Book Review: Tempests and Slaughter

March 23, 2020

I’m a huge Tamora Pierce fan, even though I only started reading her work as a college student. (Fun fact: When Macky and I first started dating, he recommended Tamora Pierce’s work and lent me his copies of her books to read!) I’ve been slowly but surely catching up on all things Tamora Pierce, and Tempests and Slaughter is the most recent title I can cross off my TBR list. (It’s also extra special that Macky and I ended up reading it together this year.)

Tempests and Slaughter is a recent addition to the Tortall universe, taking readers back in time to explore Numair Salmalin’s history. Numair Salmalin might currently be a black robe mage in Tortall (known best by readers for his important role in the Immortals quartet. But before all that, he was simply Arram Draper, a merchant’s son with an interest in knowledge and magic. The novel follows Arram in his earliest years as a student at the Imperial University of Carthak, where he meets his two best friends: Varice, a girl whose talent is often underestimated, and Ozorne, a “spare” prince who harbors secret ambitions of his own. In the years he spends understanding and cultivating his Gift, Arram soon discovers that fate might have bigger things in store for him than he could ever have imagined…

I’m honestly a little upset that it took me so long to get around to reading Tempests and Slaughter because, like all the books of hers I’ve read previously, it was so good! I admittedly went into this story biased, since Numair/Arram happens to be one of my favorite Tortall characters. It was a little jarring initially to get to meet him at a young age, especially because he behaves so differently from the mage that I originally knew him as. But things quickly smoothed out into fascination and sympathy, as Pierce weaves together a series of events that serve two purposes: to entertain readers with this brand new story (that also includes details that point to the Tortall I know and love!) and to allow readers to see how Numair was shaped by all he went through and the folks he encountered along the way. It’s a clever combination of compelling plot and character study, and I bow down to Pierce’s craftsmanship.

I only have two (very minor) complaints when it comes to this novel: the abrupt ending (to me, though Macky didn’t find that to be the case) and the fact that I have no concrete knowledge about the sequel’s release date. Neither of these reservations affects my overall opinion of this story, however, as I truly think Tempests and Slaughter is a brilliant read. I really loved it, and I’m highly anticipating the next installment!

Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles #1) was published on February 6, 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers.


  1. I haven't read a Tamora Pierce book before! But I'm definitely interested in this series. Lovely review!

    Anika |

  2. I've never read Tamora Pierce but have a few of her books! This sounds pretty good!

    Stacy Renee | LazyDayLit

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