Review: Circle of Magic - Daja's Book
Thursday, October 19, 2023

Daja's Book (Circle of Magic, #3)Daja's Book by Tamora Pierce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The books in this series get better and better! Part of that may be that we as readers are more invested in the characters and the world, but I feel like the flow of the storytelling is improving as well.

Daja's book takes place away from Winding Circle, the cloistered temple where our four protagonists have come to live with their new guardians. The four child-mages and their teachers have all traveled north with the Duke to assess the damage of a long drought that has given rise to rampant wildfires. There they meet a stuck-up noble and an even more stuck-up mage. There's also a trader caravan in town, which puts Daja in a very difficult spot since she's been exiled from the trader culture as a carrier of bad luck thanks to being the only survivor of the ship wreck that killed her family. And to complicate things even more, the four children's magic is leaking together, causing some unexpected magical results.

In Daja's case, her metal magic mixes with Briar's plant magic to create an iron bush that grows and blooms as if it were made of wood and leaves. This unique magical creation gives Daja an excuse to interact with the trader caravan, reminding her of the life she's lost. As with all great character arcs, Daja must face the choice of what she's wanted up to this point and what she might lose if she actually gets it. After all, a trader cannot be a metalworker, and Daja has come to appreciate her new life.

The other characters play supporting, but equally important, roles in this story. This truly is a found family tale that shows the strength of trusting others and working together. This is particularly highlighted in the petty mage who tries to shoulder the entire burden of handling the fires all on his own because he is too proud to ask for help.

All in all, this story propels the kids forward in regards both to mastering their powers and coming together as a family. My daughter and I can't wait to start the final book in the series.

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