May 2, 2022

REVIEW Daja's Book (Circle of Magic #3) by Tamora Pierce

Daja's Book (Circle of Magic #3) by Tamora Pierce
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: June 24, 2006 (Originally Released October 1, 1998)
Format: Paperback (Personal Libary) + Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Scholastic 

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Readers of the Circle of Magic quartet have already been introduced to Lady Sandrilene fa Toren and Trisana Chandler. Now, it’s time for Tamora Pierce to introduce the third member of the quartet, outcast trader Daja Kisubo in the third installment, Daja’s Book

The first two installments in the series, Sandry’s Book and Tris’s Book, were mostly set in or around Winding Circle. It was fun to get to explore more of Summersea in Daja’s Book. Each of the books also explores each individual child’s history and Daja’s Book is no different. I loved getting to learn more about her family and Trader culture. I could tell it meant a lot for Daja to get to talk to another trader again after being an outcast for so long. It was also very important for the other children to gain an understanding of Daja’s culture - Tris in particular had a lot of learning to do, given her history as a Merchant. 

Sandry wove the children’s magic together in the first book, and their magic remains just as bound as ever (if not more so). It was cool to see the children and their teachers learn more about what Sandry did through mapping, and how the bond that has grown between them has developed. The intricacy of the spell that Sandry wove, as well as the differences between academic and ambient magic, are testaments to Ms. Pierce’s skill with worldbuilding. I can also say, given that I now have the benefit of hindsight with having read all the other books in the Emelan universe, there are definitely some hints and easter eggs that Ms. Pierce wove into this book that will come into play later.   

Even though it's been more than a decade since the first time I read these books, they still remain some of my favorites of all time. I’m excited to revisit Briar’s story next in Briar’s Book. I would happily and enthusiastically recommend all of the Circle of Magic books to fantasy readers of all ages. If you are worried about audience level, I’d classify these books as somewhere between middle grade and young adult. Middle-grade readers should start with this series, while readers at the young adult level would 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 is and will likely always be one of my favorite authors of all time (one of very few I consider an “auto-buy”).

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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