New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce returns to the magical world of Winding Circle. Set two years before the events of The Will of the Empress and Melting Stones, this adventure reunites plant mage Briar; his mentor, Rosethorn; and his young apprentice, Evvy, who has a talent for making stones...do things. The three journey eastward to the forbidding land of Yanjing, where they discover a danger that threatens the home temple of the Living Circle religion.
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A delight to listen to
Nancy Wu's performance as Evvy is enthusiastic, youthful, and convincing as a 12 year old girl with immense magical abilities.
Tamora Pierce's cultural and political designs are realistic, and the descriptions are vivid.
Evvy's excitement, rosethorn's maturity, and briar's adolescence. The characters all came completely to life; Nancy Wu's performance is nuanced and diverse.
I did, and am listening a second time.
looking into Nancy Wu's other work, I enjoyed her narration and characters in particular!
My patience paid off
I absolutely adore Evvi, while I knew her from a different book that takes place after this one she still captured my heart during this story. She is so headstrong and honest, isn't afraid to tell it how she sees it and damn the consequences. She also would teach young children that it is good to learn when to shut their mouth.
It always makes me happy to see books with strong young women in them, and Evvi is definitely one of them.
She finds a way to help set the scene that I have a harder time doing when I read. I normally can picture something fine when I read, but Nancy really helps to bring the scene to life.
Who knows, maybe I just imagine things better when listening and not reading.
My reason for knocking a star off is that all of the other books that have Briar and Rosethorn in them are done as Full Cast Audio and I definitely missed that here.
The cats.... being an animal lover I loved Evvi's cats. And that is all I will say so that there are no spoilers.
While this book will make sense on its own I STRONGLY urge you to read or listen to a few other series first only so that you have the history of the characters. There is information in this book that will be spoilers for past ones.
The series' that I would suggest are "The Circle of Magic" quartet and "The Circle Opens" quartet. Both follow Briar and his sisters before Battle Magic. It is totally possible to listen to "Melting Stones" before as well, but that follows after Battle Magic. However it doesn't give much away to this story.
Tamora Pierce has a way of writing from many view points and building a world that is just amazing. Her worlds are always well-rounded and full, completely believable and they make you want to jump into the book and be a part of the story because of how well they are written. You often aren't left wondering about the big things, but even the littlest things are taken into account when talking about the cultures of the people in the book. She is consistent in those things that are mentioned often but aren't major to the story.
I love a book with good world building.