Circle of Magic: Sandry’s Book

I’ve decided to take a break from Tortall for awhile, not because I’m trying to avoid the series about Alanna’s daughter, but because I’m hoping it will be a SPECIAL GROUP PROJECT BOOK REPORT. We’ll see. Either way, I’ve had to turn to the Circle of Magic series, which follows the fates of four children gathered together by a powerful mage for their own unique powers. They’re basically a fantasy-medieval version of the Planeteers without the bling. Middle School Patricia read all of the Circle of Magic series, but she didn’t like it very much. Possibly having four main characters instead of one makes it harder to care about them, and, since they start out at 11, Middle School Patricia was clearly WAY TOO OLD for this book. There weren’t any love connections or anything. I really don’t remember much about how the other books go, but this one, at least, has a very meandering plot, given over to long descriptions of the children learning to control their magic and having lessons. The main antagonist is MOTHER NATURE in the form of a sudden earthquake two chapters from the end. Luckily the four children work together with magic to save themselves. The end. Yeah, I’m not really stoked to read the sequel, either, but I will power through. Here is the Planeteer Circle of Magic roster:

Real Name: Lady Sandrilene fa Toren
Rank: Noblewoman, almost royalty
Magic: Thread-working. Basically, sewing and weaving
Tragic Back Story: Parents killed by small pox, survived by locking herself in a creepy cellar
Why I Hate Her: 1) she pretty much has a mullet on the cover, 2) it’s clear she’s supposed to be the “sweet one”, which means she has no personality, 3) she just wants everyone to get along. Boring, 4) it seems already like she and the boy are going to be an item, 5) thread magic is lame

Real Name: Roach, until he gave up his life of crime; now it’s Briar Moss
Rank: Thief/street urchin
Magic: Plants
Tragic Back Story: Orphaned street urchin on his third offense
Why I Hate Him: I know singling out Sandry as your eventual love interest gives it that cloying “We’re from two different worlds!” aspect, but could that BE any more cliche? Besides, Briar, you are kind of spunky and Sandry is SO BORING. You could do better.

Real Name: Daja Kisubo
Rank: Trader; trangshi
Magic: Metal
Tragic Back Story: Sole survivor of a shipwreck; cast out by her people as a trangshi, or bad luck
Why I Hate Her: Daja is actually pretty cool. The Trader class are looked down on by everyone, and now she’s even avoided by them because of her “trangshi” status. Like all Traders, she carries a big staff everywhere with which she kicks butt, and I like seeing a girl doing blacksmithery. The only reason Middle School Patricia was not her BFF was her constant whining about being all alone when clearly she has three besties.

Real Name: Trisana Chandler
Rank: Merchant Class
Magic: Weather
Tragic Back Story: Assuming she’s possessed by evil spirits, her family passes her around for awhile, eventually abandoning her at various temples
Why I Love Her: Tris was the one character Middle School Patricia was really rooting for because 1) weather magic is clearly the best, 2) she has red hair, 3) she likes books and libraries, 4) she’s the most adventurous magically, even if it means getting in trouble, 5) people tease her for being fat

The Play-By-Play

Chapter One
Trapped in the dark cellar hiding from small pox, Sandry somehow makes her embroidery thread glow for light. Adrift at sea, Daja makes a chest of supplies move towards her across the water. Later, she’s rescued by Numair Niko Goldeye. Roach asks some moss to grow in his usual prison cell to get a good night’s sleep. It’s his third offense, but before he can be sentenced to hard labor, Niko Goldeye tells the judge he’s taking him to Winding Circle Temple. Tris is at another temple where everyone is mean to her. She gets mad and it starts hailing. Niko agrees to take her to Winding Circle. He also rescues Sandry from that cellar.

Chapter two
Sandry’s great-uncle, Duke of Emelan, is all “I would take you in, but I’m a bachelor and girls are annoying” so she goes to Winding Circle. The Trader Council proclaim Daja an outcast and banish her forever because of her bad luck. Niko takes her to Winding Circle. Briar hates baths. Apparently these two chapters are like a series of random flashbacks and Niko can’t actually be in four places at once.

Chapter three
The other noblewomen being educated at the Temple are dead boring, so Sandry makes friends with Daja even though no one else will talk to her since she’s a Trader. Tris predicts an earthquake and the girl’s dormitory nun is freaked out. Some other kids try to beat up Daja, and Briar gets accused of stealing something even though he didn’t. Also, he has a bunch of knives? Anyway, they all get sent to live at Discipline Cottage, on the outskirts of the temple complex, though still within its big walls.

