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The Crystal Desert (The Guardian Cycle #3)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  183 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
THE CRYSTAL DESERT is the third book in the Guardian Cycle, a sweeping fantasy epic from one of the best new storytellers in the genre.

Terrel's destiny is far from clear. In exile from his home, he journeys through a hostile world, with only the spirits from an earlier life and his instincts to guide him.

Having crossed two oceans, Terrel finds himself in Misrah. A harsh an
Paperback, 576 pages
Published December 6th 2001 by Orbit (first published December 1st 2001)
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Mar 10, 2010 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it
I've always thought that Julia Gray's greatest strength in writing is her skill with worldbuilding, and it's very much evident in this book. Here we have Terrel seeing a land and people unlike any he's ever known, a desert-dwelling nomadic tribe. If the people he met in the previous book were strange to him, well, they have nothing on the people of Misrah. The culture was obviously heavily inspired by traditional Arabic peoples, though artistic license was obviously taken.

The greatest detriment
Aaron Carson
Dec 16, 2013 Aaron Carson rated it really liked it
Normally a writer needs a balance between description and plot to carry a novel. I usually go for novels with more description and less plot, because it creates more of a sense of immediacy for me. A good use of description can create an almost tactile experience for the reader.

Gray, (I'm referring to the author as Gray for convenience here, in spite of the fact that it's two people), breaks with the mold by plunging the reader into the deep end of the story, without going into a lot of backgro
Eric Leblanc
Jul 19, 2010 Eric Leblanc rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why I like this serie so much so far.The main characters are one-sided, not much progression to them even after 3 books, and the plot is thin.....

But I must admit that the countries/landscapes she describes in these books are fun. And the people living in these landscapes fit very well within their environment.

So once again we get Terrel walking around a new continent, trying to fulfill is bargain with the Ancient from the first book. He is travelling across a desert with a tribe of
Nov 21, 2012 Arminion rated it liked it
I didn't like this book too much. It was too similar to the second one. In both these books, the first part deals with Terrel getting himself familiar with certain group of people and their customs, eventually becoming a full member of their community. The second part of the book is where he meets the elemental and has to "fix" certain things to continue his quest.
The story was predictable. As soon there was a mention of the lost city in the desert and the Great race, I knew that Terrel will fin
Feb 07, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing
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Jenn Cotton
Mar 18, 2008 Jenn Cotton rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Terrel's journey leads him farther and farther from home. Foretold by prophecy, he joins the Toma tribe as a healer, seeking the cause for a great plague that has descended on the world, and the mysterious disappearances of water.

The nomadic culture of the desserts proves a delightful change of pace from the standard fantasy. I really enjoy that each novel carries it's own unique story and setting while maintaining an overarching theme with the rest of the series.
Melissa rated it liked it
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Julia Gray is the pseudonym of Mark and Julia Smith, a married couple who live and work in Norfolk. Having met while they were both working for a major London publishing house, they sparked each other into creative life, and began writing as a team a few months after setting up home together. They have been writing full time since 1991. They also publish under the pseudonym Jonathan Wylie.
More about Julia Gray...

Other Books in the Series

The Guardian Cycle (5 books)
  • The Dark Moon: The Guardian Cycle (The Guardian Cycle, #1)
  • The Jasper Forest (The Guardian Cycle, #2)
  • The Red Glacier (The Guardian Cycle, #4)
  • Alyssa's Ring (The Guardian Cycle, #5)

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