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Caught in Crystal (Lyra #4)
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Caught in Crystal (Lyra #4)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,052 ratings  ·  74 reviews
This spellbinding tale of dark magic takes readers back to Lyra, the world ofShadow Magic and Daughter of Witches.
Paperback, 293 pages
Published March 1st 1987 by Ace Books
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I read Caught in Crystal strictly because of The Raven Ring: A Lyra Novel. Unfortunately, this book doesn't measure up to Ring, or even to Wrede's other works. While the world of Lyra is interesting with racial tensions and the sense that deep change is underway, the plot of Crystal is unevenly developed. In retrospect, the setting strongly reminds me of Andre Norton's Witch World series, full of nostalgia for an era gone by, and a group of sorcerous women fighting against eagle-helmed men.

Rickford Miller
Patricia C. Wrede, through Caught in Crystal(CIC hereafter), was introduced to me by my mother in 3rd grade. While having already read the Hobbit, and Dragonlance chronicles at this time, it was one of the centerpiece novels that defined and set the standards of fantasy for me. Wrede has a remarkable ability to create characters with whom you can identify, with believable intercourse where you can follow motivation. Simplistic writing in the sense that it is smooth, flows well, rolls off the to ...more
My brother bought an old dog eared copy of this book at a second hand books store, it was the first fantasy book I've ever read. I loved this book, I read it 5 times, but I just found out its part of a series, I'll have to check out the other Lyra books, it may be tough, I believe most of them are out of print.
I did not think I was going to enjoy this book because it's kind of slow at the beginning but it does build up as you go along. I like Kayl because she is a single mother (widowed) who stands her ground while trying to juggle an Inn. I also liked how they intertwine the kids in the story, it never neglected in the story that the main character was a mother. I enjoyed that she is a mother, and is trying to handle them along with the quest that was handed to her. And, her children were not just th ...more
Review brought to you by OBS staff member Verushka

Beware of Spoilers

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 introdu
I'm not really sure what age these books are best for. On some level, a 12 yr old might enjoy them, but then there are other aspects that I think perhaps a bit older would be best. I read them in order of publication, but I think chronology would be better. The other nice thing about this series is that the books are self-contained. You do not have to read all of the books. You can pick and choose. None of the stories rely on the others. The connection is the world of Lyra and battling darkness. ...more
This one was so hard for me. I wanted so badly to love it, as it featured a thirty-six year old widowed mother of two as its protag, someone who used to be a respected warrior and was now living a simple life as an innkeeper. What's not to love? Even if the plot is terrible, with a protag like that, it has to be a fantastic story!

Except ... Kayl is, frankly, a terrible mother. She pretty much lets her children run rough-shod over her, and when she finds out (view spoiler)
Mailee Pyper
Now this was what I was hoping the whole series would be like! I loved this book. It had interesting, fully fleshed characters, a fun story line, and lots of interesting insights into people and their motivations. I believe my favorite thing about this book is that our heroine isn't your typical young naive maiden. She is the widowed mother of two children and many of her actions and choices are made in consideration of said children. She is interesting to begin with, but as her past unfolds and ...more
Sep 01, 2008 Dwer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: f-sf
The Lyra series is one of my favorites. I find them interesting, but not so convoluted that I can't keep track of who is doing what where and when. The people and situations are generally believable, and even the fantasy elements seeem to me to fit it; they don't stretch my imagination to the breaking point. I haven't read all the Lyra books, but of the three that I have, I think this is my favorite.
I was first introduced to Patricia Wrede when I bought my young daughter a copy of Talking To Dragons, a perfect book for a young girl of an independent turn of mind. After reading that book together we had to read the rest of the series. Later on I found a copy of the Raven Ring on a business trip and found that Wrede does as good a job writing for adults as for children. Next was a search online where I was able to purchase all of Wrede's other books. Now I have read 3 levels of books by Patri ...more
Kate E
The best of the Lyra books so far. I appreciated the protagonist of the 36-year-old mother who makes certain choices and is not particularly interested in rejoining her old life. I related a lot to the experiences of Kayl, honestly, and her struggles with the Sisterhood reminded me a lot of my own struggles with Catholicism and Mormonism. It was a very interesting take on an old theme. The romance was also sweet and well done. My main criticism was this book was that I had a difficult time follo ...more
Wrede is very good at meshing a "current" story with the "flashbacks," giving us both stories in one book. Even though I had to get this book interlibrary loan, it was worth it. I've really enjoyed the other Lyra books, too. This is the first in the loosely-connected series.
What I liked best was that the heroine is a middle aged mother of two who doesn't completely fit in her leather hero pants anymore but goes out and beats the bad guys anyway. And took her kids even though they often didn't listen and argued with each other.
"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."
Not Wrede's strongest (I'm a rabid fan of her Pioneer Magic series), but always wonderful to have a strong thirtysomething female protagonist who has children.
Fate's Lady
The main character, Kayl, annoyed the heck out of me. She was too composed, too perfect, and too strong, with a pair of children who served as little more than plot motivation and comedic distractions. Neither of the children really behaved like true children, and their mother, Kayl, behaved more like a fond but distant guardian than like the loving and devoted mother that the narrative constantly says she is (without doing much to show it). She spends most of the book stubbornly insisting that ...more
Kelley Ceccato
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex at Raiding Bookshelves
Originally posted on

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Publication Date: 1st March, 1987
Publisher: Ace Books
Country: United States
ISBN: 0441760066
Original Language: English
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Adventure/Romance/Fantasy
Source: Amazon
Buy the Book: Amazon
Lootability: Needs more booty.