Chapter four
Two nuns dedicates run Discipline Cottage: Rosethorn, who’s all about her garden, and Lark, who is all about weaving. Rosethorn is the bitchy one. Some plants try to give Briar a great big hug, and Rosethorn rants about how much greenhouses suck.

Chapter five
Daja goes on a walk and finds the smithies. Tris learns how to meditate. Briar goes looking for this greenhouse, and finds a sick plant inside but gets chased away by Dedicate Crane. Lark teaches Sandry how to spin thread. Everyone has to do chores and take baths.

Chapter six
Some other kids start insulting the four and Tris almost attacks them with tornadoes! Niko shows them The Hub, which is the center of the Temple and where all the important magic happens, like Listeners hearing things on the wind.

Chapter seven
Sandry has trouble spinning thread because the wool just wants to stick to her since it “likes her”. Niko teaches Tris how to predict where lightning will strike, but warns her about trying to control nature and how it’s totes dangerous. Daja goes back to Frostpine, the Smith, and he agrees to teach her metalwork even though it is totes against the Trader Code. Lark used to be an acrobat.

Chapter eight
Briar stole the sick bonsai tree from the greenhouse, but Dedicate Crane saw him and chases him back to Discipline. Sandry, Daja, and Tris all run outside, possibly to fight him? Luckily Rosethorn is there and stops a children-on-monk smackdown. Rosethorn makes a deal where Briar can keep the sick bonsai tree if she gives Crane one of her tomato plants, which apparently he has a hard time growing in his totally blasphemous greenhouse. Because that’s a fair trade?

Chapter nine
Tris has to teach everyone else how to do chores because she grew up as cinderella. Sandry thinks after facing down Dedicate Crane they are all BFF but Daja and Tris aren’t so sure. Bonsai trees are full of MAGIC and totes sentient. Briar can talk to it with his mind. Sandry makes thread glow again and Daja catches a red hot piece of metal with no ill effects.

Chapter ten
Time to go to market and sell stuff the Temple has made! Rosethorn and Lark make the mistake of giving the children free time, and Sandry quickly finds WRONGS THAT MUST BE RIGHTED. She starts a fight with a gang of boys who are tormenting a stray dog. Natch they beat her, but Briar and Daja run to her defense. Tris decides to use her powers to help, trying to bring water from the nearby harbor to throw on them. WHOOPS she accidentally creates a water cyclone! Luckily she controls it until Lark comes and banishes it. Then the townsfolk are all bitchy until Duke Vedris/Sandry’s uncle comes and is all “Being mean to dogs is mean” and confines Tris to the Temple until she stops being a walking disaster. The children are also SHOCKED to discover that they are all MAGICAL! Seriously, shocked. Despite all the events of the last few chapters. Also, they get to keep the dog and name it Little Bear.

Chapter eleven
Tris decides to experiment with how powerful her magic is by trying to turn the tides. Of course, she almost dies because you can’t mess with nature.

Chapter twelve
A big earthquake is going to hit some other town tomorrow! The Temple seers send messages to warn them. Wave Circle Temple near there sends back the message “You may be surprised”. Everyone says that the guy who runs the Temple, Huath, is crazy because he builds machines to turn one kind of energy into another. The next day the children are out walking and a big earthquake hits! They are buried by rubble! Doomed to die? No, wait, they have magic! Daja uses her metal magic to firm up the rocks around them so the ceiling of their rubble cave doesn’t fall in. Sandry is freaking out because she’s afraid of the dark, and Tris warns them that another giant quake is coming, this time with magic!

Chapter thirteen
Sandry weaves their magical powers together so that they can help each other and their magic can work together to avoid being crushed by the next quake. In the process she gets a handy friendship bracelet of ULTIMATE POWER. Finally some people dig them out, and they hear the story of what happened. Apparently this Huath guy wanted to contain the power of the earthquake and put it to other uses. Obvs that backfired, broke out of the holding spell and “went in every direction”. Huath and everyone in the temple are dead, which is a bummer because I thought at least he was going to be the series main villain. Also, now the children can mind-speak. They make a magical glowing crystal for Sandry so she won’t have to ever be in the dark.

Next: Circle of Magic Book 2: Tris’ Book
Previously: Protector of the Small Book 4 Lady Knight

4 responses to “Circle of Magic: Sandry’s Book”

  1. […] North Dakota: The Truth Revealed Circle of Magic: Sandry’s Book […]

  2. Caitlin says:

    Correction: as a person who went to yarn camp, I can tell you that thread magic is in fact awesome.

  3. […] Next: Circle of Magic Book 3: Daja’s Book Previously: Circle of Magic Book 1: Sandry’s Book […]

  4. […] 1: Sandry’s Book Book 2: Tris’s Book Book 3: Daja’s […]

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