Saturday, March 3, 2012

Caught in Crystal by Patricia C Wrede

Published: January 2011 (Originally published 1987)
ecopy: Courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
Summary: Goodreads

There stands a twisted tower.. hidden in the Windhome Mountains. Something is imprisoned there - the Sisterhood of Stars does not know precisely what, but something is bound tight with a wizard's spell so that it can never escape again. Kayl is one of the few to have looked upon the Twisted Tower. She has no desire to see it again - she left the Sisterhood long ago, settling down to a quiet life. Her sword lies unused in a secret place beneath the stones of her hearth. But something evil is leaking from the Tower. And now a sorceress and a wizard have appeared on Kayl's doorstep, demanding she take up the sword again.

Caught in Crystal was originally published in 1987 and is being republished as an e-book along with the four other titles in the Lyra series: Daughter of Witches; Shadow Magic; The Harp of Imach Thyssel; The Raven King.  While not a YA title, there is no reason that this book cannot be read by younger readers.

It's an old school fantasy, with a story that takes place slowly over several months.  The magic is the kind used by sorceresses and wizards and there are three alien species living alongside the humans. The main protagonist, Kayl, is an older women with two children.  When her past catches up with her she has to leave her home with her children and journey for several months in order to neutralise a terrible evil that she may have been partly responsible for unleashing on the world.

Glydon is a sympathetic friend who helps Kayl on her journey.  He has his own set of problems that create some mystery throughout the story.  There is also a little bit of a romance here, but it is very gentle and unobtrusive.  Don't get me wrong tho', the story is exciting and mysterious.  The world is fully realised, the characters are varied and interesting, with particularly strong females, and it all comes together with a very satisfying ending.

Now I haven't read the other four books in the series, but it is my understanding that although they are part of a series, the connecting factor is the world the stories take place on and not the characters themselves.  I'll be making a point of reading the other four.

Patricial Wrede has also written several YA novels, my favourites being the four Enchanted Forest Chronicles.  I reviewed them several months ago as one of our 'In Case You Missed It' posts and you can read a little about them HERE  If you're interested in finding out  more about Ms Wrede, check out her website  or you can see a  really interesting interview here


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