Welcome back everyone, there’s been a lot of contemporary romances lately so it’s good to get back to a fantasy briefly.
The last book in the quartet follows Tris as she makes her mark in a new city. In so many ways this city makes me feel ashamed that I’m human. In a world where slavery is almost gone, this city essentially lives with it as it’s entire eco-system.
Tris’s ability to see past this cities ambivalence and see the people, what they’re going through and how broken the structure is, is amazing. As a teenager reading this for the first time, I was inspired to do better, be better and fight for what’s right.
I can’t say I’m as good as Tris at this. But the inspiration is there, and I’m reminded of it every time I read this book.
Tris goes even further by taking in an orphan, giving a hurt man a new lease on life, fixing a man-made drought, showing people that different is ok and changing a whole cities way of life. How could I ever measure up to that given how much ill will there is in the world? How could I possibly find my way of making a difference like Tris does?
I honestly don’t know any other book that’s touched me in the same way that this book did and continues to touch me. I think this inspiration is something that every young person should read to get, remember and take with them through all their journeys throughout the rest of their lives.
It’s such an important message that everyone needs in their heart to remind them to be better.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman.
Welcome back everyone, continuing on with Tamora Pierce’s book’s I’m up to Daja.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Daja because she was ostracised and banished from her culture yet rose above that to make something of herself in a way that goes against her culture’s traditions and beliefs. By staying true to herself and her magic.
What more could you ask of anyone?
The fact that Daja finds not one, but two students with vastly different personalities, skill sets and desires for their lives was great. She finds herself navigating not only the magical world in an unknown city and country, but she also needs to navigate the political and aristocratic marriage mart scenes.
Some of my favourite moments in this book involve Oakborn, the wood master mage, and Potcracker, the cook master mage. Some of Daja’s interactions with them are amusing, even after the 10th or more read of them. How often can you say that about books?
Growing up, I thought Daja was having a bit of a romance situation going on. However, looking back now I can see that it was never going to be a romance. But 16-year-old me didn’t know enough about romance to know this. And I was idealistic that maybe one of them would get lucky.
Whenever I go back to re-read this book I look forward to the balance of humour and action that is woven brilliantly throughout the book.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; tomorrow I’ll be reviewing Game Changer by Lasairiona E. McMaster.
Welcome back everyone, I’m picking up where I left off with Tamora Pierce’s books. Today we get to see how Briar goes as an adult.
Briar is probably my favourite of the four so I was always going to have a soft spot for his books, but Tamora write his books in a way that I just can’t resist. Like with his book in the first series, The Healing in the Vine from The Circle of Magic, Briar’s story revolves around those in the slums. Specifically, those in gangs.
The way Briar has really accepted his magic, and his connection to plants is amazing. Every time I read this, I have certain moments, like the jasmine vine, that I just smile at. I can’t help it! It’s so sweet and touching to see a manly man so in touch with his green thumb.
However, the growth we see in his maturity as he accepts that he needs to teach Evvy about her magic, how to control it and even how to use it for good, is amazing. He’s only just finding his own place in the world, yet he accepts (grudgingly, like any teenager) his responsibility as a qualified mage and takes Evvy under his wing.
The fact that he cares for her in more ways than his magical responsibility is amazing. He fights for her in ways I feel like he’d only fight for his sisters. As a young teenager when I first read this when I didn’t have many close friends, this was amazing, and I wished I had someone who’d fight for me like this.
The lengths he goes to protecting Evvy is amazing. He doesn’t seem to care about his own health or life so long as he can save his student and friend. The fact that they have a friendship is easy to see, even if it took a while to get there.
When I’m re-reading Tamora’s books, this is one I always look forward to reading. It gives me the warm and fuzzies every time.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Breathe of Passion by Lisa Kessler.
Welcome back everyone, I’m finally back to Tamora Pierce’s books! YAY!
I ended her books on the final book of the Circle of Magic quartet and I’m picking it back up with the first book in the Circle Opens quartet.
We left off with our four main characters roughly one year after arriving at Winding Circle at the age of roughly 14. We’re now 4 years later, they’ve achieved their Medallions (which signify they can practice magic without supervision) and have gone off on adventures. That is, all except for Sandry.
Instead, she stays home with her uncle to help him run his kingdom and in doing so discovers a new type of magic and an extremely old and rare type of magic. I love that she uses her powers to help her new student in the best possible way.
