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review 2017-01-07 03:06
Wild Magic
Wild Magic - Tamora Pierce

I had a long car-ride with my younger son over the winter holidays and was looking for something for us to listen to while I drove.  I'd liked how the Full-Cast Audio recordings had worked for the stories that Tamora Pierce had written to be released on audiobook first, so jumped at the chance to reread Wild Magic.


Using a different actor for each character works wonderfully during Wild Magic and I highly recommend the audiobook experience.




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review 2016-11-12 16:29
When Your Sanctuary is Threatened: Tris's Book | Review
Tris's Book: Circle of Magic, Book 2 - Tamora Pierce,Tamora Pierce,the Full Cast Family

This MG Fantasy doesn't shrink from the truth about Pirates.


Earthquake damage leaves Winding Circle vulnerable to pirate attack, so everyone - including the young mages-in-training Tris, Briar, Daja, and Sandry - is working to strengthen the community's defenses. When Tris's cousin Aymery comes to visit, he advises the "weather witch" to return to the family that exiled her, but she doesn't wish to leave her friends to face the threat without her.

As the onslaught begins, two things become terribly clear: The pirates have a powerful new weapon, and they have an accomplice within Winding Circle. But the attackers have failed to reckon with the fury of a young mage betrayed once too often and her very stubborn, very loyal friends.


Buy Now | +Goodreads

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.



Tris's Book by Tamora Pierce, read & published by Full Cast Audio (2004) / Length: 5 hrs 31 min



This is Book #2 of 4 in the original "Circle of Magic" series, all of which are available on audio. There are also additional books (only some of which are on audio) with the same characters.


**This review may contain spoilers for the previous book.**



One of the things I like best about this series is the way that the children work with & along side their adult mentors as well as together. That really starts to be solidified in this book as they make both good and bad choices in that regard.


Another strong point of the series is the message that choices/actions have consequences. Tris & the others continue to deal with the emotional results of the ones they make in this book for many years.

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review 2016-09-11 03:41
Getting struck by lighting gives you magic! (not really)
Shatterglass - Tamora Pierce

One more book brining me one step closer to reading all of Tamora Pierce's books! This is the last installment in The Circle Opens quartet, and it focuses on Tris's journey with her teacher Niko. You might know from a previous review that I'm not the biggest fan of Tris (she was a bit too whiny and stubborn for me in her Circle of Magic book) but I didn't mind her so much in Shatterglass.

Like her foster-sisters and brother in the past books, Tris finds herself the teacher of a mage. There is a different dynamic to this paring though because her student is a grown man. Tension and a butting of heads ensues of course. But I enjoyed this particular pairing because it serves as a reminder that kids are not always to be dismissed. They have a wisdom and insight of their own that adults tend to forget or overlook.

Class structure is a big theme in this book. The city of Tharios, where the novel takes place, is strictly divided by its different classes of people, the lowest being those who clean up rubbish and dispose of the dead. The rulers of the city of course insist this division is what allows the city to thrive, but Tris and her friends don't agree, and it causes many frustrations for them. It begs the question, is a society really perfect if some of it citizens are treated so poorly?

I've said before that I appreciate Pierce for not shying away from big topics like the one mentioned above. Often we give young people much less credit than they deserve, so it is nice to see an author who doesn't talk down to her readers simply because they are young. I did feel this book dragged on a bit too long, but I was still sufficiently engaged to get to the end without any major griping. I was curious to understand more about why Keth's globes showed images of the murder, but that's a very minor complaint.


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review 2016-09-01 08:23
Briar's Book
The Healing in the Vine - Tamora Pierce

(This review has a minor spoiler.) 


I continue to read The Circle of Magic/Circle Opens books in a very bizarre order, but I can at least tell any interested readers that it is not super duper necessary to read them in order. I would definitely say start with Sandry's Book/Magic in the Weaving because it sets everything up. But Pierce does a very good job of letting the stories stand on their own, and any mentions of things that have happened previously are explained enough that you can understand what's happening at the present. Moving on.


A plague has struck Summersea and we see the young thief-turned-mage Briar thrust into a role of responsibility. This book, like Street Magic sees Briar questioning who he is, and sees him growing and learning a lot about himself in a short period of time. I think of the four young mages Briar is one of my favorites.


Briar's relationship with his teacher, Rosethorn, really flourishes in this book. Or at least we see just how much Briar cares for his teacher. SPOILER! I mean, he freaking brings her back from death (with the help of his foster siblings, of course). I think I have a soft spot for lovable misfits and severe, emotionally reserved people. When these types of characters form meaningful relationships, it always warms my heart. Yay! They have some one to love and who loves them!


I didn't expect the cause of the plague to be what it was. But I think it sends a good message. Carelessness can lead to terrible things, even if a lack of action seems inconsequential. It's important to think about what you're doing and how it may affect people. Remember that. 



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review 2016-08-22 03:39
Plants and Stones will kick your ass
Street Magic - Tamora Pierce

After reading the second installment in The Circle of Magic books, I see that they aren't chronological. The simply follow the four heroes introduced in the first quartet as they go on new adventures. They all seem to take place roughly four years after the events in The Circle of Magic books.


Street Magic follows Briar, the plant-mage. He and his teacher have gone to a distant land to help the farmers with their crops. While they are there, Briar discovers a young stone mage. He also gets wrapped up in a gang war. Since Briar himself was once part of a gang, it causes him to reflect on who he was and who he is now, something that we also saw him struggling with back in the first quartet.


Tamora Pierce always gives her characters very intriguing back stories. Evvy, the stone mage Briar encounters, has her own sad history. I liked that she defied Briar's expectations. She may be a street rat like he was but she never joined a gang like he did. It helps him to dismiss the sort of romanticized idea he had of gangs. Being responsible for Evvy also forces Briar to grow as a person. He was so defiant about teaching her at first but as the book progresses we see he is actually rather good at it.


I rather like Briar. He is a bit rough and stuck in what today would be a somewhat sexist mind set. But being surrounded by strong women has proven good for him as a character. He continues to tease his foster sisters, but he also knows what they are capable of, and he works hard to make sure Evvy will reach her full potential as well.



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