Briar is a plant mage - he can distil medicines, grow a garden in a blink of an eye and persuade a tree to trap a criminal. Learning how to channel your power is vital. Briar's empathy with nature can heal - but it could kill just as easily.
Evvy is just a street rat. She doesn't even know she has stone magic, let alone how to control it - and she doesn't want to learn anything. Why should she care if people get hurt? None of them has ever cared about her...
Book Two in "The Circle Opens" series.
A definite page-turner; I was quickly caught up with the story and pretty much couldn't put it down. The first story in this series, Magic Steps, already flowed with a nice swift pace; but this one fair swings you into the saddle and gallops away with you.
Yet again Tamora Pierce draws the reader along on a ride they can't get off until they tumble out at the end. Everything you could hope for in a fast paced fantasy story: practical powerful magic; female and male characters that are equally likeable and powerful; a truly dastardly villain; even murder, blood and gore in this one. You definitely do NOT cross a mage and get away with it lightly.
Note of caution:
Certain individuals in the story are done away with in a somewhat gruesome manner, so possibly not for the very young or exceedingly faint hearted.
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"A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)