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Science Fiction - Anne McCaffrey - Crystal Singer

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320 pages
Del Rey

 

Imagine training all your life for a single purpose. You have sacrificed everything to that end goal. Like an Olympic athlete you have been monastic in your pursuit of your ultimate goal. Killashandra Ree has spent her life in training to be an opera singer. She has perfect pitch and a spectacular voice only there is something just a little off about it – a burr in the higher registers.

Anne McCaffrey has a talent for creating fantasy novels with complex plots with equally complex characters. New readers will be amazed at how easy it is to fall under McCaffrey’s spell. Crystal Singer is a great read from start to finish. The book originally published in 1982 has never been out of print. The story has endured because it is a great story. Ultimately it is a story about personality and dedication. It is a story about how some people will mortgage their entire future on a dream and a desire for what they perceive to be success embracing the risks as if they were lifelines.

Killashandra Ree is a strong woman who goes from one Svengali type relationship to another in this book. Her first crushing relationship with her music Maestro followed by her exposure to a real crystal singer who warns her away from Ballybran to the legendary Lanzecki the master of the Heptite Guild on Ballybran the only planet in the universe where crystal can be harvested. Crystal is essential to the universe because it allows for simultaneous communication across vast distances and the smooth operation of very specialized equipment. There is a catch of course: No one who lands on Ballybran ever leaves Ballybran again with the exception of those who sing Crystal.

This is a fast paced novel. The story progresses rapidly the characters evolve and change rapidly and the situations are sometimes as chaotic as the storms on Ballybran. In short a great read from start to finish and worthy of a permanent position on anyone’s bookshelf.

Denis Bernicky

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