April 28, 2008
Street Magic: Book 2 of the Circle Opens Quartet by Tamora Pierce
In the next book in the Circle Opens, Briar and Rosethorn have travelled to the east, to the Near Eastern-style city of Chammur in Sotat. Rosethorn is helping the local farmers, while Briar cultivates plants to sell.
Briar discovers in a chance encounter that Evvy, a street child has a magical gift with stones. As he begins teaching her the basics of meditation and magic, they get caught up in the conflict between street gangs that struggle for control of Chammur. Each of them wants Evvy for their own, to use her to find precious stones.
As with Magic Steps, Street Magic was suspenseful, intrigue-filled adventure.
October 10, 2007
Magic Steps: Book 1 of the Circle Opens Quartet by Tamora Pierce
In the Circle Opens quartet, Ms. Pierce continues the stories of young mages featured in Circle of Magic. But this time, as they grow up and develop their skills, they are sent outside of Winding Circle to study with teachers, and each finds a student of their own.
After her uncle Duke Vedris suffers a heart attack, Sandry stays in Summersea to take care of him while her friends travel further afield. Members of the Rokat family keep turning up murdered, and the Provost’s Guard (police) are baffled as to who the culprits might be, and where they are. Sandry starts noticing clues that signal the crimes have a magical nature, and despite being a young noblewoman she insists on investigating. Meanwhile she also discovers a boy, Pasco Acalon who can work magic by dancing. But he is from a proud family of harriers (Provost’s Guards) who don’t think dancing is a proper pursuit for their son. And who ever heard of a dance-mage? Though she does not feel ready, Sandry finds out that if a teacher of a specific magic cannot be found, the discoverer of the mage must teach him/her. Pasco and Sandry become partners in solving the murders.
I must say that I actually liked this better- as the characters and world were more developed, and the story had more layers to it. It’s really a murder mystery in a fantasy setting. I’ve heard good things about the later books in the quartet so I look forward to those.