July 26, 2013

The Circle Opens - Tamora Pierce

Circle Opens - Tamora Pierce
Magic Steps / Street Magic / Cold Fire / Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: November 15, 2006
Source/Format: Borrowed from Macky || e-books

Last week, I shared my series review of the Circle of Magic quartet. This week, readers will get a glimpse into what happens with the four young mages - Sandry, Tris, Daja & Briar - as their stories continue! I actually hadn't re-read this second part in the longest time, so revisiting it for PierceFest was something I was looking forward to!

In The Circle Opens, the four friends are separated for the long term for the first time ever, as their specific mage teachers travel with them to new places. While it was sad that they were not as closely connected as in the first quartet, this is actually one of the things that I love best. The separation allows the readers to truly get to know each of them even more intimately. We get a chance to see how each of them fares without the others around to help them -- and it's pretty great! Each of them has gained a new level of maturity and magical prowess, and it definitely shows.

The second thing I adored was being given a chance to visit new places. The four of them travel to very different places - Sandry remains in Emelan, but goes to live with her uncle; Briar winds up in Chammur, a city of desert, heat and stone; Daja is up north in Kugisko in Namorn, cold, dark and very wintry; Tris was in Tharios, which is very Mediterranean-sounding. It was fascinating to see them immersed in these different cultures and societies, and I loved seeing more of the world that they knew! I lapped up all the new stuff eagerly, loving how each place was the right setting for each story and the magical shenanigans that ensue.

The third thing, and this is probably the best of all, is the fact that each of the original four discovers a new mage. I loved this aspect to the plot a whole lot, as it felt like the common thread that held the quartet together. While it was fun to see Sandry, Tris, Daja & Briar be found by Niko and come together, it was even better to see how much they'd grown as they use what they've learned to train the new mages they find. The idea of being responsible for passing on knowledge and taking charge of a mage with no training is one that I can certainly get behind. 

The Circle Opens allows our four original members of the Circle - Sandry, Tris, Daja & Briar - to expand their life experiences. It was a smart move on Pierce's part to separate the quartet, as it both gave us a bigger view of Emelan and gave the kids room to grow into themselves.  I really enjoyed revisiting the series, as I'd forgotten most of the details and stories that were a part of it. As I finished the last book of this quartet, I felt full and satisfied - and excited to see the kids reunite in the next quartet The Circle Reforged

In case you've forgotten, we're hosting a big giveaway for the duration of PierceFest! Please see the details for that below:


1 set of any Tamora Pierce series (which is, at max, FOUR books)


1. The giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY, as long as Book Depository ships to you.
2. All entries will be verified, so please do not forget to include the correct information.
3. Winner will be contacted as soon as they are chosen. They will have 48 hours to respond with the pertinent information, or their win will be forfeit and another will be chosen.
4. The bloggers will not be held responsible for condition or timeliness of the book shipment, as they are being shipped by a third party organization. Please note that we will try to keep you informed of the status of your prize.


  1. Can't WAIT to get to this one. Still reading the first quartet, but I'm loving it! Yay for PierceFest :)

  2. I know I've read these, but I remember absolutely nothing about them. Clearly I need to do a major Tamora Pierce re-read spree. I will admit I never enjoyed the Circle books as much as the Tortall books.

  3. This looks fantastic. I'm glad it let you explore the world a little further, and also let you revisit what sound like great characters. I can't wait to get around to it! I am actually starting my first Pierce book soon (about time, I reckon!) and am really looking forward to it. Brilliant review. :)

  4. I am a newbie! But can't wait to read this!


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