Book Review: Circle of Magic: Sandry’s Book

Sandry’s Book, first in the Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce, has both magic and mayhem as four budding mages learn to control their powers and forge a friendship that will support them all their days. (Links to Amazon.)

Strange things have been happening to four children, none of whom have any standard magic: Lady Sandrilene fa Toren, a noble who loves needlework; Briar Moss, a pickpocket who likes plants; Daja Kisubo, a Trader who was banished from her people; and Trisana Chandler, a girl so strange that her parents have abandoned her to the Living Circle Temples.  Fate, and a mysterious mage named Niklaren Goldeye, have brought the children together at the Winding Circle Temple, where they are looked after by sweet-but-strict Dedicate Lark and prickly Dedicate Rosethorn.

Soon they learn that though they don’t have ‘academic’ magic, they do have power with other things: Sandry can use weaving and thread magic; Briar is in touch with plants; Daja has a talent for fire and metalwork; and Tris is a weather mage.  Even though they live together, they don’t get along so well.  Eventually they learn to grudgingly accept each other; but can they work together long enough to save themselves when they are trapped in an earthquake-induced cave-in?

Circle of Magic: Sandry’s Book follows the adventures and misadventures of the four young mages as they get into fights, rescue an abused puppy, and learn, however reluctantly, to be friends.  This book is a superb beginning to the series (which consists of two quartets and a novel), and of all of Tamora Pierce’s books, this is one of my favorites.

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