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Sandry's Book (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Circle of Magic) School & Library Binding – September 1, 1999
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|School & Library Binding, September 1, 1999||
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9-Four children from different walks of life come to Winding Circle, a temple community where for different reasons they are sent to Discipline, a smaller cottage in which they gradually come to know and trust one another and, more importantly, to know themselves and discover their own magical abilities. Niko teaches them to control their impulses and focus their minds. When the four are trapped in a collapsing cave during an earthquake, they must combine their magic and the concentration Niko taught them to escape. This first book (Scholastic, 1997) of Tamora Pierce's popular Circle of Magic fantasy quartet features The Words Take Wings repertory group reading the dialogue and the author reading the narrative portions of the text. Dramatizing the dialogue makes the story more lively and immediate and will captivate listeners. However, the blend of narration and dramatized dialogue is not always smooth, and often the timing of the transition from actor to narrator seems slightly awkward. Most of the actors do a good job of creating distinct personalities for their characters, but they vary in skill. While Cynthia Bishop as Lark is excellent and her voice is very expressive, the actors playing the children are not as skilled. Pierce's voice lacks expression as the narrator. She is much better in the author interview at the end of the production which adds insight into her work. Technical quality of the production is excellent. While there are no sound effects or background noises to intrude, brief snatches of appropriate music mark plot shifts, a necessity here since the story shifts among the four children. This recording should prove popular where children are reading Pierce's books.
Louise L. Sherman, formerly Anna C. Scott School, Leonia,
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An exceptional match between voices and the character descriptions. -- Audiofile Magazine, October/November 2002
This enthralling production will be enjoyed by both children and adults. -- The Shy Librarian, Spring 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel starts by introducing our four heroes (yes, there's four protagonists in these books). Sandry is a noblewoman who survives a plague that kills her parents. She's hidden in a dark room with no windows or doors for a month, slowly losing her mind, until she's found and brought to Winding Circle. Daja survives a shipwreck that kills the rest of the crew, including her entire family, only to be declared unlucky and cast away from everything she knows. Briar is an orphaned thief who narrowly escapes a short life in the mines by being brought to Winding Circle. Tris is shifted from relative to relative, all the while knowing none of them particularly want her around, until she too is brought to Winding Circle. There, the four quickly stand out for one reason or another (largely, they're pretty obstinate and this gets them into trouble) until they're brought together and told they have magic.
All in all this book was enjoyable, although with everything split between the four protagonists I didn't feel like there was a lot of time for character development. I also found it a little far-fetched when the kids are told they have magic and none of them believe it. The reader gets to see them doing magic pretty much from page one, so it comes as no surprise to us at least. And for four kids who've never practiced magic before, they seem to get really powerful really quickly. I wish this was slowed down more and given time to develop.
That said, I still liked all of the characters. I love how Pierce actually has her characters overcoming hardships, and no one in this series gets to live a cushy life. The four contrasting protagonists also make it so that just about any reader can surely identify with one of them, which I do think is good for a younger audience.
All in all I didn't think this lived up to the Tortall series, but it probably isn't fair to compare them. I also still ended up reading the entire quartet, and will probably continue into the next one.
In this book, they battle themselves, reshaping their magic to help it grow, when it is put to the test by being buried alive in an earthquake.
If you love great fantasy, you must try this book. (And the rest of this quartet and the next quartet and the next . . .
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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