April 28, 2022

REVIEW Tris's Book (Circle of Magic #2) by Tamora Pierce

Tris's Book (Circle of Magic #2) by Tamora Pierce
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Release Date: June 24, 2006 (originally published April 1, 1998)
Format: Paperback (Personal Library) + Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Scholastic 


I’m rereading this book probably ten years after the first time I read it, and it's just as great. This is the first time I’ve listened to the audiobook, and it was quite easy to knock out in one day (the audiobook itself is 6 hours or so). 

Tris’s Book takes place a couple of weeks after the earthquake that closed out Sandry’s Book. Winding Circle is still recovering, and the kids in particular are suffering from nightmares as a result of their experience. Tris is a very different character from Sandry, and I think her powers are the most interesting out of all the children. Each of the others (Briar, Sandry, and Daja) have instructors with very similar powers. Tris is more unique as a “weather witch” - her instructor Niklaren Goldeye doesn’t have anything remotely similar to her abilities, and many of the lessons turn into “figure it out as we go” situations. Their relationship does the most to highlight the differences between academic and ambient mages in the world of Emelan.  

The found family aspect in this book is strong. While Sandry’s Book sets it up, Tris’s Book evolves it. It also highlights how your family doesn’t have to be what you’re born into. For example, Tris has a lot of hurts she has to deal with from how her family treated her before her magic was discovered. Her merchant parents considered her useless and of no value to the family. She’s able to get some closure and start the healing process after she talks to her cousin in this book. That interaction also gives her the nudge she needs to open up to the other children even more and realize that they are her new family. With the benefit of having already read the other books in the Emelan universe, I can safely say this was a critical point in Tris’s character arc and growth. 

I’m not sure how I feel about the full cast audiobook. While it’s cool to have the author as the narrator, I think it might have been easier and simpler to have just one person narrating the book. I did like the sound effects that were included, but they weren’t enough to sell me. 

Altogether, another fantastic read from Tamora Pierce. Like many of the author’s other books, I would happily and enthusiastically recommend the Circle of Magic Quartet books to fantasy readers of all ages. Middle-grade readers should start with this series, while readers at the young adult level would most likely prefer the series that are set in Tortall (Song of the Lioness, Protector of the Small, and Daughter of the Lioness are some of the best). Tamora Pierce remains one of my favorite authors of all time (one of my very few “auto-buy” authors) - I can usually be found singing the praises of her books to anyone who asks. 

About the Author


TAMORA PIERCE is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over eighteen novels set in the fantasy realm of Tortall. She first captured the imagination of readers with her debut novel, Alanna: The First Adventure. Since then, her bestselling and award-winning titles have pushed the boundaries of fantasy and young adult novels to introduce readers to a rich world populated by strong, believable heroines. Her books have been translated into many languages, and some are available on audio from Listening Library and Full Cast Audio. In 2013, she won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.” Pierce lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband, Tim, and their cats, birds, and occasional rescued wildlife. 

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