Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce
About the Book (copy from Goodreads.com): "NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Tamora Pierce returns to the magical world of Winding Circle.
On their way to the first Circle temple in Gyongxi, mages Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy pay a visit to the emperor's summer palace. Although treated like royalty when they first arrive, the mages soon discover that the emperor plans to invade Gyongxi, posing a fatal threat to the home temple of the Living Circle religion. Accompanied by one of the emperor's prize captives, the three mages rush to Gyongxi to warn its citizens of the impending attack. With the imperials hot on their trail, Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy must quickly help the country prepare for battle. But even with the help of new allies, will their combined forces be enough to fight the imperial army and win the war?"
In case you're wondering, Gyongxi is pronounced "Gee-yong-she". And I only know that because it's been mentioned in a few of the other books, and I've listened to the audio recordings of those books. Which were narrated by the author. So she knows what she's talking about. :)
I love Tamora Pierce. She's been one of my favorite authors forever. Her book Wild Magic is the first "grown up" book I can remember picking out and buying myself from the bookstore. And by grown up book, I really mean, the first book I bought that wasn't a Baby Sitters Club book (I loved those in 4th and 5th grade). From there I've read pretty much every book she's written, and many of them are among my favorites.
This book is another offering in the Circle Reforged series, set in Pierce's so called "Circle Universe" (which mostly means it doesn't take place in her other world, Tortall). If you aren't familiar with her books I'll give you a quick rundown. This is actually the 3rd series set with these characters. The first four books, the Circle of Magic books, are about Briar and his three foster sisters when they are young and first coming into their magic. The second series, the Circle Opens quartet, is about how each of the main four characters go off with their mentors out into the world and the individual adventures/experiences they have out there, which includes getting a new student to teach for each of them.
Then there's the Circle Reforged. Which is a little odd. It's about the four main characters getting back together, although there's a side story in there too. The first one, The Will Of The Empress, is about the main characters. Then there's Melting Stones, which is actually about Evvy and Rosethorn only. It happens either after or concurrently to The Will of the Empress (still a little fuzzy on that chronology). And now, here's the third book, Battle Magic, which must take place before either of the other two books, because their experiences are referenced in both of the Circle Reforged books mentioned above.
Whew! So I guess that's a long way of saying I've been waiting for this book for a long time. Based on the references in the other books, this one might turn out to be a little bloody. War is never fun and games, and Street Magic (the Briar book in the Circle Opens quartet) tended towards the violent as well. Must be a guy thing. Hmmmm.... But despite that, I've been dying to know exactly what happened, rather than the bits and pieces we've been given in the previous two books.
If you're new to the series, and you want to pick it up, here's a word of caution. Although usually Tamora Pierce's books can stand on their own, you'll enjoy them more if you have the background. For this one, you'll really need to read all the books in the Circle of Magic series (Sandry's Book, Tris's Book, Daja's Book, Briar's Book) to get a background and feel for these characters. From the Circle Opens series, you'll probably only need to read Street Magic, which is where Briar meets Evvy. And I imagine you don't need to read either of the other Circle Reforged books, since chronologically this one takes place first.
So, I really didn't mean for this post to be this long. You see how I gush when I talk about this author. :)
Battle Magic will be released on September 24, 2013.
Available at Amazon.com in Hardcover or Kindle
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Check availability on Paperbackswap.com