The fact that she waited for him to come to her rather than forcing her tutelage on him was so important to me growing up. I’ve always believed that if you have a reason to learn something you’ll enjoy it and become better at it. When I first read this book, I was thinking of my maths classes, how much I hated them and how much I sucked at it.
16 years later, now that I’m a learning and development professional I still believe this wholeheartedly. Creating that motivation and need to learn something is such a great driver, and studies have shown is much more effective for long term retention than being forced to learn something.
Throughout the book we see examples of how Sandry tries to create a comfortable environment where Pascal can feel comfortable. Rather than bring him to the palace she finds quiet places that he’s familiar with, and is comfortable in.
Even when everything was going wrong, murders were happening left and right, magic was all over the place and Pascal just wanted to do his own thing, she was able to stay calm. This kind of approach to life’s problems is something I strive towards, but can honestly say, I final really difficult to execute.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week’s series review will be the second last book in the Time for Alexander series, Soul of Time. And on Monday I’ll be reviewing The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries.
Welcome back everyone, this week we have Briar’s book!
I found this book to be the saddest in the whole series across all three quartets (I know the last one isn’t finished yet).
Reading about Briar being forced to work in a civilian “hospital” managing a massive outbreak that is killing people, is highly contagious and resistant to all treatment is awful. Especially because they discovered it because his mate Flick caught it and was one of the first to die from it.
Reading about how oppressive that environment is gave me a whole new appreciation for our doctors and nurses who work tirelessly to help those in need. Poor Briar and Rosethorn worked from the moment they woke up to the moment they passed out caring for those around them and having their own life and energy sucked from them was almost heartbreaking.
I’m pretty sure if I was to read this now, I would end up in tears because of how sad the whole situation is.
And poor, sweet and considerate Briar was the one to realise that they needed their living plants around them to perk them back up. Unfortunately, it was too little too late and Rosethorn got sick.
Briar’s attachment to Rosethorn was so strong that he leaped after her into the world of death to bring her back because he wasn’t ready to lose her. To make sure they didn’t lose him, all three of the girls jumped after him to hold him secure to the world of the living.
That whole ordeal was tragic. If it wasn’t for the fact that I knew The Circle Opens was out, I’d have wondered if all four of them and Rosethorn were going to die trying to save her. Luckily, they were able to bring Rosethorn back with them and save her life.
But her speech and mobility were impacted because she was technically dead for a few minutes and so parts of her brain died. But we don’t really see too much of this in this book.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Magic Steps, the first book in The Circle Opens quartet.
Welcome back everyone, this week we have Daja’s book!
This one really hit me hard when I read it on so many levels. Daja is a Trader who’s been made an outcast because her whole family died, and she survived. Because of this she isn’t allowed to speak to a Trader ever again, and they aren’t allowed to even acknowledge her presence.
When I was reading this book, I was at that impressionable age of 12 or 13 where bullying is really ramping up. For Daja, she was excluded because of some silly Trader law while I didn’t have the easiest time because I was an early bloomer in my yr. And boys can be horrible.
What made this amazing for me was that even though the Traders hated on Daja, her friends stuck by her and made sure the Traders acknowledged her and treated her better than they wanted to. Also, Daja being the caring person she is made sure the Traders survived even though they’d been absolutely horrible to her and her friends.
She put her own life at risk in an attempt to save their lives because she had a chance of surviving, and they didn’t.
Throughout all this time, Sandry, Briar, Tris and Daja had been battling with their magic becoming corrupted by the other’s magic and having to sort it out. I loved the little stories of how their magic got corrupted and the funny things that happened. But I can also agree that if it wasn’t fixed then it’d end in disaster.
Anyway, right at the end Daja is given a new staff that tells her story of her family dying, and of her bravery saving the Trader caravan which then ends with her being accepted back into the Trader world. I remember this bit being the first thing to ever get me close to tears from anything other than anger.
Of this quartet, this is probably the favourite for me. But I have others that rank higher in the Emelan world.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Briar’s Book.
In this book we mostly follow Tris, however that doesn't mean that the other's are lost to us. In fact, they all work together to thwart money hungry pirates that attack their new home.
Key Story Points
All four of our characters are starting to understand their magic and learn how to use it. In this case we're mostly following Tris as she learns how to master some new and impressive powers.
Unfortunately her favourite cousin is making life difficult for her. He rocks up to Winding Circle and seems to put a few people on edge for a few different reasons. But Tris is happy to see him, and the others just want her to be happy.
