• The Last Stand of Mary Good Crow

  • The Crystal Calamity, Book 1
  • By: Rachel Aaron
  • Narrated by: Naomi Rose-Mock
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Deadwood meets The Lord of the Rings in this epic fantasy of the West! 

Hungry darkness, haunted guns, tunnels that move like snakes—the crystal mines of Medicine Rocks, Montana, are a place only the bravest and greediest dare. Discovered in 1866, the miraculous rock known as crystal quickly rose to become the most expensive substance on the planet, driving thousands to break the treaties and invade the sacred buffalo lands of the Sioux. But mining crystal risks more than an arrow in the chest. The beautiful rock has a voice of its own. A voice that twists minds and calls unnatural powers. 

A voice that turns men into monsters.

Mary Good Crow hears it. Half White, half Lakota, rejected by both, she’s forged a new life guiding would-be miners through the treacherous caves. To her ears, the crystal sings a beautiful song, one the men she guides would gladly burn her as a witch for hearing. So, when an heiress from Boston arrives with a proposition that could change her life, Mary agrees to push deeper into the caves than she’s ever dared.

But there are secrets buried in the Deep Caves that even Mary doesn’t know. The farther she goes, the closer she gets to the voice that’s been calling her all this time. A voice that could change the bloody story of the West or destroy it all.

©2022 Rachel Aaron (P)2022 Rachel Aaron

What listeners say about The Last Stand of Mary Good Crow

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What a great story!

I am a huge Rachel Aaron fan and as usual, she checks all the boxes. Beautiful descriptions, interesting characters with different motives and storylines, a villain you didn't expect....allllll that good stuff.

I loved Reliance- she is the most interesting character to me but Mary is a close second. She will be a big player in the next book for sure, a perfect good vs. evil plot device. Josie was interesting enough, she is smart and passionate and adds a good balance.

I personally, am not a huge fan of western stories, only because I find them a bit boring for world-building and it isn't a landscape I would want to vacation to. The story dragged for me at times because they didn't go anywhere besides the caves and town. Despite that, each location had a lot going on and I wasn't bored...just couldn't visualize it as well. Which I firmly believe is my personal tastes and not the fault of the author.

I am also not very familiar with indigenous culture and this made for an enlightening read, my only regret is not seeing Custers demise on the page...I bet it was glorious.

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Great new series

I enjoyed this book. I would've liked for the voices of the characters to be more diverse as it was hard to tell them apart sometimes. I am looking forward to the next book in this series

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Another Enjoyable Aaron Series

This is an enjoyable urban fantasy set in 1860s in the Dakotas. It very much has a gold rush theme but with gold replaced by a new substance called 'crystal' - a rock with interesting properties (mostly explosive). The story follows the POVs of three women - each uniquely different and with different objectives and goals. Rachel Aaron's strength has always been her quirky characters and those who have enjoyed her other books should really like this series as well. Note: I listened to the audio book and the narrator had a unique voice that felt right for the characters and setting. It was an enjoyable listen.

Story: Three people will meet fate in an outpost fort near Deadwood, South Dakota: Mary (a half Lakota guide to the mining tunnels), Josie (who has come to claim the inheritance of her wealthy but recently deceased mining company owner Uncle), and Rel (who came to the fort to find the murderer of her family). Their paths will cross and each will have their demons and secrets as they must band together and survive the claim of the century.

Each of the main characters has a unique backstory and voice - you will never confuse the characters. Upright Josie, mousy Mary, and vicious Rel each have to survive a fort full of soldiers and men - while also managing to survive in the mines as well. There are several side characters and one male gets a small POV section now and then. But for the most part, we are following the main three and their stories.

There is plenty of action and those who read Aaron know to expect interesting sidekicks and very fun interactions with all kinds of objects. There isn't much 'magic', which I preferred. The story is fairly straightforward mining with a bit of the mystery of the crystal and why it is so desired by the US government and the miners. This first book is about the main characters meeting and then getting to know each other's good and bad parts.

The audio narration was well done. The narrator doesn't do accents well but she had a good sympathetic read for Aaron's style and uniqueness. It was well worth listening to the audio version to really get into the feel of the 1860s and the various characters.

In all, an enjoyable romp as always from Rachel Aaron.

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Another Aaron Book at the Top of My Favorites List

Rachel Aaron's Heartstriker series is my #1 favorite series ever; No joke. I've since devoured everything else she has written and when I found she had written another book I knew I would absolutely read it. I was intrigued by the idea of Mary Good Crow although it was hard to really know what I was getting into. Mary Good Crow is a story unlike any ive read before and I absolutely love it. The narrator was a perfect choice here. Rachel has a way of developing characters that makes the reader care deeply about them. One of Rachel's greatest talents in is writing dialogue between the characters that draws the reader into the story. Rachel doesn't simply tell a story and this is what puts her books at the very top of my nearly 600 audio book library. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!

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Profile Image for BRIDGET M.
  • BRIDGET M.
  • 07-20-22

Great story, great characters, interesting world!

This magical intertwining of fantasy and western is a great read. It has the grittiness of Deadwood, not shying away from the racism and sexism of the 1870s and brutal nature of a frontier town lost in the madness of a 'gold' rush, BUT it also has main characters who have different/less bigoted perspectives because of their various pasts. This makes the harsh world much easier to deal with and gives the story a hopeful note. The characters unfold or develop in a way that makes you want to continue on with their stories. I love Rachel Aaron as a writer and I love this story. I can't wait for more!

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