Briar Moss is on the road with his teacher Rosethorn and they have stopped in a drying out city of stones. Briar is looking forward to leaving – he doesn’t like stones as much as he likes plants. Imagine his surprise when he finds out that he must become a teacher of a stone mage.
Briar has made friends with one of the gangs that inhabit Chammur, and so he becomes entangled in their struggles as the Vipers (and their rich patron) try to swallow up the smaller gangs. Briar finds it hard to believe that
There are several different plot lines that Pierce twines together, and this makes it interesting to follow. I would have to say that there is only minor character development of Briar throughout the book, but he has made big jumps now that he is age 14 (not 10, as in the first books). Briar’s past won’t let him go, but he still has a career ahead of him as a respectable plant mage – if only he could keep out of trouble!
Inventing the different kinds of magic to keep things interesting must have fascinated Pierce. I know that I am always wanting to know what is coming next! It’s quite natural that Evvie is a stone mage in a stone country. I know that it is on Pierce’s list to do a book about the ambient type mages, and I’m looking forward to that as well.
Before starting this book, I had promised myself that I’d read something different from more Tamora Pierce for a break… I quickly broke that. I took a drive out to Philip Island, and was feeling too tired to start the book I had planned. So I figured on a quick and easy read of this one.
I’d recommend this book for children and teenagers, though I would suggest that you need a strong stomach for some of the less palatable areas of this book. There are murders and rotting corpses, which aren’t exactly pleasent. Nothing worse than you’d come across on TV I would imagine.