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Giant Tamora Pierce Post

September 22, 2013

sw shirtYes, I know I said it was a giant Tamora Pierce post.  And it will be.  But first – Darth Vader wants you to read a book!  Or wear a tee shirt with him holding a book.  Star Wars Reads Day is coming up on October 5.  This is a celebration of all things Star Wars that have been committed to paper.  From Bonnie Burton’s Star Wars Craft Book to the extended universe novels of Timothy Zahn, it’s all awesome!
There will probably be at least one event near you if you’re in the US.  Here is a map with most of the events marked.  I will be participating in an event at the Homewood Library from 1:00 – 4:00.  I’m hoping to have a costume made in time, but we’ll see.  It’s for all ages that want to celebrate Star Wars, so feel free to drop by if you’re in the area.  We’ll have goodie bags and we’ll be doing some giveaways too.


Ok, now onto the aforementioned giant Tamora Pierce post.
Battle Magic comes out on Tuesday.  It is the newest book battlein the Magic Circle series and follows Briar, Rosethorn, and Evey on their trip through the far east.  They start in the mountainous kingdom of Gyongxe.  This magical land houses temples for almost all of the world’s religions.  It is said that in  Goyngxe you are closer to the gods than anywhere else on earth.
After spending a comfortable winter making friends with the First Dedicate of the Living Circle Temple and the young God-King of Gyongxe, the three are invited to view the Imperial gardens of Yanjiang.  This is too much for the plant mages to pass up.  But Briar is troubled by the God-King’s information about Yanjiang’s military aspirations in the region.
The Imperial gardens are everything that Briar and Rosethorn could have wished, but they seem to be a beautiful veneer on a core of rottenness.  The Emperor is cruel and his empire is founded on terror and overwhelming strength.  And he has now turned his eyes toward Gyongxe and the treasures hidden within its temples.

This is probably the darkest book that Pierce has.  I’ve read all of her published works, and while some of them do tread on dark territory it felt at times like this book was channeling George R.R. Martin.  Only not really, because she’s not killing everyone off left and right.  But she puts them, and with them the reader, through hell.  I read the first 50 pages of this book on Friday and then finished the next 390 last night after work.  I kept telling myself I’d go to sleep at the end of a chapter, but was too afraid of what I’d dream to stop where I was.  However, nothing is gratuitous.  Every horrible thing that happens is necessary to explain why such a small force must fight against the overwhelming power of the Emperor and his armies.
The world that the Circle books is set in is fairly recognizable.  Emelan is a decent analogue to Renaissance Europe, Namorn stands in for Russia, Chamorn for India, and Yanjiang for China.  Which makes the mountainous and mystical Gyongxe easy to compare with Tibet or Nepal.  It’s enough for us to fill in the concept of landscape and broad cultural strokes, without trying to be a 1:1 comparison.  meltingWhile this book technically comes right after the Circle Opens quartet I would probably read it in publication order.  You need the hints from Melting Stones and The Will of the Empress to prepare yourself for what happens in Battle Magic.  In a way, this is the scary and disturbing parts from Tris’s Book all grown up.  My recommended reading order is, therefore:
Sandry’s Book
Tris’s Book
Daja’s Book
Briar’s Book
Magic Steps
Street Magic
Cold Fire
The Will of the Empress
Melting Stones
Battle Magic

Although, the last two could be switched around to fall more in chronological order.

The Tortall books can be read in almost any order, although, chronologically they go:Bloodhound
In the Hand of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant
Wild Magic
Wolf Speaker
Emperor Mage
In the Realms of the Gods
First Test
Trickster’s Choice
Trickster’s Queen

I’m looking forward to more books in either universe.  Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors and while Battle Magic isn’t my favorite of her novels, it is a wonderful addition to her universe.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2013 9:54 am

    Ok, I’ve never been to this site before and I honestly didn’t know about it. Every now and again a certain woman named Jocelynn comes along and turns anyone following her onto some great sites.
    Yes, I said the site is awesome. I did some reading, not that much but I read about everything, ok I read everything. I love this blog and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Giveaways. I don’t enter every giveaway but I enter ones that I find interesting. I’ve been wanting this book and I’ve never read any of this authors books. So I would love to win the book and iit’s an . awesome giveaway.

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