Gr 5-7-In the first volume of the Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce (Atheneum, 1992), Daine, a 13-year-old girl from the mountains, meets Onua, the Queen's Horse Mistress, and together they work to bring ponies in for the Queen's Riders. Along the way, they discover that Daine's talent with animals is something more-it's wild magic. Under the tutelage of the mage Numair, Daine begins to learn how to control her magic and deepens her friendships with two-leggers. She also discovers that there are "wrong" animals she can sense, ones that have somehow escaped the Divine Realms and are now roaming and raiding once more-Immortals. Daine is a likeable character, and her past and reasons for fleeing mountains are intriguing. Those around her, including Alanna from Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet (Atheneum), are well-developed characters, making for an exciting adventure infused with magic. Set in the fantastical kingdom of Tortall, this full-cast performance of the book is a joy to listen to. The main narration is done by the author, with all the characters voiced by different actors. Unobtrusive music throughout enhances the recording. An excellent choice where Tamora Pierce books circulate well, and where there are fantasy fans who enjoy intricate world building.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
In this first volume of a series, Pierce returns to the world and characters she introduced in her Song of the Lioness fantasy epic. Here, she tells the story of Daine, a 13-year-old orphaned girl with an extraordinary talent for communicating with animals. The teenager is swept up in the first skirmishes of a war, and is forced to master her fears and learn how to marshall her magical abilities. Trying to make the sequel to four previous novels stand on its own is no mean feat, and Pierce has a lot of exposition to relate. By telling the story through Daine's eyes, she allows new readers a chance to ``catch up'' on who's who along with her heroine. Although this device proves effective for the most part, some of the scenes are a little bewildering. However, Pierce's inventive descriptions of Daine's apprenticeship as a Mage, her riveting battles with griffins, dragons and other monsters, and her delightful, egalitarian ideals more than compensate for this minor flaw. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)