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Battle Magic

battle-magic
By: Tamora Pierce

Briar, Rosethorn and Evvy and visiting the mountain kingdom of Gyongxe, a mystical country filled with temples of many religions, the very earth is filled with power. Before there time is up though they are summonsed to visit the Emperor of Yanjing under the pretense of seeing his glorious gardens.
Things are not as peaceful and pleasant as the emperor attempts to make things seem on the surface. The mages sense and see things they do not like, amongst them the treatment of certain individuals, the emperor’s dark cruelty, a huge army and throng magic that underlies it all, keeping it all together. Unwilling to stay they leave and discover the Emperor as about to launch an attack on Gyongxe and he will do anything to stop the visiting mages from joining the other side. This is omething Rosethorn cannot allow as she has vowed to defend the First Temple of the Living Circle and where Rosethorn is bound to go Briar will not be far away, even if they do get separated for a while.
Another wonderful addition to the world first bought to us in the Circle Of Magic series. This is perhaps though, the darkest and bloodiest of the books, dealing as it does with genocide and war. Pierce uses this context to push her characters through emotional arcs that will forever change them. I won’t go too much into what they go through, the individual things they experience, because that would detract too much from the read itself, and it would be too easy to unintentionally leave spoilers. Rosethorn’s steadfastness, Briar’s stubborn loyalty and Evvy’s wonder and enthusiasm are still there shining through the whole time.
A bigger book than the other circle books but just as un-put downable.
Highly recommended.
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 1st Oct 2013
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 9781742990170

Melting Stones

melting-stonesBy: Tamora Pierce

Evvy has been an apprentice stone mage for four years now. She really doesn’t want to be on another journey with her mentor, Rosethorn but she finds herself accompanying her and Dedicate Myrrhtide, a water mage, to the Battle Islands. Something is causing the plants and animals to die and it is up to Rosethorn and Myrrhtide to find out what, it is Evvy’s job just to listen and learn. Evvy isn’t so good at the keeping quiet though and she soon discovers something important. With the help of her friend Luvo (a living stone heart from a mountain) she knows it is up to her to help save some ungrateful people from total destruction.

Evvy is a wonderful character, rough around the edges and hard as the stone she is attuned to.  She isn’t so good with people and that makes her an interesting character in a context where dealing with people is important. The environment of the Battle Islands is detailed, and layered. Pierce gives wonderful descriptions of the land and how the different inhabitants interact. The village has tensions all of it’s own that contribute to the overall emotion of the situation. Rosethorn tempers Evvy and if you’ve read the other Circle books you know this is a slight turn around as Rosethorn is usually the most abrupt. The introduction of Luvo is interesting because he adds some weight and age to the tale, he is a solid centre for Evvy and a great source of wisdom.

A wonderful stand alone book that Pierce’s fan will enjoy. I will say this fits best into the YA category though a good reader 10+ would also be okay with it.

Recommended.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 01 August 2010

Format: Paperback 312 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Adventure

ISBN 13: 9780545052658

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Street Magic

By: Tamora Pierce

Circle Opens series bk 2

Briar is a plant mage. His is incredibly skilled, especially for one so young. He can distil medicines, get a garden to grow in the blink of an eye and persuade a tree to trap a criminal. He has a very strong empathy with nature and plants love to reach out to him. His is a power that can kill just as easily as it can heal. Briar knows how important it is to learn how to channel your magical ability. While taking a walk through the Golden House Market he stumbles across Evvy. Evvy is a street rat who doesn’t realise she has stone magic, nor is she interested in learning how to control it. In fact she doesn’t want to learn anything from Briar. Briar knows she has to be taught and he tries to find a suitable tutor for her, however Evvy’s life is close to his past and he cannot leave her unprotected.

The Circle of Magic quartet are real ensemble stories, with a slight emphasis on one character, in the Circle Opens Quartet the players all get their own stories. Briar’s story is one that masterfully matches the person he has become with the person he was. Evvy is brash and stubborn and no match for Briar who has spent much time with stubborn and powerful female companions. I love the way Pierce has used this story to give insight into Briar’s past. This story is filled with wonderfully visual descriptions of the city of Chammur. Evvy is a fun character who is carefully developed throughout the course of this tale. I look forward to reading more about her. I have to say I loved the climax, it had me unwilling to put my book down no matter what the interruption. Once again a great story from a truly wonderful storyteller. I haven’t come across a Tamora Pierce book I wouldn’t recommend.

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 01 March 2008

Format: Paperback 255 pages

Categories: Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781862917835

Purchase: here or use logo on side of page to link to Booktopia

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