Contents of blog copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2023
I've been gone a while. I started reading fanfiction to escape and I got sucked in an abyss.

I have no idea if someone else is hosting similar challenges. I just grabbed some of what I have hosted before.

Here's to a happy year of great reading
Jan2023: Not much has changed. Writing a fanfiction now O_o as well as reading but I bought 7 new books in December and hope to get those read soon. Crossing fingers about adding challenges (late!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Circle Opens

This is another quartet and is the sequel to "Circle of Magic", I recommend you read my review of the first quartet then come back.

After such an intense year, the four settle down to actually learn properly. That part happens in between quartets and it might be fun for us if Ms. Pierce wrote another book. THIS quartet is four years later. They are 14, full mages in their own right but are still students and three are traveling with their teachers.

Book 1: Magic Steps
Sandry is living at Discipline with Lark while the others travel when she gets word that her uncle has had a heart attack. The book starts out with her going horseback riding with her uncle, who is a Duke, so his people can see he is alive and doing well. While out she sees a boy dancing in the sand over a net.

How do you convince a family that has always been in police work that dancing is magic and the magic testers missed it? That even if it isn't police work it's still important?

Dancing, bully cousins and murder. Oh, and one rule they were not told when they received their credentials. If you find someone with magic you must find them a teacher in their field or teach them yourself.

Book 2: Street Magic
Briar is traveling with his teacher, Rosethorn. She's helping the farmers in the area develop better seeds and improve the soil. Briar is at a healer's Temple, boosting the power of their herbs and medicines as well as making new ones. His job is finished and he takes a walk in the shopping district. Lots of gangs but the shops are supposed to be neutral territory. Briar stops to look at some stones and sees a girl polishing them - with magic. When he questions her, she runs. Now Briar hears the rule, find them a teacher or teach them yourself.

Briar's "student" is a street kid and he must convince her she has magic. There is a mage in the city with the same kind of magic but he doesn't want a student and has an attitude about it. "What are they going to do about me when they are so far away". The gangs and a patron become involved with a kidnapping and this is when you see that being able to grow a plant with magic means you can really grow a plant. And that a street rat can become respectable without losing what was learned in the streets.

Book 3: Cold Fire
Daja finds two students, twins, in the household where she and her teacher, Frostpine, are staying. She also finds a hero. A firefighter who goes into burning buildings to rescue people trapped inside. Now, remember, this isn't a firefighter like we have, this man drapes a wet blanket over himself and that's all the protection he has! Daja decides to make him a suit out of her living metal to give him more protection. She starts with the gloves to protect his hand and forearms. With a firebug in a city of wood, he'll need all the protection he can get.

Luckily for Daja, one twin's magic is cooking related and another is carpentry. The parents have a whole list of teachers to check out. Daja may not need to teach but each teacher asks her to teach the meditation part. Without meditation, the students will have a had time controlling their magic.

Book 4: Shatterglass
Tris's teacher is at a conference of mages and has dragged Tris along. There are practices in the city she doesn't like, a serial killer that the police are calling Ghost and she too finds a student. A glass blower makes a living dragon. Tris finds him when the magic embedded in neighboring stalls is drawn to his creation. Imagine a 14-year-old scolding a man, late 20's?, about working magic without a protective circle when the man doesn't know he has magic big enough to need a circle. Yep, Tris has found her student. Actually, the man takes matters into his own hands and goes to the mage offices to find a teacher. After jumping through hoops all day, he's asked to come back. He loses his temper loud enough the mages there for the conference come out. Niklaren Goldeneye is one of them. Lightning has become mixed up with the little seed of glass magic the man had and has not only increased his power, glass and weather mages can't work with him because they don't know lightning. Guess who does?

All of the books ended well but I have always thought a follow-up series would be wonderful. Even if it was just a larger book telling us about all four. Imagine my pleasure when I discovered one was planned. The Circle Reforged book 1, Melting Stones, came out last October. (dang, one a year means late 2011 for the fourth book!)

Read in February, reviewed in February.

Check out amazon for more info or to purchase

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