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Battle Magic Hardcover – September 24, 2013
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
From here we get to experience the war that is mentioned in passing in both Melting Stones and later in The Will of the Empress in the form of Briar's PTSD (or at least the way he deals with it after the fact). Make no mistake about it, this is war. It is bloody and cruel and entirely unrepentant. It's the darkest Tammy has gone down the violence road (though the major conflict in Lady Knight comes close), and it's certainly the most explicit of her books. She isn't gratuitous about it, but she isn't pulling any punches, either, which I appreciated. Because of this, though, it requires a slightly more mature audience. I don't want to say older, necessarily, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to make sure your child (if that's who you're shopping for) is prepared for the level of blood and guts that come with this story. True to form, the conflict in the story echoes some aspect of real world cultures/places/events, and this will seem to some very much an echo of China's aggression toward Tibet, which is something also to be mindful of if you're looking for similar subject matter or ways to tie this in with other interests.Read more ›
Briar started out as a child mage, orphaned and taken in by Rosethorn and her friend/lover Lark, raised alongside three foster-sisters who were also mages. They (accidentally?) did something which made them heaps stronger, which I imagine caused problems for the adults in their lives because they were like eleven. Now Briar's older, and travelling, and this book happens.
I'm summing this up because I often think of the Circle books-the early ones, anyway-as aimed at a younger target audience. Things got a lot more serious in The Will of the Empress [edit: Lauren pointed out that I was referencing the wrong imperially-titled Tammy book. I swear I know what I'm talking about], but I think I've always thought of the Circle books as benign, light reading. I knew this had the potential to be a lot more serious, but I don't think I really believed it until I saw it. This is not a book for kids. She isn't pulling her punches. This is a war, and it's serious, and nobody is safe. She doesn't flinch away from any of it.
So I guess what I'm saying is, just because some of the Circle books are for a younger audience and you may not have read them doesn't mean you should avoid this book. It stands on its own pretty well, and it's a good book.
As always, Tammy is fantastic at setting, both physical and cultural.Read more ›
Let's get this out of the way: Battle Magic is a fun read. It's entertaining, and the world of the book is richly drawn (par for the course for the Circle books). The pace moves right along.
There's something very stilted and off about the book, though. In some ways, the pace is too fast: subplots start and are over very quickly, no one stays in one place long enough to really develop the deep sense of place and character the other Circle books have, and there's no real suspense; what should be some really suspenseful subplots and moments are utterly ruined by the fact that either we the reader know nothing really bad has happened, or they get resolved in just a few pages.
This book doesn't actually fit with any of the previous canon from Will of the Empress or Melting Stones about the war, so if that bothers you, consider yourself warned. It's also very ... perfunctory, when it tries to address the supposed horrors of war - tacking on a typically-happy Circle-esque ending on a book where that undermines the entire plot - and it introduces an active supernatural element that not only really doesn't fit the Circle universe, but retroactively ruins the characters of Evvy and Briar in Will of the Empress and Melting Stones. If you don't like "they all conveniently forget" endings, you really need to skip this book.
The biggest problem, though, is that this book is undeniably racist.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tamara Pierce always delivers a great reading experience. In Battle Magic, the characters are believable, interesting and likeable, whether you've read the other books in this... Read morePublished 4 days ago by J. A. McLachlan
great book will always recommend this author to friends who like magicPublished 5 days ago by Kaneko
I really enjoyed the series. I find the books for this age group are more enjoyable because of the lack of adult content.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Eh. I love Tamora Pierce, and I'm always eager to read anything she writes. I also usually love her work, so it was a surprise to find Battle Magic so underwhelming. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This series disappointed me a little -- I was hoping to learn more about all four siblings as adults. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James B.
I read this book a few months ago and it is getting late tonight so I will give a simple abbreviated review here. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Fantasyworldwriter
I feel like I can’t write this review without introducing myself properly.
Hi, my name is Caitlin Christensen and I am addicted to Tamora Pierce. Read more
First in The Circle Reforged subseries and ninth in the overall Emelan fantasy series for middle-grade readers and generally revolving around four young people who gained their... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kathy Davie
I am not one for books on war, that's why I read fantasy or scifi. I purchased this trilogy from Amazon Kindle and I think they got the order of the books mixed up. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ktrekker