‘Briar’s Book: Circle of Magic’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2018 68/200


Briar’s Book by Tamora Pierce

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 5/12/2018


Description: Part of the 8-book Tamora Pierce reissue for Fall 2006, this title in the Circle of Magic quartet features spellbinding new cover art. Coincides with the release of WILL OF THE EMPRESS in trade pb.
Four elements of power, four mages-in-training learning to control them. In Book 4 of the Circle of Magic Quartet, former “street rat” Briar leads a comfortable life at Winding Circle Temple, learning plant magic from his teacher Rosethorn. But street kids are still his friends, and when one of them gets sick, she turns to Briar for help. As the mysterious illness spreads, Sandry, Daja, and Tris join Briar and their teachers to fight the epidemic. But just as the situation improves, the unthinkable happens. Will Briar be able to save what he loves most?

Genres: Fantasy, YA, Magic School, Middle Grade, Ensemble

An Arcane Disease Infests Summersea

Spoiler-ific review

This is a re-read for me, but I haven’t read this book in 15+ years, so I didn’t remember much about this.

I really like this book. Starring Briar much more than the other four main characters, this book tells the story of a Blue Pox outbreak in Emelan and Summersea. Briar, being a herbalist, is recruited to help cure the outbreak. I’ve only read one other book like this previously, and that is TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER, another Pierce book. I liked the bio-science/medicine focus of this story.

Constructive criticism: I liked the diffused focus of the first book, giving all five main characters nearly equal focus and importance. So while I liked this plot, I didn’t like the more traditional narrative style instead of the ensemble nature of Sandry’s book.

Highly recommended. I listened to the full cast audiobook, and it was particularly good. If you have a kid in the Middle Grade or YA book market, check this out.

Stay Sunny!


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