Circle of Magic Book 3: Daja’s Book

The most interesting thing about this installment in the Circle of Magic series is that we get to learn more about Trader culture. Daja, the metal-working Circleteer, used to be a Trader until a storm killed her entire family. Then the other Traders declared her “Trangshi” or “cursed” and exiled her forever. As trangshi, other Traders don’t even acknowledge her existence and stay well away from her for fear of catching her bad luck. In this book, Daja comes across a caravan of Traders who are forced to deal with her since she has something they want to buy. Everyone learns a lesson about acceptance and how to prevent forest fires!

Daja’s Book by Tamora Pierce

The Play-by-Play

Chapter one
The Circleteers and their teachers are on a field trip to the north! Daja is making some nails at the local smithy when a Trader woman comes in wanting work done for her caravan. Then she realizes Daja is a trangshi, and basically puts her hands over her ears shouting “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!” Daja is being attacked by a metal plant she accidentally made! Meanwhile Sandry accidentally burns some threads on this guy’s jacket, even though she doesn’t have fire magic!

Chapter two
We discover Frostpine the Smith Mage was (is?) a total player! The Traders inspect the magical metal plant thing and want to buy it! Daja demands that they acknowledge her presence before she’ll sell, and they grumble away. Apparently this valley is all about growing crocuses, and Brian accidentally kills one with lightning? Lark says this weird mixing of magic has to stop, and Sandry has to weave a map of their powers!

Chapter three
Sandry commands the circleteers to keep some thread with them for the next few days so it can absorb their essence or something. Lady Inoulia, who owns the land this field trip is on, is a total bitch. Her mage, Yarrun Firetamer, keeps all fires except grass fires out of the valley, and is kind of a jerk about it. To prove this, some cottage sets fire, and he finally puts it out, after wasting time taunting Niko about how he can’t. Rosethorn yells at him that the forest NEEDS fire sometimes; Briar loves it when Rosethron talks mean, if you know what I mean. Niko yells at the Circleteers for using magic to eavesdrop, and tells them they are BANNED FROM MAGIC until further notice.

Chapter four
Polyam, the original Trader who found Daja, comes back in a crazy yellow get up, which apparently is supposed to keep her safe from Daja’s bad luck. She is still super rude, and the Circleteers demand she come back with all the proper bargaining paraphernalia, like food, music, cushions, and a gift. Rosethorn makes them start making burn ointment, either to piss off Yarrun or because she’s seen the cover of this book.

Chapter five
Everyone gets food poisoning! Which is a weird set up to get Briar and Daja off by themselves, where they accidentally cause a fissure in the earth to open up, magically dive down to check it out, find some lava, hot springs, and a glacier!

Chapter six
Polyam comes back with a gift, food, and all that Trader-bargaining jazz. Daja puts the gift, a metal cup, next to the vine, which promptly starts eating it. Sandry starts spinning their magic into a Magic Map, which means they can’t use any of it.

Chapter seven
Everyone wants to take a trip to see the glacier! Polyam agrees to guide them because she secretly likes Daja.

Chapter eight
Daja brings a metal flower clipped for her creepy metal plant as a centerpiece for their glacier picnic. Then she can’t pick it back up because it’s taken root in the ground! Hidden copper mines? Def! Polyam tells Daja the sad story of how she fell down a mountain, lost her leg, and stopped being useful to her clan. Tris and Niko think if they use the hot springs to melt some glacier water, it will help the drought-stricken land! But don’t melt too much or the LAVA will escape!! This is exactly how nature works!! They decide to think about it. Yarrun puts out some more fires and acts like a jerk some more.

Chapter nine
With the power of weaving, Sandry thinks she can keep their magic separate but equal. Daja goes up to the lookout tower, where Yarrun is chilling looking for more fires. He’s drinking something he calls “Yanjing tea, treated with stimulants” which I assume means “Red Bull mixed with speed”. Yarrun confesses to her how pissed he is that everyone is all about Niko. That guy can’t even put out a fire!

Chapter ten
Polyam comes to pick up the freaky metal plant, and Daja volunteers to travel with the caravan a little while because she misses Traders and how mean they are to her. Everyone else has to have dinner with bitchy Lady I.

Chapter eleven
Lady I proudly tells them all that every wildfire is extinguished! Five seconds later Tris points out A TREE IN FREAKIN FLAMES. Yarrun freaks and puts it out. But more fires are starting! Oh noes! Fire has been building up for days hidden in the piled up dead forest undergrowth! Everyone offers Yarrun magical strength, but he disdainfully refuses and then dies of tiredness and speed overdose. Oh noes! The fire is spreading through the forest where Daja and the caravan are! They telepath to her to turn the caravan around! Of course, the caravan don’t listen to her since she’s trangshi. Finally they start to turn around, and Daja and her friends use their magic to hold the fire back a little bit. Except, uh oh, now it’s behind them too! TRAPPED!

Chapter Twelve
Daja uses her magic to send the fire away to melt some of the glacier? It totally works! The Traders are super grateful and tell her they’ll buy her name off of the Trangshi list and let her into their caravan!

Chapter Thirteen
Also, the brass cap from her staff got burned onto her hand, and now she can’t get it off. Super magical metal skin!! Daja tells the Traders she can’t come with them because she wants to stay with the Circleteers, but gives Polyam a magical metal living flesh new leg!

Next: Circle of Magic Book 4: Briar’s Book
Previously: Circle of Magic Book 2: Tris’s Book

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