Killashandra has barely noticed the decades that have passed as a crystal singer, all she cares about are the credits she and Lars collect from their crystals so they can travel off world as often as they need to. Getting off world is not the be all and end all of their partnership, but as a successful partnering they have their fair share of travels under their belts. When they are called upon to investigate a strange crystalline substance on a small planetoid they have no idea that they are about to experience a mystery that will echo into their futures - because the substance may be crystalline in appearance, but also appears to be sentient which takes it out of the realm of the crystal singers.
As they settle back into the routines of crystal singing it quickly becomes apparent that something is different about the Guild Master, especially when he starts leaning on Lars more and more. When the unthinkable happens Killashandra flees first to the Ranges and then off world to try and escape her memories and emotions. Her return to Ballybran is forced by both an order and the needs of her symbiote, and she finds a lot of changes in her absence. With pressure growing on the Guild to fulfil orders for crystal, some dating back years, Killashandra and every available crystal singer are being sent into the Ranges. Killashandra is about to discover that although the years may pass and things change, there is always the chance to hold on to the things that matter the most.
Crystal line is the final book in the crystal singer trilogy and it brings to a close a sweeping and romance charged story arc that started with a young and naïve music student, and closes with a woman who has grown comfortable in her own skin and life. This series has a strong romantic and dramatic bent than a truly science fiction one, but Crystal line changes that by brining in the crystalline/metallic substance that Killashandra and Lars name the Junk. There is a considerable amount of emotional angst in Crystal line, and at times it seems impossible for there to be a satisfactory ending, but the ending is very satisfying - both for the novel and for the series.
Through some of the characters there is also an intersection with some of the other worlds of Anne McCaffrey, and if it were not for the piles of new books on my to read shelves I would be jumping straight into those worlds too! For fans of hard core science fiction this world would be too human and romantic, too much human emotion and "soppy stuff". The people are usually the heart of McCaffrey's worlds, connections and relationships are her strength, and her ability to build worlds that help you suspend belief so you can fully lose yourself in the moment.
If you like this book then try:
- The crystal singer by Anne McCaffrey
- Killashandra by Anne McCaffrey
- Powers that be by Anne McCaffrey
- The ship who sang by Anne McCaffrey
- Decision at Doona by Anne McCaffrey
- The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey
- Werehunter by Mercedes Lackey
- The elvenbane by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey
- Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
- Alien taste by Wen Spencer
- The diamond throne by David Eddings
- Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon
Reviewed by Brilla