Immortals Book 1: Wild Magic!


I know you are just hankering to know what happens in the next Tamora Pierce series, The Immortals, and don’t worry, so was I! That’s why I read all of Wild Magic yesterday so I could report back. Our heroine, Daine, is a 13-year-old orphan brimming over with “wild magic”, which basically boils down to souped up Eliza Thornberry powers.

Where Darwin is played by a horse and Donnie is a fantasy-medieval hipster

And her dad’s unfortunately not Tim Curry, but some (probably super-magic) mystery man her mom met this one night whom she’s never met. This concept is great because it combined my 13-year-old love of medieval-fantasy MAGIC with my love of HORSES, Daine’s primary animal companions. While she tries to flee her past and understand her powers, she ends up in Tortall, helping out my girl Alanna and a new character, Numair the hot sorcerer/hipster/lech. Because random mythical creatures (“immortals”) are attacking Tortall! Of course.

Middle School Patricia took awhile to warm to Daine, and even then she was never as cool as Alanna. She thought Daine was kind of boring and too shy, even though Daine’s actions pretty much mirrored what her own would have been. Alanna is what Middle School Patricia wishes she was: brave, tough, and not taking any crap. Daine is what she actually was: shy, nervous, and often confused by social interactions. Middle School Patricia was, perhaps, frustrated that here was someone even more of a wuss than her who still had awesome magical powers. And she got to hang out with Alanna. Middle School Patricia was totes jeal.

Meanwhile, my current problems with this book mostly relate to Numair, whose present inoffensiveness I can’t disentangle from my knowledge about where his storyline is going. I hoped that I had a George-like misunderstanding about him in middle school, but upon this reread I found that my memories are correct: he’s at least 28 in this book, and although he hasn’t made a move on Daine yet (besides some jubilant hugging) it’s just a few books away. In this book, he’s Daine’s teacher and clearly a sort of surrogate father-figure since she never knew her own. Which makes their eventual “happily ever after” that much creepier. But I’ll stop getting ahead of myself. For this book, anyway, the Creep Factor is a pretty low: 1 out of 5.

In case you have to ask, Middle School Patricia, of course, thought Numair was totally hot and completely romantic because, duh, he had long hair, and could turn into a hawk. Luckily, though she too was 13 at the time, she didn’t immediately start macking on any 28-year-old father figures.

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Book 1 of The Immortals

Typical Tamora Pierce Checklist:
Magical Animal Companion(s): Cloud, the sassy mountain pony!
Magical Bling: a silver badger’s claw acquired in a dream!
Love Interest(s): None yet, but Numair gives her a nickname so you know it’s coming
Previous Tamora Pierce Character Sightings: Thayet (8), Alanna (7), George (4), King J (2), Dead characters living on through namesakes (4)

Play-by-Play
Chapter one: Girl with a Pony
Daine and her trusty steed, Cloud, get jobs with Onua, a horse trader headed towards Tortall because Daine seems to be able to talk to horses. Onua works for the Queen’s Riders, which are a corps of swift men and women warriors protecting small villages from raiders. They’re led by Queen Thayet!!! Daine dreams a badger is annoyed with her and then gives her a piece of its own hand. Then she wakes up and finds A SILVER BADGER CLAW OMG

Chapter two: The Hawk
Daine and Onua get attacked by Stormwings, mythical creatures that feed on corpses. Except they are totes real! They are like human/birds with metal, razor sharp wings. With her archery and magical animal powers, Daine fights them off, then finds the hawk they were chasing. The hawk is sick and Onua thinks it is SUPER IMPORTANT to cure it. Then Alanna shows up!!!! And saves the hawk, of course. Turns out, it was a man all along!

Chapter three: Spidrens and Meditation
Daine wakes up in the middle of the night and feels something is amiss! Alanna is awake too, and they end up fighting off spidrens: human/spider monsters! The hawk man turns out to be Numair the Sorcerer who was spying and got stuck as a hawk. They bond over hair products and make it to Corus, the capital.

Chapter four: The Queen’s Riders
Daine lives in the barracks with the Queen’s Riders and helps Onua and the others train them. At first everyone is all “Pffff, you are only 13” but then they realize she is the heroine so they should start being nice to her. She decides to sleep outside to be near her animal friends. In the morning, Stormwings attack!! Luckily every animal ever comes to her aid, plus some Queen’s Rider Teachers. Then Alanna, Numair, and King Jonathan (!!) show up and drive them off with magic.

Chapter five: Wild Magic
King J is all “You are super useful because you can sense the Immortals coming and all kinds of them have been attacking!” Numair explains that it’s because Daine is chock-full of Wild Magic and luckily he’s the only Wild Magic expert ever. Elaborate ploy to get into Daine’s pants? Maybe.

Chapter six: Magelet
Daine keeps forgetting she’s a human and not an animal when using her powers which is totes awk, and she tries to hide it from everyone, especially Numair by pretending she can’t study further and “has a headache”. Traditional Victorian attempt to spurn Numair’s advances? Definitely. But Mystical Dream Badger is having none of that, so eventually she tells Numair and Onua the truth: “After raiders killed my family, I lived with wolves and forgot I was human and hunted and killed all the raiders. Then my fellow villagers hunted and tried to kill me.” Giant secret revealed!

Chapter seven: Buzzard Rocks
Naturally, Numair and Onua do not throw her into the sea to drown as she assumed they would. Numair fixes her problem in, like, a minute. As Daine travels to Pirate’s Swoop with Alanna, Numair, and the Queen’s Riders she realizes that there are Stormwings hiding in the clouds up and down the coast. The top brass’ response to this is basically, “We’ll see”. Then they meet griffins who are basically nice, but (future plot point!) you can’t tell a lie in front of one.

Chapter eight: Pirate’s Swoop
George!!!! And Alanna’s children!!! And Thayet and King J’s children!!! All of them are named after someone who died in the Alanna Books! Creepy. Alanna has to leave to fight some ogres. Then they realize (too late!) that the Stormwings were not just spying on them for fun! No, they are mos def surrounded by a secret army now.

Chapter nine: Siege!
Plus some “Carthak War Boats” with mages on board! If they don’t surrender Queen Thayet and her kids, the Carthak bad guys are going to kill everyone! Plus, they brought a dragon from somewhere, but she is mostly just pissed and leaves to have a baby.

Chapter ten: Listening Far Enough
Daine tells all of her animal friends how to help her by sneaking into the enemy camp and wrecking up the place. Then she tries to talk to some whales to get them to flip the boats, but they are pacifists. However, a passing Kraken hears her plea and is all “Shit, yeah!” Then the dragon comes back and bravely sacrifices herself for Daine, and Daine kills the Queen of the Stormwings.

Epilogue
Everyone goes into the hills to find the orphan baby dragon named Skysong that Daine now has to raise. Literally every character we have met so far offers her a place to live and she cries with joy. The End.

Next: Wolf-Speaker

3 responses to “Immortals Book 1: Wild Magic!”

  1. Thomas says:

    Tim Curry was Nigel

    Mind = blown.

  2. […] Wild Magic Next: Emperor […]

  3. […] Immortals Book 1: Wild Magic Book 2: Wolf-Speaker Book 3: Emperor […]

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