Caught in Crystal – Patricia C. Wrede

Kayl was once a member of the Sisterhood of Stars, but on a mission for them, when things go disastrously wrong, and the Sisterhood tries to blame the sorcerers they were traveling with, Kayl leaves the Sisterhood behind, and marries one of those sorcerers.      They end up running an inn in a quiet country town.

A number of years later, and Kayl is now a widow, with two children, when a sorceress from the Sisterhood comes looking for her.   Brought to the attention of the Magic Seekers by the presence of the sorceress, Kayl and the children are forced to flee the inn.

It turns out the Sisterhood want her to come back to them, because The Twisted Tower, which was the goal of Kayl’s failed mission, is open again, and is twisting the Sisterhood’s magic.     Kayl’s one of only a few people alive to have been inside, and they’re assembling those people to go back.

I liked that this story had a mature protagonist – Kayl is constantly having to think about her children, and what the various parts of this journey will do to them.     That said, the actually journey seems a bit of a let down.    There’s not much to the Twisted Tower when they get there.     I think it’s fair to say I like Wrede’s later work – it’s better written.

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