The family took a quick trip to Toronto just before Thanksgiving. It’s only about a three-hour drive, but we needed something to listen to. My husband found this book and asked if it sounded interesting. I was thrilled to hear it was by Tamora Pierce, since I’d loved the other two series I’d read by her, The Song of the Lioness, and the Beka Cooper trilogy.
Genre: YA fantasy
Length: 362 pages
Setting: Tortall, soon after the events of Lioness Rampant
Summary: Onua is looking for an assistant to help her drive a herd of ponies to the capital to be used by the newest members of the Queen’s Riders. Daine present herself to do the work. She seems a bit young, but has an uncanny ability with the ponies. Turns out, she has wild magic and can talk to animals. She is even able to sense the approach of Immortals, mythical creatures that have somehow been released from their magical prison. After helping Numair, a powerful wizard, shapchange back into human form, Numair gives Daine magic lessons. Daine stays with the Queen’s Rider trainees as they travel to Pirate’s Swoop. There, they are attacked by forces opposed to Tortall and a contingent of Immortals. Daine is able to use her wild magic to help defend Pirate’s Swoop until outside help arrives.
Final thoughts: A highly enjoyable book that is right up my alley. I haven’t outgrown the unreasonable wish to be able to talk to animals. The closest I can come is reading book where the main character has that skill. As an added bonus, some of my favorite characters from the Song of the Lioness series showed up in the book.
This was a coming of age story for Daine. She started out uncertain of herself, her abilities, and her place in the world. Working with Onua and the ponies, and then making friends gave her a grounding, a sense of belonging, and more confidence in her abilities. Daine also had to give up control. When Pirate’s Swoop was being attacked, animals in the surrounding area wanted to fight. Daine almost burned up her magic trying to hold them back. It was much more beneficial to show them the most effective way to fight. And, I found it amusing that the whales were all pacifists (although I think the orcas would be the exception to that rule). Overall it’s a fun book, complete with magic and dragons, friends and fighting. I’ll have to check out the next book in the Immortals series,
Title comes from: The magic Daine wielded was wild magic and from a different source than the most common type of magic in Tortall.
Reading challenges fulfilled: #94 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge
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