Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Will Of The Empress (Circle Reforged) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2008
|New from||Used from|
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up–This novel begins two years after the Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens series. Readers are reintroduced to the four characters who made the other series so popular: Sandry, who has worked at her uncle's these past two years; Tris, who has developed a new power that she is afraid to share; Daja, who immediately renews her link with Sandry; and Briar, who is afraid to open up because of his memories of the war. Sandry still holds the circle that binds these four individuals together, creating a strong whole out of four very diverse parts. When the book opens, they refuse to reopen the link that has made them stronger due to changes in their lives. Sandry discovers that the lands she holds for the Empress will be given away unless she returns home. Her uncle talks her friends into accompanying her. She hopes to visit her lands and leave by fall, but the Empress has other plans for her, including marriage. After the Empress meets her friends, she devises plans to keep them all. Readers will enjoy being reacquainted with these older but still very well-developed characters. This book stands alone, but readers unfamiliar with the earlier books will be asking for them after finishing this one.–June H. Keuhn, Corning East High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Gr. 8-11. How well word-mage Pierce understands what her audience wants, and how ably she provides it in this epic postscript to her two Circle quartets. Powers in full flush after stints of wayfaring, precocious ambient mages Daja, Briar, and Tris have finally reunited with left-behind Sandry. But nothing is quite what it was, and the 16-year-olds begin to question their telepathic connection: "As adults, we keep our minds and our secrets hidden, and our wounds. It's safer." It will take a common foe to shake the cobwebs from this partnership. Pierce provides a formidable one in Namorn's charismatic empress, who does battle with silken weapons of courtly politics to compel the mages to live and serve in Sandry's native land. Subplots deepen characterizations in ways reflective of the teens'increasing maturity: Daja discovers she is a "woman who loves women"; Sandry must confront her high-born heritage and stave off forced marriage by means of an archaic bride-stealing custom. A few threads seem to dangle in ways that cloth-mage Sandry would scorn, but little will deter readers from reveling in the elemental magics, or from sympathizing with the prickly young adults'nostalgia for the easy companionships of childhood. A standalone tour de force, this will gratify Circle devotees and ensnare new readers for the series. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Just as a bit of a disclaimer, I do know that this particular series by Tamora Pierce is not geared towards my age group, and that's likely part of the problem. But as with her continuing _Lioness_ series, this latter book is much more readable to the older audience.
So, the adventures of Sandry, Tris, Daja and Briar continue as the latter three return from their travels to discover that, once reunited, they've grown apart. It's a bit of a shock to them, but not to any of the readers who are over 18 (the age of our protagonists) or have spent any significant time away from close friends. As people grow, age and experience life, they change, and it's hard to reconnect with people who haven't had those same experiences, especially if they were traumatic. And all of them, Sandry included, have experienced their share of trauma.
Their ways of dealing with it set them even more apart. Sandry retreats into her "titled noble" facade, Tris has her own cold and remote mask to hide behind, Briar goes through woman after woman with no attachment to any of them, just so he doesn't have to be alone at night. Daja is the best adjusted of the group, but she's feeling out of place as well. No longer allowed to stay at Winding Circle for free due to their age, she's forced to buy a house of her own that she really didn't want. Nothing's at all the same for the four friends and none of them know how to deal with it.
But, of course, a solution arrives in the form of accompanying Sandry to Namorn for a visit that her cousin, Empress Berenene has practically ordered (financial blackmail). The reader already knows that it's not likely to be a trouble free visit and what they go through up in Namorn will forge them together as friends again, but even knowing that, the story is entertaining enough to make you want to stay with it.
What follows is no surprise at all. A glittery, shiny court and a seemingly friendly empress-cousin, which is, of course, little more than a shiny facade covering up all the conniving, scheming and backstabbing you'd expect in a setting like that. It's something that takes the four friends a bit too long to grasp, to my way of thinking, given how worldly some of them are. Oh, Briar thinks he knows, but he still allows himself to be snowed over by the extensive gardens and greenhouses.
Anyone who reads the inside flap of the book knows that the empress wants to marry Sandry off and thus, keep her lands and money for Namorn (herself, really), so when Sandry finally realizes that, it's, again, no surprise to the reader. Still, Sandry does try to make the best of it, as do her friends, even while they're still in-fighting.
