Sunday, February 5, 2012

Caught in Crystal by Patricia C. Wrede

Title: Caught in Crystal: A Lyra Novel
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Publication Date: December 13, 2011 (this edition)
Length: 294 pages

Kayl is living the quiet life of an innkeeper with two children when a sorceress shows up at the inn. Kayl's old life, in which she was a warrior in the Sisterhood of Stars, has finally caught up with her, and she's being called upon to finish the mission she started 15 years ago.

I enjoyed this book, because it is very high fantasy, which I don't see enough of. The characters have a mission that involves a long journey, and the purpose is to save magic. Sometimes I like stories to have a bigger purpose like that, rather than just being a very personal story.

At the same time, I did really care about the characters. Even the ever-mysterious Corrana. And I'm especially fond of Glyndon. I wish I could have seen more of some of the other species, like the Wyrds, though I suppose there might be more of them in the other books in the series. (By the way, this was actually the fourth book written in the Lyra world, but it's like the Chronicles of Narnia in that the reading order is not that important; this book has different characters than the others.)

The one minor complaint I have is that sometimes it felt like a lot of time was spent just walking and occasionally remembering things from the past. I mean, I guess that is accurate, since they were on a rather uneventful months-long journey on foot to get to where the action happens, so that's fair. And the flashbacks are important; they wouldn't have had the same impact had they been revealed in a prologue or otherwise all at once. So as I said: minor quibble.

One thing I especially liked in this book was the romance: there was hardly any! The romance was just where it should be, ie. secondary to the actual plot. I feel like way too many books these days have romance as the main plot line (and I'm not talking about romance novels here, so romance should not be the main plot line!). There were just two people who happen to fall in love while doing other things which are the actual focus of the book. So I was like "aww, how sweet!" but also not distracted. So yay this!

Overall, a very solid fantasy read. 4 stars.

This book counts for the 2012 A-Z Book Challenge.

Full disclosure: Free e-book copy received from the publisher through NetGalley.


  1. Sounds great. Sometimes I like a high adventure. I'm currently (very slowly) working my way through all the Forgotten Realms Drizzt books. I'm only on #4, but sometimes I love me so old school fantasy!

    1. I think my problem is that so much of that good ol' Tolkien-inspired stuff has gone the way of Robert Jordan, George R. R. Martin, etc., and I just can't be bothered to get into these big epic series. This one was the perfect size for me: a good sized book (but not big enough to take forever), and the series only has 5 books in it. Just right!