Caught in Crystal has been reworked and refurbished for its ebook release. A prequel to the Lyra novels, Caught in Crystal introduces the wizards of Varna, the Silver Siste
Angela James
The pacing of this book stuttered oddly for me. Large gaps of time passed off-page, and with those gaps of time, off-page character and relationship developments. So instead of seeing any development in the romantic relationship, for instance, we're mostly told about it. These tellings served to make it difficult for me to feel involved with the main character, and the story.

I can't put my finger exactly on what it is, but somehow this fantasy didn't draw me into the world, but instead felt as
Lis Carey
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 tow
I haven't read any of Wrede's other Lyra novels, so I can't say how this one compares to others, but I can say that I enjoyed it. The introduction is a very interesting look, especially for those interested in the craft of writing, at how Wrede edited the first chapter of Shadow Magic. She shows us what she cut, what she added, and her reasoning for the changes. It was a little strange to read that before getting into the actual story, but it was neat nonetheless.

On to the actual story of Caught
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
Lianne (The Towering Pile) Lavoie
This review is copied from my blog, The Towering Pile. It was originally published here.

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 lo
I really enjoyed the characters and the storyline in Caught in Crystal. This is classic fantasy, with a group of main characters, a quest, magic, baddies, and dusty traveling. I liked the main character, Kayl, who gave up a life of adventuring when she lost her closest friends to a warped magic on their last quest.

Now she’s an inn-keeper with two children to care for and an overzealous provincial secretary to fend off. Then adventure comes a-calling again, and Kayl’s reluctance to go haring off
Tahlia Newland
Caught in Crystal is an enjoyable traditional fantasy read about a single mother (a refreshingly different kind of character to the usual fantasy fare) whose past catches up with her.

Kayl and her two children run a modest country inn and have done for a decade but everything changes the day a sorceress asks for a room. Her name is Corrana, a member of the order of the Sisterhood of Stars, a coven of witches that Kayl left after a secret mission to the Twisted Tower went horribly wrong. Since the
rating this is so hard! on one hand, i loved rayl and the fact that she was a mother of two kids. there aren't many fantasy protags that are mothers, and i loved reading about her interactions with her kids and how she had to bring them with her on her questing, and how they were sometimes annoying but also brave and mostly pretty obedient. her kids were great! definitely better than all the other secondary characters. (although i have to admit their names didn't really fit well with all the oth ...more
May 01, 2012 RoloPoloBookBlog rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of fantasy, magic, young adult
Shelves: young-adult
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 ...more
Patricia Wrede's back-catalogue is now being published electronically. This one seems to be published as YA but certainly crosses age boundaries well.

Kayl, a single (widowed) mother with two children is an innkeeper living a quiet life. Her biggest worries are taxes and a suitor she would rather have as a friend. When Corrana, a member of the magical Sisterhood of Stars arrives on her doorstep, closely followed by Glyndon, Varnan mage and her late husband's friend, her quiet life is overturned.

Caught in Crystal tells the story of Kayl, an inn keeper struggling to maintain her inn and raise to two children. Things seem normal until the arrival of Corrana, a member of the Sisterhood of Stars (a coven of witches). It turns out that Kayl was a member of the sisterhood too, but she left her position as one of the best fighters and strategists of the coven after a mission went horribly wrong. But now, the Sisterhood needs her to return to the Twisted Tower, bringing Kayl’s past crashing dow ...more
I know Patricia Wrede through her Sorcery and Cecelia books and more recently I've read The Thirteenth Child (which I loved), so when I saw that her earlier fantasy books were being newly released as ebooks I was happy to be able to read a galley through NetGalley.

Caught in Crystal is set in the world of Lyra many years after the Wars of Binding. Kayl Larriner is a widowed innkeeper whose biggest worries come from raising her two young children and keeping up with the ever increasing taxes and p
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Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children. She started writing in seventh grade. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all. She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974. She finished it five years later and started her se ...more
More about Patricia C. Wrede...

Other Books in the Series

Lyra (5 books)
  • Shadow Magic (Lyra, #1)
  • Daughter of Witches (Lyra, #2)
  • The Harp of Imach Thyssel (Lyra, #3)
  • The Raven Ring (Lyra, #5)
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1) Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2) Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #3) Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4) Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)

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