Killashandra's a failed opera hopeful, her skills, training, and personality make her perfectly suited to become a Crystal Singer. This book details her process of getting to be a Crystal Singer as well as her first assignment. Good story! Killa's character grows quite a lot during this book and the background for the story is fascinating!
For whatever reason, I've always had trouble putting these books down when I read them. I always want to know what's going to happen next RIGHT NOW rather than tomorrow.
Great book. I like how the main character was developed in the story. It is the first part of a trilogy, but it can stand alone. It provides the background for the next two novels. I really enjoyed the world McCaffrey created.
The beginning of The Crystal Singer series which revolves around the planet Ballybran. Under a permanent biohazard travel restriction, Ballybran is home to one of the FSP's wealthiest, yet most reclusive organizationsâ"the Heptite Guild. Source of invaluable crystals vital to various industries, the Heptite Guild is known to require absolute, perfect pitch in hearing and voice for all applicants, especially those seeking to mine crystal by song...
(first published in four parts in Continuum 1, 2, 3, & 4, edited by Roger Elwood)
In "Crystal Singer" Killashandra Ree has trained all her life to become a stellar class vocal soloist. After her final exams, she is told that there is a flaw in her voice which would prevent her from singing lead roles. She does not wish to continue a life in which she will be limited to choral work and secondary operatic roles. She meets a Crystal Singer, a kind of miner who sings in order to mine crystals for uses in different technologies. (Ballybran crystal has unique qualities that make it a necessity for almost any machinery or communications equipment.) Life as a crystal singer strikes her as attractive â" high pay, travel, prestige, and near-immortality. In a fit of pique, Killashandra travels to Ballybran to investigate her chances of joining the Heptite Guild and becoming a Crystal Singer. She meets the main qualification, perfect pitch, and believes that if she cannot be first among operatic performers, perhaps she could become first among the select group of elite Ballybran crystal miners.
However, Ballybran is not a normal world. Habitation on the planet is restricted because of the planet's dangers, primary of which is an alien symbiont that invades the human body. The symbiont provides the host many benefits, including rapid tissue regeneration and a vastly prolonged life expectancy but it often alters the human host in negative ways, such as hearing loss or altered vision. It also negates the host's ability to have children. The only persons allowed on planet are the crystal singers and the support staff for their facilities and only the singers are able to travel away from the planet, although even they must return before too long in order to replenish their symbiont.
Killashandra becomes a Crystal Singer of the top tier by locating and mining the rarest and most elusive form of Ballybran Crystal, Black Crystal, and is subsequently sent offworld on assignment to install the set of crystals she mined for their eventual buyers. She is required to "perform" in the role of a mysterious member of the highly respected and powerful Heptite Guild to win over an audience of mistrusting asteroid miners who have mortgaged their futures on the badly needed black crystals. Her success brings her full circle and she returns home to Ballybran to begin her new life of wealth and status.
A young girl not quite good enough to achieve her first dream is offered another challenge, one that leads her into a place that needs her more than she imagined anything could. An all-consuming planet for which she's absolutely perfect.
At the peak of her writing, Anne McCaffrey delivers the best series of her career. If you've only read the Dragonriders, you've missed her best in this one.
The first in one of my favorite series by Anne McCaffrey. It was a little slow to start, but soon picked up and became an exciting read.
The lead, Killashandra, is a dynamic character who grows with the story.
Anne McCaffrey created an interesting world that I would like to dive right into. Her details and descriptions make the setting and characters feel real.
Great series for lovers of science fiction.
Enter worlds of old legends and strange guilds, fearless characters and lands both beautiful and terrible. This story takes you to the world of ballybran with its mountain ranges of crystal and its brave, beautiful, tragic people, the Crystal Singers.
Ive been a fan of Anne McCaffrey ever since I read the first few paragraphs of the Hugo-winning short story Dragonflight. Who knew it would generate another dozen or so books?
When I was in 10th grade (1964), I was taught that the purpose of a novel is to portray characters. Ive since learned that telling a good story is just as important. McCaffrey does both, and she does them quite well.
Although Ive read almost all of McCaffreys dragonbooks and many of her short stories, for some reason, Id never read Crystal Singer. Having accumulated a bunch of Paperbackswap credits, I spent one. I only had to read some ten or fifteen pages before I ran back to Paperbackswap to order the other two books in the series, Killashandra and Crystal Line.
Readers of Crystal Singer are quickly absorbed into a world of the future, where those who mine and retrieve crystal from its source planet may become rich and curiously insane. We learn only the basics about finding and collecting crystal, and only a few hints about its many powers. The society which makes up the population of Ballybran, the source planet, is necessarily highly-regulated, from the lowest caterers assistant, to the widely-varied support staff, to the singers themselves, on up to the Guild Master.
One need not be a McCaffrey fan to thoroughly enjoy this book, but if you are one you must not miss it. I cant wait until I receive the other two books in the series. Crystal Singer is a wonderful read and I conclude this review with one typical Ballybran word: Remember!
CONDITION NOTE: This specific book is not in good enough physical condition for swapping. If you want it anyway, I'll cancel your order and mail it to you for free.
First in the "Crystal Singer" trilogy. Crystal is mined on a remote planet. It is a lucrative occupation open only to those with true pitch, etc. But it is a double-edged sword -- those who sing and mine crystal become dependent upon crystal. Standard McCaffrey fare. The first is the best of the three.