Then out of the blue, Winding Circle is attacked by a bunch of pirates. And thanks to Tris's magic with weather, she's able to help clean out the pirates from Winding Circle and restore order.
I will admit, parts of this book makes me love it. But as a whole, it's not my favourite in the quartet.
Overall, I got the feeling that I was being strung along between great moments embedded at JUST the right moment to keep you hooked.
My Fav Part
Honestly, the main points that I remember and that pops into my head sometimes is Daja working on the city's and Winding Circle's defences. And Tris learning some cool new magic that allows them to see into the past.
I'm pretty sure this is the book where Daja almost gives her fellow apprentice a heart attack when she handles metal straight out of the forge. It has me chuckling every time I think about it.
Thank you for reading and next week I'll have the next book (Daja's Book) up next week!
The first book in the Circle Universe is Sandry's Book, and although she is a main character. She isn't THE main character.
The way Tamora has written the first two series in the Circle Universe means that each book has a main hero; who the book is typically named after. So with this book being named after Sandry, it means that she will be the main hero.
Since this book is written for the Young Adult audience it's not as complex or as deep as most of the books I read these days. But I've grown up reading Tamora Pierce and I just love how she writes her stories.
In this case I could feel the despair, anger and confusion that Sandry, Daja, Tris and Briar feel as they are found by Niklaren Goldeye. Then as they try to find their places in their new world.
Since I wasn't much older (I think a yr or two?) than they were when I first read these books, I could really relate to the emotional turmoil they were going through.
For me, my school friendship group was changing. And since I'm not very good socially (and neither are these 4) this was a bit stressful for me. But with the help of constantly reading Tamora's books in those few years (see evidence below if you don't believe me about how many times I read these books) I managed to get through it.
And I even discovered some other people who liked reading, and who even liked Tamora Pierce as well! That was a bit of a turning point for me when I realised I had something else in common with others. Which actually seems hard to believe since I'd already spent the last 6-7 years with most of them by that point in time.
My Fav Part
So I have a few different fav parts, I mean, these characters and their stories are written in such a great way that you can't help but have a few parts of the book you just can't wait to read again!
Ok, so my all time fav is when Sandry pulls rank on some snobby noble girl (Sandry's family is like upper upper upper echelon of society and only the people actually ruling a few different countries rank higher than her) to get Daja a seat when Daja first arrives and doesn't know where to sit in the dining hall.
A girl nearby muttered, "If that's a lady, I'm a cat." Reaching out, Sandry lifted the pitcher of milk from the table. Cradling it in both hands, she walked over to the mutterer. "I am Sandrilene fa Toren, daughter of Count Mattin fer Toren and his countess, Amiliane fa Landreg. I am the great-niece of his grace, Duke Vedris of this realm of Emelan, and cousin of her Imperial Highness, Empress Berenene of the Namorn Empire. You are Esmelle ei Pragin, daughter of Baron Witten en Pragin and his lady Colledia of House Wheelwright, a merchant house. If I tell you my friend is a lady, then you"- carefully she poured milk into Esmelle's plate-"you had best start lapping, kitty." She set the pitcher down and returned to her chair.
When Sandry and Daja first meet
Being someone who HATES bullies and will actively fight back I practically bounce in my seat with glee every time I read that bit. It's just so hilarious and it just sets the tone for Sandry's personality in a way no other quote can quite grasp.
I do love a number of other moments throughout the book. Those moments of banter, discovery and amazement are heady feelings. The way Sandry, Daja, Tris and Briar grow, make discoveries and learn about magic together never fail to strike a chord with me and give me a good chuckle and/or smile
Thank you for reading and next week I'll have the next book (Tris's Book) up next week!
Hi all, welcome back to a new series of series reviews! Woohoo!
My mum bought me the first book in this world’s series when I was like 9 or something when I was in the city with her one day. I distinctly remember hating her in that moment for forcing me to read something outside of my normal genres.
In my first attempt of fantasy I really hated it. But luckily a few years later I rediscovered Tamora Pierce through a friend and ended up falling in love with all of her books and went back to reread this one.
To give you an overview, this series follows 4 main characters in the original Circle of Magic series when they are first brought together.
Over the course of the Circle of Magic, The Circle Opens and The Circle Reforged we see them grow up and into their powers in ways that keep you engaged, interested and riveted.
Across all three series we travel across various regions countries, so you may find the below map helpful as I review the series.
I look forward to exploring this series with you and hearing what you think of these reviews!