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CAUGHT IN CRYSTAL - A Lyra Adventure by…
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CAUGHT IN CRYSTAL - A Lyra Adventure (edition 1987)

by Patricia Wrede (Author)

Series: Lyra- Chronological (1), Lyra (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6381328,392 (3.73)32
A coven of witches reaches out to one of its former warriors in a "wonderful" Lyra novel "filled with incredible world-building and characters" (Open Book Society).   For more than a decade, Kayl has run a modest country inn. She opened it with her husband, and they managed it together until a summer illness took him away, leaving her alone with their two children. The three of them get by, living happily together as the years pass, but everything changes the day a sorceress asks for a room.   Her name is Corrana, and by her silver brooch Kayl knows that she is a member of the order of Sisterhood of Stars, a coven of witches that Kayl left after a secret mission went horribly wrong. Kayl is sure that Corrana has come to take her back to the life she had renounced years before. Now, to save her family and her world, she will have to unlock a side of herself that she buried long ago.  … (more)
Member:msmith2704
Title:CAUGHT IN CRYSTAL - A Lyra Adventure
Authors:Patricia Wrede (Author)
Info:Ace (1987), Edition: 1st Printing
Collections:Your library
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Work Information

Caught in Crystal by Patricia C. Wrede

  1. 20
    Raven's Shadow by Patricia Briggs (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: For well-drawn middle-aged heroines with children having adventures. Kayl in Caught in Crystal is a widowed swordswoman drawn back into adventuring to save the Sisterhood of adventurers she was sworn to, and Seraph in the Raven duology is a mage searching for her missing husband.… (more)
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» See also 32 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
In spite of the weaknesses of the books, I really like the world of Lyra and the characters. In this book, I particularly liked that the heroin is a 36 mother of two. ( )
  Sept | May 21, 2019 |
A fun book with an excellent story line and well developed characters. ( )
  Velmeran | Jan 26, 2019 |
This is a reissue of one of Wrede's older books, one of the five Lyra novels from the 1980s.

It's centuries after the Wars of Binding, and some institutions and customs are starting to break down. The Estarren alliance is beginning to come apart, with new polities and alliances encroaching around its edges. The Magic Seekers, ruthlessly determined to force the non-human races and human magic users to give their magic to them, are becoming a serious threat.

Kayl Larrinar, innkeeper in the small town of Copeham, lives quietly with her two children, mourning her late husband but living a happy and orderly life with her children, her friends, and her business.

Then Corrana, a sorceress of the Sisterhood of the Silver Star, asks for a room, and Kayl knows her life is about to change--again. The Sisterhood is threatened, and the key seems to lie in a secret expedition that Kayl was a part of, fifteen years ago, when she was one of the Sisterhood herself. Kayl resists, but when another member of that ill-fated expedition, the Varnan wizard Glyndon, appears, also bearing a warning, Kayl succumbs. She packs up her children, her sword, and her late husband's rod, and sets off with Corrana and Glyndon to confront her past.

The past, we learn, takes the form of the Twisted Tower, the deaths of several members of the expedition, and Kayl's departure from the Sisterhood after a dispute about how the disaster would be reported. The most unsettling thing for Kayl is not returning to the Star Hall, or seeing again Barthelmy, the only other surviving member of Kayl's Star in the sisterhood as well as, with Kayl and Glyndon, one of the three surviving members of the expedition. It's the discovery that their memories of what happened are not reliable, that important things happened that have been blocked from their memories.

In order to survive the building crisis, Kayl has to confront the Sisterhood, the Twisted Tower and what lies within, her own memories, and her feelings about both the Sisterhood and Glyndon. Wrede deals effectively with Kayl's conflicted feelings, the conflicts within the Sisterhood itself, and the political complexities that surround them.

