Caught in Crystal (Lyra Series)

Caught in Crystal (Lyra Series)

by Patricia C. Wrede

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Caught in Crystal 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
3.5 rounded up - because it's Patricia C. Wrede.While the Lyra books do constitute a series, as I understand it and as I remember it they are also each standalone novels. Put together, they relate the long history of Lyra; taken separately, they are perfectly readable each unto itself. I've always been a huge fan of Patricia C. Wrede, and I liked this book, a lot. But I didn't love it as much as I expected. There was nothing huge, but a handful of small things - like Kayl, on watch over her camp at night, sitting and staring into the fire while she tries to order her thoughts, thereby destroying her night vision completely. It specifically says she is watching the flames - so anyone could have come up behind her and knifed her in the back, or made as much noise as they wanted approaching because, no longer able to see in the dark at all, she would have been slow to react. It was just a tiny scene - but so much is made of the fact that she is a highly trained elite warrior that this tiny scene left a huge impact. Another small thing that irritated: a mention that someone who had been wounded spent four days in bed. The reason this annoyed me was that there were no beds then and there; the group was living rough in a campsite, so what he actually did was probably spend four days kept immobile in a nest of blankets and other people's cloaks on a pallet they'd cobbled together, on the ground.One aspect of the story that bugs me a little is one for which it is, itself, not really to blame; it's more the mass of fiction in general, not just this writer's and not just fantasy. It is a touch of the Mary Sues, in which there is one character who the opposite gender wants and the same gender wants to be. Kayl was very happily married to Kevran, who is some years dead as this story begins. It very quickly becomes clear that her neighbor and friend, Jirod, quietly loves her and would be very happy to fill the role of second husband. Then Kevran's old comrade Glyndon comes back into her life, and it quickly becomes obvious to the reader if not to Kayl that he loves her. It's useful for the plot, of course, for the attachments to be formed, or Glyndon's at least; it might have been more realistic and believable had Jirod simply been a solid friend and neighbor (perhaps with a hopeful eye toward bedding her). My complaint is that this seems to be the situation in a too-large number of books I've read lately ¿ a symptom, maybe, of a sort of sharp focus in which the main female character of the story is just about the only female character (in this case the only available adult human female). It would be interesting to have a little more information on Kayl's past as an innkeeper with her husband. Kevran was a Varnan, and because of past wars Varnans are generally viewed with the sort of automatic hatred as Germans and Japanese were in the 40's. It might have slowed down the story, but without it I can't help wondering how they managed; setting up shop in the small village of Copeham, even without much of an accent, I would expect to be significant. Actually, that leads to another point: this might have benefited by being told in two books, or one book told in two discrete parts, rather than being set in the later timeline covering past events in extensive flashbacks. Characters' deaths would have had more impact if they were unexpected, rather than remembered; it seemed as though there was a tremendous amount going on in that earlier journey, from Kayl's introduction to the love(s) of her life to the beginning of the end of the Sisterhood's power, that begged for better exposition. It is a well-told story, with likeable and believable characters. I like Kayl and the life she's carved out for herself, and the way her story is told. I like Bryn and the Wyrd, and want more about them. Glyndon's combination of brashness and I like the relationship between Kayl and her past, and with the Sisterhood; I like that they're a bit ba
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty good. This one is set a lot earlier than the others - a thousand years or so, I think. It's a little fuzzy. So is the story - it suffers from some of the same problems as The Harp of Imach Thyssel, with hidden motivations and people who aren't who or what they appear to be. However, it's handled much better - we don't get viewpoint sections that leave out important info that that character knows. This book is all from Kayl's POV, and we learn things as she does. Some of the things we learn late are her own motivations and wishes - but that's because she refuses to figure them out, not because the author is withholding information. I also like Kayl much better than Emereck - when she's feeling wary and suspicious, she's usually justified. Glyndon is nice - I figured out his basic motivation early on, but it was nice watching him develop. And Mark and Dara are interesting - wish I could see them grown up. They'd make an interesting sword-and-sorceress pair (OK, not likely). The Tower and the dark thing are weird; I'm as frustrated as Bartelmy with what they found out, and didn't. I wonder if it was related to the Shadow-born? No way to tell. Well-told, interesting story; interesting characters, with good solid motivations, and not cookie-cutter (the Sisters differ widely in their attitudes, as do members of other groups from the Magicseekers to the Wyrd). Much better than Harp, almost as good as Shadow Magic.
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Patricia Wrede, but this was not one of my favorites by her. The story isn't short, but there isn't much detail to it. Nothing really seems to develop and the characters don't really interact enough. I'm not really sure why anyone cares for anyone else in the book. That being said it isn't terrible, just not as good as I know Wrede can write. I'll chalk it up to this being an early book.
