5 books in December is nothing scoff at, I guess. It was a busy month, we’re always working extra with more loads, and also my uncle passed away unexpectedly in early December. That meant a house full of people for a couple weeks. I retreated to read quite a bit during that time because I’m a terrible introvert.
In The Hand of the Goddess – Tamora Pierce
I ended up reading this one because I’d re-read the first book for a Carpe Librum challenge last month. I love these books, and I have since I was a kid. Alanna is a fun character, and the problems she goes through makes her feel real, not a Mary Sue. My only conplaint with this book is that it’s heavy handed on the romance and relationships. She turns 15, and everyone who knows she’s a girl starts pledging their love to her, and it’s not subtle.
Crystal Singer – Anne McCaffrey
I read this as a teen, and I re visit it periodically. I always want to get the audiobook version, but it’s abridged, and I can only imagine how it would sound. Killashandra isn’t a perfect character, in fact, I find her pretty damn annoying at times, but the world of Ballybran, and the Crystal Singing, is really creative, and I love how it plays out. Now that I’m an adult, I don’t like this as much as I did as a teen, but I still enjoy this book and the series.
Killashandra – Anne McCaffrey
Of the three Crystal Singer novels, this is probably my favorite. I think it has the most plot of the novels, and it’s the most straightforward. The book starts with her coming back from the crystal ranges with white crystal, which isn’t usually desirable, but it turns out there’s an organ on another planet that uses it, and it’s been destroyed. So she not only gets a decent price on the crystal, but she also gets to go install the crystal. While there, she’s to find out if the native of the planet are as happy as they claim.
That covert operation actually takes up the bulk of the book, which I liked. It was far more spy themed, and that was a nice change. I guess if I can’t have her cutting crystal, then that’s the next best thing.
Crystal Line – Anne McCaffrey
This is easily my least favorite of the three novels. It covers too much time. Killashandra cuts team with her lover, Lars, and then they’re sent to explore a cave on another planet where there’s a “crystalline” substance. Then they spend time on vacation, go back to the cave crystal, go back to Ballybran, and then Lars ends up taking over the guild. Killashandra gets mad at him and runs away, and then comes back, and then they go back and forth for years, and then 25 years after the book starts, she goes back and visits the crystal cave. It’s all too much.
The good thing about this book? You encounter them cutting more crystal, which to me was the most interesting part of the novels. I always want more crystal cutting.
Dealing with Dragons – Patricia C Wrede
I audiobooked this one, I had a couple long drives in December, and audiobooks keep me occupied without being distracted. I always remember this book, because it’s fond of setting tropes on their ears (the damsel indistress, the knight doing battle with dragons, the youngest son being the one to save the kingdom, not a stranger), and it’s written very humorously. The book hasn’t dimmed at all, it’s wicked funny in spots, and the characters are great.
I actually remembered almost all of the plot, which is strange because I hadn’t read the book in probably 15 years. However, it’s a light enjoyable read, and it’s a good fluff novel to pass time with. Kazul is great, as is Alianora, and Cimorene is of course wonderful as the main character.