The main character, a young woman called Dara, has come to the mysterious Crystal Keep to get her heart’s desire; to win the man she loves. She meets the Guardian of the Keep who tells her that he can trade to her her heart’s desire but only for something of equal value. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t know that so she doesn’t have anything to trade to the Guardian. And what could she give him for it, anyway? The Guardian tells her that inside the keep is the Oracle who can answer every question. However, the Oracle is hard to find inside the magically infinite Keep.

Shortly we find out that Dara was born into a family with a long line of mages. Alas, she herself doesn’t have any magical abilities and people suspect that she’s cursed. Her mage parents live comfortably enough to have their own servants. Dara runs away to the High Lord and Lady’s castle to be a serving maid and to be her own person instead of just someone she could have been. There she meets their son, the Heir Cavin, and they fall in love. Dara’s family line isn’t high enough to grant her the right to marry him and there’s also a chance that her curse will pass on to the kids. Cav and Dara have searched for an answer for some time and Cav’s parents are leaning on him to get married to a high-born girl. Finally, in desperation Dara travels to the Crystal Keep.

Now, despite the fact that the back story is pretty much a romance, there isn’t much romance happening in the story itself. Dara comes to the Keep and searches for the Oracle from the infinite and wondrous rooms of the Keep. She finds some friends and makes some enemies on the way but mostly she learns about herself.

Some of the things and events were pretty obvious to me even before they happened but that didn’t really bother me. Logston’s style here is very much a fairy tale-like. There’s more ethereal quality to her writing than before. However, I’m not really happy with the ending even though it doesn’t come as a surprise. Considering the fairy tale quality of the story, it is appropriate, though.

I suspect that this happens in the same world as the Shadow stories. My main evidence is the gold Sun and silver Moon which are used as currency and the characters attitudes towards dragons. I can’t remember any other setting where people would eat dragon meat. Indeed, I think that in quite a few settings it’s poisonous to people. We see very little of elves but what is said here could be the opinions of people who had just had very little contact with the elves.

It’s an entertaining book but not as good as the Shadow books.