Gabriel Farago is a fine writer who can weave several story lines and make them come together in a satisfying conclusion. The history satisfied my fascination with forbidden and hidden knowledge. In The Empress Holds the Key, we are given clues and trivia galore, and you must not try to make sense of it all right away, but instead allow the author to take you on an adventure until all the answers are found. Characterization is wonderful. Jack Rogan does not dominate the story, and I thoroughly enjoyed Jana Gonski and the other supporting characters. Farago will take you inside the minds of terrorists and criminals and the mystery underlying everything will keep you turning pages to see where it's all leading. And you won't be disappointed. This is a well-written book that you can look forward to reading every time you put it down... if you can put it down. Highly recommended.