tigersue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. It was one I read after I started Katherine Kurtz's novels. Most fantasy I did not care for, but this one has a bit of humanity that I often find missing in other fantasy.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty standard fantasy. I'm thinking it's in the middle of a series. Though I don't feel particularly compelled to search out others, if I run across them, I'll read them. Something's interfering with the Star sisters' magic, something that's related to the Twisted Tower where Kayl had gone on a quest years before, when she was a member of the Sisters. Now they want her help, but she has an inn, and children, and friends, and the Sisters can't let go of their ethnocentrism.
orangejulia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is set in the "Lyra" series: a series of stand alone novels all taking place in the same universe. You don't need to have read the others for this book to make sense. A fairly plain Jane inn keeper suddenly has her not at all plain past catch up with her when a magic worker suddenly needs her to return to the Sisterhood of Stars in an attempt to figure out a magical disaster which happened years ago. I really like Wrede's writing style, and how she incorporates prosaic details into the story in an engaging fashion.
banshea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another story set in Lyra, although not one of the best. The story is set in a dark time in Lyra's history, when many things are beginning to go bad -- race relations are tense, and a major source of peace for the world is falling apart. As a result, the book carries a depressing tone. Due to the nature of the plot, the story is often confusing. And Wrede continues with her rule that all books must end in romance. (Just once I'd like one of her strong female characters not need a man!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Openbooksociety_dot_com More than 1 year ago
A Wonderful Read Review brought to you by OBS staff member Verushka Caught in Crystal is part of Patricia Wrede’s acclaimed Lyra series of books, now published for the first time in ebook form. The series consists of five books that are loosely connected, but all are based on the same world – Lyra. An interesting side-note is that Wrede created a role-playing game about Lyra, and after reading this book, it’s one I would love to get my hands on. I think the hidden gem of this novel is the introduction to the Lyra series by the author. Included in the introduction is a collection of posts Wrede shared on her blog of the the first chapter of Shadow Magic, and her reasons for the changes she made. It is such an intriguing look into her thought processes as a writer, and includes comments and points-of-view that as a reader I know I haven’t thought of before. When I found myself going back and re-reading parts of the excerpts and her comments, I realized I would have to leave this part of the book until the end, because I would have these comments at the back of mind while reading, wondering what she was thinking. Kind of like watching a behind-the-scenes featurette of a movie, seeing how all the SFX are done and not being able to forget that knowledge while watching the movie. But, back to the book – the story of this novel revolves around Kayl, an innkeeper and former member of the Sisterhood of Stars, a powerful and respected coven of witches. But, within the Sisterhood, Kayl was considered a warrior, not a magic user. She left the Sisterhood years before the book begins, and after a mission that went horribly wrong. When the book opens, she is an innkeeper, a widower and a mother trying to keep her children in line and her head above water in her business – all in all, she is facing the typical issues any single mother would. Soon enough, the Sisterhood comes calling, asking her to return to its fold and to return to the Twisted Tower, the very place that she went to years before on another mission for the Sisterhood. The Sisterhood believes that whatever is currently interfering with its magic will be found there. Nothing is straightforward about that though, for Kayl can’t trust her memories of the prior mission, and Dara, her daughter is to her dismay intricately tied to the current mission despite Kayl’s best intentions of protecting her from her past. So, it would seem straightforward enough right? The best stories often are, and with this Lyra title at least (the others are on my to-read list) Wrede shows off her world-building skills, something I find that pretty much makes or breaks a series for me. Lyra is a world with four races, in conflict over different issues and experiencing very familiar biases. The Sisterhood begins the book as a coven that is looked up to, but Kayl notes their awful treatment of two beings she is close to – Glyndon (Varnan) and Bryn (Wyrd). The book includes a prologue where Wrede provides a tale of the history of Lyra and its races, its wars and while reading such histories can be a chore in some titles, Wrede has crafted a prologue that makes her Lyra history something that is interesting to read..... The FULL review and more at openbooksociety dot com
bookwyrmian More than 1 year ago
It is rare novel that makes me forget that I am reading a young adult novel. It is even rarer that I just forget that I am reading for review and just read for pleasure. This book does both. As a fan of fantastic literature, this novel caught my attention immediately, and just didn't let go. Make sure you have a free evening before you pick this one up- because you aren't going to want to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book. This author knows her sci-fi and fantasy and suspense.
CRobertK More than 1 year ago
I bought this book about 20 years ago or so at a local library book sale. Since then I have litterally read it at least 15 times! No kidding! If I had children, I'd name them Kayla, Kevron, and Glydon after characters in the book.