Tamora Pierce is the critically acclaimed author of more than twenty novels, including the Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens quartets, THE WILL OF THE EMPRESS, MELTING STONES, and, most recently, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Beka Cooper trilogy. She lives in New York State with her husband, Tim, and her seven cats and two birds. Visit her online at www.tamorapierce.com.
Gr 5-9-As in the other books in the series, four mages-in-training are the key players, but here it is Daja Kisubo's turn to take center stage. While traveling in a drought and fire-stricken part of the country with her fellow students and their mentors, the young people's magical talents somehow become intertwined, leading Daja, who is linked to the element of fire and the craft of smithing, to create a seemingly living vine out of metal. Nomadic Traders recognize the vine as a powerful object and take the complicated ritual steps required to purchase it from Daja. Having been cast out by the Trader class as a young child when her family's ship sank, she is seen as a source of bad luck to be avoided at all costs. During the negotiations, she must come to terms with the part of her that still yearns for her past life, and her growing power as a mage. As in the previous books, the climax revolves around a natural disaster that requires the four new mages' powers working together to minimize its effects. The fantasy elements of the series as a whole are satisfyingly well imagined, as are the main characters, and readers who have not read the first two novels will understand what is going on. This is a definite purchase where the previous books are owned, but it should also be considered on its own merits where they are not-which will undoubtedly lead to demand for the circle to be completed.- Carrie Schadle, Beginning with Children School, New York City
"The latest in the series is as innovative as the first two. A fascinating and fully realized world".-- The Horn Book Magazine