One pleasant development in the book is Daja's romance. It was something that had been hinted around but seeing it actually happen definitely put a smile on my face.
Of course, it all comes together when Sandry is put in danger and needs her friends to rescue her. Then all arguments are thrown aside and they band together to get her out of there and themselves out of Namorn. Not that the road out is smooth (big surprise), but it's nothing four genius mages can't handle, and, once again, nothing the reader didn't expect.
One of the major flaws in the book, the biggest, I'd say, is that every single piece of the plot is spoon fed to the reader. Every major and minor character's view point is shown at some time in the narration, so there's never any surprise when something happens, you always know it's coming. Absolutely nothing is left to the imagination, and there's no build up of mystery or suspense; you always know what will happen, and given who these four are, you always know they'll find a way out. It's a major weak point and if Ms. Pierce had stayed with only the viewpoints of the four mages, she might have had a much, *much* stronger book.
That said, it's still an entertaining story, even knowing everything that will happen. It doesn't get boring and although you already know that the four mages will find a way out of whatever predicament they're currently in, you still want to stick around and see how they do it.
I have long been an avid reader and fan of Tamora Pierce's books, at least until Trickster's Choice came along. That book was enough to cause me to not have even the slightest interest in reading its sequel. However, I did look forward to The Will of the Empress and hearing from Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar again.
For the most part, The Will of the Empress didn't dissapoint me as much as Trickster's Choice did. I particularly enjoyed seeing how realistic they are as adults; their travels have caused them to have secrets they no longer want to share in the once very open bond they shared through their magical connection.
The four mages have several new personality traits that were not as apparent in their younger days, with the possible exception of Sandry (she remains the noble-minded, perfect, "let's all be friends"-type character she always was). Tris, for example, became even more irritable and sometimes downright nasty to everyone. Briar, however, became exactly the way you could predict for a young man around 18 years or so: he was very flirtatious and apparently with quite a developed reputation with the ladies. As for Daja, I hadn't thought she was much different, until a scene where she kissed another female nearly made me fall out of my chair. I hadn't expected Tamora to be so open about one of her characters being a lesbian (in the past, she usually just drops a few hints here and there, like with Rosethorn and Lark), so this was quite surprising.
One flaw of the book was that if you've read Tamora Pierce's other books, you would see many obvious similarities to other books in her series. For example, Sandry hired a maid that had been badly abused, in a scene that struck me as suspiciously similar to the chapter in Lady Knight where Keladry hires Tobe. And did anyone else notice the Empress's extreme similarity to Emperor Ozorne from the Immortals series? The chapter with her touring the green houses with Briar struck me as nearly identical to the chapter of Daine touring the bird sanctuary with Ozorne. In both cases, Briar and Daine were charmed by the Emperor/Empress and their seemingly good heart concerning animals/plants. I wasn't impressed at all by the Empress, or her so-called strong will, either.
The book also had far too many kidnappings and mentions of kidnappings. By the end of the book, there were no less than three kidnap attempts on Sandry. If it were me, I'd have been out of there with the first attempt (this one didn't progress much past the threatening stage, but it still would have been enough), but Sandry remained quite unconcerned until the second (she DID try to leave after that one, fortunately).
The climax of the book was very long and drawn out, involving the four mages trying to leave Namorn and being stopped by the Empress's mages, accidents that nearly killed them, and yes, yet another kidnapping. I was starting to wonder at this point if the Empress wanted to keep the mages there out of pure spite, because if they were indeed forced to stay, I can't imagine they'd be willing to just settle down and live happily in Namorn after all of that nonsense.
To conclude, I do recommend this book to people who are a fan of the Circle of Magic and Circle Opens series, because it does tell us very nicely of who the characters have become, and what they can achieve. It is a nice conclusion to their story. The book does keep you interested and doesn't introduce too many new characters that will leave your head spinning with trying to remember them all (an excellent example of this would be Trickster's Choice, but I digress). The flaws I mentioned are really not enough to make you throw down the book in disgust or anything, so overall, the book is quite good.