Highly recommended. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Wrede writes female characters who are strong, smart, complex, and believable! Kayl is no exception. Having walked out on the Sisterhood 15 years prior, she is now thrust back into the heart of the very issue that caused her to walk away. She's forced to face the reason she ran away, the reason she never went back - and the reason she failed. Watching her change and grow made the story for me. Granted, they were some cheesy parts, but they were few. And the Twisted Tower wasn't the real focus - it was Kayl's journey to make peace with her past and her future. The magic was fun and the world building solid - and given that this is a few 1,000 years before Daughter of Witches, if was neat to see that matching references. This is a vital part of Wrede's Lyra Chronicles, worth reading, if only for the fantastic female lead. ( )
  empress8411 | Jan 7, 2016 |
Caught in Crystal is the fourth book in Patricia Wrede’s Lyra series and picks up ten years after Kayl’s husband Kevran has died. Kayl is struggling to maintain her inn and raise to two children; the work is difficult but she and her children are safe and the secret of her past life as a member of the Sisterhood of Stars is still firmly buried in the past. That is, until the day Corrana, a tall dark-haired woman with a silver star on her robes walks into Kayl’s inn and tells the innkeeper it is time to return to the Twisted Tower. Suddenly, Kayl’s past comes crashing down around her and she finds herself on the run with her children, a wizard, and Corrana and headed toward a fate that is sixteen years in the making.

For six months, Kayl and her companions travel from her small town back to Kith Alunel a place Kayl thought and hoped she would never have to return or expose her children too. One of my very, very few complaints about this novel is the long journey Kayl and her companions undertake. Nearly the entire first half of the novel is occupied with this journey and at times the story has a tendency to drag. To be completely honest, in most books with such a slow pace, I would have given up but Wrede’s characters are so good, especially Kayl, that I never could bring myself to stop reading. I was sincerely drawn to Kayl and wanted to know how her story ends. In fact, Kayl is Caught in Crystal’s greatest strength: she is physically strong, a well-trained fighter; she is a master strategist; she is fiercely loyal to those who have earned it; and absolutely endearing when dealing with her children.

The story really begins to pick up in the second half of the novel: Kayl has resigned herself to the fact that she must confront her past with the Sisterhood head on; she must return to the ominous Twisted Tower; she must accept that her children are as involved as she is and; she must acknowledge her feelings for her old friend, the wizard Glyndon. As the group makes their way to the Twisted Tower the reader learns more of the secrets carried by each member of the travelling party and their ulterior motives. There is also a significant amount of action in this part of the novel which, when coupled with all the secrets, makes for a swift ride to the dramatic finish. There is magic and fighting and palpable tension that makes the end well worth the slow pace of the first part of the novel.

The bottom line: I never like reading a series out of order but this book can be easily read as a stand-alone. The characters and plot are both strong and based on this, I have decided to take a look back at the previous books in the Lyra series. Wrede has an easy writing style and excellent skill with dialogue that can satisfactorily carry the reader through the slower parts of the novel. While this book is classified as a Young Adult novel, it will certainly appeal to an older reading audience as well; especially those who are partial to the light fantasy genre. ( )
1 vote arthistorychick | Dec 4, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia C. Wredeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Greevy, NicoleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my parents, espically my mother, who taught me to love books.
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After the Wars of Binding ended, the Four Races of Lyra--the catlike, furre Wyrds, the shimmering, sea-dwelling Neira, the proud, pale Shee and the quarrelsome, energetic humas--went their separate ways.
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A coven of witches reaches out to one of its former warriors in a "wonderful" Lyra novel "filled with incredible world-building and characters" (Open Book Society).   For more than a decade, Kayl has run a modest country inn. She opened it with her husband, and they managed it together until a summer illness took him away, leaving her alone with their two children. The three of them get by, living happily together as the years pass, but everything changes the day a sorceress asks for a room.   Her name is Corrana, and by her silver brooch Kayl knows that she is a member of the order of Sisterhood of Stars, a coven of witches that Kayl left after a secret mission went horribly wrong. Kayl is sure that Corrana has come to take her back to the life she had renounced years before. Now, to save her family and her world, she will have to unlock a side of herself that she buried long ago.  

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