McCaffrey again explores the effects of institutionalized memory loss on a culture in the third volume of a series that began with Crystal Singer . Killashandra Ree, one of the rare individuals with perfect pitch who can find and cut the Ballybran crystals on which much of the galaxy's economy is based, turns away from her lover and partner Lars Dahl when he becomes head of the Heptite Guild and, to her discomfort, moves to bring some order into the workings of the organization that controls the crystal trade. In order to work with crystal one must adapt to a symbiotic organism that heals humans rapidly and prolongs life; as a side effect, those who handle crystal lose their memories, forgetting the locations of good mining sites as well as the identities of their friends and lovers. While Lars undertakes various projects to overcome this disability, Killashandra has an off-planet fling. Eventually she reconciles herself to change, finding possible salvation for them all. As lacking in coherence as a crystal singer's life and bereft of interesting characters, this episodic McCaffrey effort is a major disappointment. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992 Release date: 09/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
Prebound-Other - 978-0-7857-7409-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-345-38491-1
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