February 9, 2012

Thursdays with Macky • Struck by Lightning

Tris's Book book cover
Tris' Book by Tamora Pierce
Series: Circle of Magic #2
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: June 24, 2006
Source/Format: Owned || Paperback

Earthquake damage leaves Winding Circle vulnerable to pirate attack, so everyone--including the young mages-in-training Tris, Briar, Daja, and Sandry--is working to strengthen the community's defenses. When Tris's cousin Aymery comes to visit, he advises the "weather witch" to return to the family that exiled her, but she doesn't wish to leave her friends to face the thread without her. 

As the onslaught begins, two things become terribly clear: The pirates have a powerful new weapon, and they have an accomplice within Winding Circle. But the attackers have failed to reckon with the fury of a young mage betrayed once too often and her very stubborn, very loyal friends...

There’s a reason Tamora Pierce’s world of Emelan is just as, if not more, greatly celebrated as her Tortall Universe. I blame the amazing cast of characters. I blame the wonderfully simple yet intricate mythos. I blame the brilliant storytelling.

The fact that Tris’s Book picks up right after Sandry’s Book and the quake that changed everybody’s lives is just brilliant. The Circle of Magic quartet would be so awesome if they “Game of Thrones-ed” it - a 12 Episode miniseries with 4 episodes dedicated to unfurl each book. How epic would that be?

The Good

This is a classic siege story. It’s got all the works! You’ve got the oppressors, in the form of pirates. You’ve got the defenders in the form of (wait for it…)… The Winding Circle Temple and ALL the mages therein *insert geek squee*… and you’ve got your young heroes trapped right in the middle of it.

I mean, how much more dire can this get? In Sandry’s Book, they went against Mother Nature and emerged bound as one. Here, we’ve got bloodthirsty pirates in all their medieval-esque glory threatening to pillage, burn, destroy and raze Winding Circle to the ground.

And why not? Emmelan is just digging itself out of the wreckage of the earthquake. Perfect time for pirate raids!

But as Lark says early on in Tris’s Book, netter they blunt their teeth on Winding Circle or Summersea (with Duke Vedris) rather than attack small villages in full force.

A siege story is so exciting... because the enemy takes the fight to you. This is Helm’s Deep. This is Minas Tirith. And sure, the pirates could be as smelly as orcs but almost everyone in Winding Circle is a mage. And they have GREAT MAGES. We’re talking about everyone bringing their A-game and the four kids learning how to bring theirs by watching their teachers. If only for the “action” (and I use the word loosely), this book is fun, fun, fun.

The Whut

I say “action” because you’ll really only care about the events if you actually care about Sandry, Briar, Daja and Tris. If these four don’t matter to you (and I mean matter from the start of Sandry’s Book when they’re apart), chances are you’ll care even less that Winding Circle is under attack.

Also, Tammy doesn’t sugarcoat anything. She’s not graphic about the blood and gore but she’ll tell it as it is and leave your imagination to filter whatever you want out.

We’re talking a pirate fleet that has every intention of stealing, killing and destroying what they can and a bunch of mages that will do everything in their power to stop these marauders.
It’s like those old 80’s-90’s cartoons that weren’t done by Disney or Don Bluth. Has anyone watched Watership Down? (the cartoon based on the book). I mean it’s animated and the bunnies make you think kids can watch it but there’s, killing and death and destruction… much like Tris’s Book.

I love how these 11 year old kids are coming up against real-world threats. It’s disconcerting but not forced. And the results you get for taking the journey are nothing short of rewarding, assuming you care at all for this little circle.

The Awesome

We really get to the heart of these characters, specifically our resident weather witch - Trisana Chandler. Little merchant born girl, passed on from family to family because nobody wanted her and strange things happen around her. Winding Circle is the only place she’s ever felt wanted. Winding Circle is the only place she’s ever felt the concept of “home”. This is Tris’s Book because this siege and all the events woven together with it hit her hardest.

I have loved Tris from the start. I guess I love Tris the most because her powers are awesome and she’s actually the biggest softie of the four. That's funny because she’s the scowliest one of them all. And that makes me love her. It’s safe to say I may be more in love with Tris than I am with Sandry.

She’s plump, has curly red hair, a hook nose and is crotchety. But she’s a bookworm, takes no crap from nobody and has weather powers. I have ALWAYS loved weather powers. She’s like a fat Jean Gray with Storm’s powers.

Beauty is fleeting after all and my mamma raised me to pick a girl that’s still gonna tug at your heart no matter how many pounds she gains or how much PMS she’s got. That would be a girl like Tris. I like ‘em nerdy. And cute. And in love with books. (*pines longingly for she-who-runs-this blog*)

Anywhoo, to end, I’d like to say everyone got really good air-time. But what is amazing about this story is how beautifully it keeps Tris in the center of everything without making the book about her. Neat-o writing chops for Tammy. Like you have to look deeper into the book to see that the only reason it’s called Tris’s Book is because she had the most stake in this siege. The other three help her and by the end of the story we find that the four really come into their power in this book.

Makes you really wanna know what happens next. Tune in next week for more!


  1. Great review! I've only read Sandry's Book so far. This is a nice incentive to pick back up and read the others.

  2. I'm not reading your review because I haven't read book #1, but should I read book #1? Is it THAT good? :)

  3. Well I make no claims of being too objective about this series because I'm a die hard Tamora Pierce fan. Sandry's book is short (they all are)... but I seriously believe it's worth the read. Give em a chance. the four kids may grow on you if it's your kind of thing. :D I love kids books. reliving the whole "childhood you wish you had" thing. :D if you like magic and coming of age stories... you just may end up falling in love with this.

  4. you should totally pick up the rest of the books in the series if you loved Sandry's book. i always follow books because i feel i owe it to the characters to know what happens to them next. :D if you love these kids... it's worth it to see how they turn out.


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