Series: Crystal Singer #2
Published: 1986 by Del Ray
Genres: Science Fiction
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This is the first book that I read on my new Kindle! I was going to wait until January to read this one so that I could count it for some of the upcoming Reading Challenges, but I couldn’t resist. I’ve done absolutely nothing today because I couldn’t put it down until I finished it.
The only down side to not having a physical copy of this book is that I miss out on the Michael Whelan cover art.
“Killashandra” is the sequel to Crystal Singer. In this case, I would advise reading the books in order, as McCaffrey doesn’t spend much time examining the events of the first book.
The story picks up after Killashandra’s claim to black crystal was destroyed in a storm. She still has a crush on the Guild Master, but recognizes that he is taking personal risks because of his attachment to her. Desperate to get off of Ballybran before the Passover storms, Killashandra accepts an assignment to Optheria to install white crystal in an organ. It sounds like an ideal situation, as it will get Killashandra away from Ballybran even though she’s low on cash, and comes with a lucrative paycheck. However, all is not as perfect as it might seem on Optheria, and Killashandra is kidnapped, meanwhile uncovering a plot by subversives against a society that uses mind control to pacify its citizens. She happens to fall in love with her kidnapper, Lars Dahl, and must use her prestigious position as a Crystal Singer to help deliver justice to the Optherian people while protecting the man she loves.
Oddly enough, I found Killashandra’s love interest in this novel to have a lot more depth than her affair with the Guild Master. Even though there might be a trace of Stockholm Syndrome in their relationship, Lars Dahl did have valid reasons for kidnapping her, and everything worked out rather well in the end. Killashandra is a strong female heroine, but there are times that her character comes off as a bit pushy and melodramatic. I think that her personality worked well in this novel, and she seems to have calmed down a bit since “Crystal Singer”–now she’s only bitchy towards people who fully deserve it, and it’s generally very satisfying.
One of the things that I loved about both “Crystal Singer” and “Killashandra” is that although they are each part of a trilogy, the novels each have an individual resolution. This isn’t to say that I’m not chomping at the bit to read the next one, as I’m trying very hard to wait at least a couple hours before I put the next one on my Kindle!