Once again, it is the teaching element of this novel that really makes me like it. It’s great how Pierce has changed things up a bit about meditation because there are only so many descriptions of measured counting that a reader can put up with.
Daja really matures in this book. Although she is usually more adult than say Tris or Briar, occasionally she isn’t as driven as Sandry to show off a good front. Here you can see that she really is a 14 year old in some ways (like trusting friends) but an adult in others (being concerned for her students who are only a couple of years younger than her).
The fires in this book aren’t exactly nice to read about, particularly as they become more sinister and kill more people. It’s nice though that Pierce constantly challenges the assumption that magic can fix everything. Sometimes it is also part of the problem!
The ending is a little too neat for my liking, but it’s not bad. And it will keep you reading, no doubts about that. I would recommend this book again for children and teenagers. Pierce avoids describing anything too sinister, but perhaps those children with very active imaginations should take care not to read before bedtime. I wouldn’t recomend reading it just before bedtime anyway, because you’ll get too stuck into it and stay up late! This book is slightly longer than the others, and my copy has tiny font to make up for that.