

"Nancy Richardson Fischer creates a fantasy out of a normal sixteen year olds life, something that every teenager has dreams about. The story follows Evangeline through romance, mystery, and some shocking and surprising twists that pull you into the story even more... Pandora's Key is a well-written, exciting book that keeps you on your toes and wondering what will happen to Evangeline and her family. I enjoyed every page turn and can't wait for the next book in the series to arrive."

I love anything that has to do with mythology, so I had very high expectations... Luckily [Pandora's Key] lived up to my expectations... This book kept me 100% interested from the first word till the end... A real page-turner... The editing had been done well, a nice writing style, all of it was one piece of awesomeness.
   —How I See It Reviews 

I recommend this book. It was entertaining and gripping. Loved the twists and turns!

Quite a page turner... its one book that you will not want to put down. I don't know much about Greek mythology but the whole story line had me intrigued—a line of female descendents holding a mystery key which is bestowed upon a 16-yr old who has no clue of her past. How would you feel if suddenly on your 16th birthday or close to your 16th birthday, you were given a necklace with a key on it and this key unlocked a box? Inside this box held some secret power that others wanted and would kill for. What if it were you they were hunting down, looking for this box and key? What if you were born into a female Sect and.....? I thought this was a great coming of age story and had lots of action.

First, I normally don't write reviews, I just put my star rating and go about my business. Only IF I find the book overwhelming moving do I take the time. Mainly because I never know what to say . . . therefore bear with me :) I used to give books 5 stars all the time and recently I've come to find that books just don't thrill me like they used to. How nice is it to read something that grips me from the first chapter. I loved the writing style, the characters, the story and the small mindless fact that I could read through the book and not find editing errors (I know that's petty but it breaks the flow people!!!). I want a sequel . . .I really, really want another book! P-L-E-A-S-E
   —Danna Campbell 

I will DEFINITELY read the rest of the series! The characters were enthralling, the story fantastically told, and there were lots of twists and unexpected surprises to keep me on my toes! All in all, this makes for a great read! I can't wait for the next book to come out! :)

"Nancy [Richardson Fischer] is such a great author and she has a way of hooking you to the story... you just can't stop reading. I really loved her writing style and it had me racing through the book desperate to see what was going to happen... Pandora's Key is such a great book and all mythology fans will love it... A great start to what I hope will be a great mythological series. I can't wait to see what happens next."
   —Kayleigh (K-Books) 

"I adore any books on mythology, I always have, maybe it is the Greek in my blood calling out to me to devour all I can on the subject, I have no idea, all I know is that I love them and I find that I must read them.
So of course, when I saw this one I knew I had to get it.
This truly was a very well planned story that involved a lot of adventure, mythology and complete action.
It was one of a kind for sure.
The story and characters were engaging and before I knew it I found myself done with the story, I had completely flew through it.
I was left with about a million questions (but in a good way) and I wanted more.
I can't wait to find out what happens next to Evangeline.
I would give this a very solid 4 stars. It was well written and flowed beautifully."
   —Mlpmom (Book Reviewer) 

Pandora's Key, Book 1 of The Key Trilogy, is an awesome blend of Greek culture and the Supernatural. It is a unique approach on Greek mythology, mainly about the 'Olympian Gods' and their secrets they left behind for humans.

This is truly a touching and believable story. The mythological supernatural aspects didn't really come into play until after the climax; and when it did, it fit just as snuggly as a warm blanket fresh out the drier. It added somewhat of a balm to the traumatic events. I must say, I didn't expect to be so emotionally invested in the story line. I cried, bit my nails down to the cuticle, and held my breath until I simply had to put the book down to find release. But I couldn't keep it down for long, because I simply had to know what would happen next. I'm currently in a state of impatience; anxiously awaiting the sequel in The Key Trilogy.
   —Katrina (Kindred Dreamheart/Blogger) 

Pandora's Key starts out as two different stories. Evangeline's story and Malledy's story. Both are equally captivating and fun to read... I loved the mythology background to this story. I loved that the author was able to take such a well known piece of mystery and create a unique story to go with it. It was fresh and entertaining, and I guarantee you'll be left guessing about what's coming next until the very end.

I really enjoyed the book. It is fast-paced and interesting. Evangeline is a great character. I've made it clear in the past that sometimes teen characters can get really annoying for me. I thought Evangeline had the perfect blend of teenage realism with enough maturity to be able to handle her difficult circumstances. She rises to each challenge she's presented with even though it's all so very difficult for her to believe. Her life quickly becomes chaos, and I liked the strength that her character displayed... The twists and turns of the book kept me interested and yet the plot stayed true to its basis in the mythological story of Pandora. I really enjoyed it and am excited to read book 2—The Key to Tartarus.
   —Your Need to Read 

I loved all of the different sub-plots that were going on underneath it all and felt that they really brought everything together. I feel that Nancy did a brilliant job of putting enough information out there for her readers without making it boring but also without revealing too much too soon. There was a lot of mystery going on within the pages that really helped to keep the attention of the reader. And the suspense was riveting and really kept the reader wanting to read more to find out what was going to happen next... I adored the characters in this book! For me characters really help to bring a story to life and I could really believe the characters in this book... I would recommend this book to anyone who like books with greek mythology, anyone who likes a good YA heroine, a lovely and talented author and someone who likes a bit of mystery, suspense and action. Really I just think you should all go and read a copy right now!
   —Faye (A Daydreamer's Thoughts Blog) 

Overall this book lived up to all I want in a book. The writing was superb and spot on. There was intrigue and a great plot. The characters were written very well and complex. The author did a great job with this book and I look forward to reading more from her.
   —Sheika Doctor (Doctor's Notes Blog) 

Pandora's Key is two stories in one with a mythological twist. It is full of mystery and intrigue which will keep you on the edge of your seat... The author does a great job of weaving the two stories together with the main thread consisting of the myth of Pandora's box and key. I really enjoyed this story and would definitely recommend it.
   —Leigh Prather 

Some of the characters REALLY pissed me off.
Very unique story, I don't think I've read any before that focus on Pandora.
What a mind-f*&ck!
Would definitely continue the series.
   —Alana (aka Whiplash)