Circle of Magic Book 2: Tris’s Book

This week I read the second book in the Circle of Magic series, Tris’s Book. Even though “Book Two” would be the only less imaginative title that springs to mind, this installment is the one I enjoyed the most out of the Circle of Magic series! Partly because Tris is the main character, and she is definitely my fave Circleteer! Not only is her weather power the most badass, but we also have a love of books and fat kid solidarity to pull us together. Plus, she always seems vaguely annoyed with most of the other characters and their relentless, cheery “let’s work together and we can change the world!” attitude (I’m looking at you, Sandry). It’s not that I have anything against the Circleteers combining their powers, I just wish they could do it without being so heavy handed about how inharmonious people cause natural disasters. Maybe it’s just because, like Tris, I’m pretty contentious by nature, and, also like Tris, I find most of the other characters (okay, mostly Sandry) really irritating.

This book is also clearly the best because it has an actual bad guy! And that bad guy is a pirate queen! And her brother, a pirate mage! Pirate magic attack, you guys! The other books have messages like “Some people are vaguely annoying, but you’ve still got to work together with them to defeat the real threat: nature” when our characters face earthquakes, forest fires, and an epidemic. Tris’s Book is the only one where the Circleteers are actually fighting against other people, which gives me hope that Circle of Magic Land is not just full of incredibly self-righteous people entirely. Usually I’m not so bloodthirsty, but I was beginning to doubt that actual villains existed in these books, so the pirate attack made me really happy!

Other than those two differences, the plot of this book basically follows the general theme of all Circle of Magic books: we learn some things about Tris’ past, everyone learns more magic, and the Circleteers combine their powers to save Winding Circle Temple from an exterior threat. Plus, Tris’s CLEARLY treacherous cousin comes to visit, and it takes them an annoyingly long time to figure out that he is totes a spy.

Tris’s Book by Tamora Pierce

The ReCap

Name: Sandry
Class: Noble
Power: Thread and weaving
Teacher: Dedicate Lark

Name: Tris
Class: Merchant
Power: Weather
Teacher: Niko the Mage

Name: Daja
Class: outcast Trader
Power: Metal and fire
Teacher: Frostpine the Smithmage

Name: Briar
Class: street urchin
Power: plants
Teacher: Dedicate Rosethorn

The Play-by-Play

Chapter one
It is super hot so the Circleteers are up on the temple complex walls to catch a breeze. They magically here a conversation and a murder on the wind, and then two watchtowers in the harbor explode!

Chapter two
Niko the Mage needs Tris to solve the Mystery of the Exploding Watchtowers! She’s psyched to get out of chores, until she realizes what he really needs is to suck her power out of her for magic amplification! Not cool, man. Plus, all they end up figuring out is that some guys used magic to blow up the temple. Niko: clearly a medieval fantasy Nancy Drew. Tris finds an orphan starling and determines to nurse it back to health, despite having almost no empathy for other living things.

Chapter three
Daja is helping the smith Frostpine find the pieces of a buried magical metal net that was damaged in the last book’s earthquake. The net basically makes anyone who comes near it hallucinate wildly, thus somehow protecting the temple from pirates. But now it’s all broken up on this side! And Daja keeps seeing a disappearing ship out in the harbor! Pirate scout? Nah, it’s probably fine. Lark teaches Sandry to magically weave bandages. It’s just as unexciting as it sounds.

Chapter four
Rosethorn apparently knows all about birds because that has something to do with gardening? She sends Briar to get supplies for the bird and dinner for the cottage from the main temple kitchens. Briar is chilling in a semi-secret passage eating a possibly stolen pastry from the kitchen when he smells cinnamon and poppy which apparently automatically equals an invisibility spell! Sure enough, some doors open mysteriously when there’s no one there. Daja finally mentions her sort of invisible ship to Frostpine, who confirms that it is obvs a pirate scout, thanks for the heads up, Daja.

Chapter five
Duke Vedris, Sandry’s great-uncle, visits and tells Sandry that her parents were the most pathetic humans ever, but maybe she’s not as useless, despite the fact that at the start of this chapter she has passed out from EXTREME WEAVING. Vedris says that a pirate queen called Pauha is prowling around with her fleet looking for easy pickings after the earthquake, and–OMG–her brother Enahar is a powerful pirate mage! Aymery Glassfire, Tris’ cousin and a student mage comes by to ask Niko some stuff, and is unpleasantly shocked to find Tris there. Aymery starts acting super sketch and tells Tris her dad is dying and that she should probably go home. Tris is all “No one’s told me that so clears they don’t want me, thanks for making me feel bad jackass”. Then every magical crystal and mirror and bowl of water for telling the future cracks all of a sudden!!

Chapter six
Tris wakes up in the middle of the night and ends up on the walls staring at So Totally Not a Storm. Oh noes! Pretty sure a large pirate fleet is right outside the harbor, and now Frostpine wants Daja to help him strengthen the spells on the harbor chain asap. The pirates start shooting at the watchtowers anyways, and they have more exciting things than canonballs that explode on impact!

Chapter seven
The surrounding towns and villages start fleeing inside the temple walls since there’s, you know, a pirate fleet in the harbor. The Circleteers freak out a little about the pirates’ new “thunder-weapon”.

Chapter eight
Briar and Tris get sent on errands to Moonstream, the head of the Temple, and the kitchens. Briar calls skirts “flap-rags”, which is awesome. Moonstream is on the walls and at first all the soldiers and warrior mages are all “No kids allowed” before realizing that they’re talking to the main characters. Niko is on the walls too and tells them they have to wait for the navy to come rescue them, and that the pirates will shoot cannonballs at them, and then land once they figure out the magical LSD net is gone. The pirates start shooting thunder-weapon-balls at them, but Tris uses some wind magic to keep the walls safe–for now. The kitchens are super crowded since they’re cooking for all the refugees too! But the cook still gives them pastries. They meet Aymery coming out of the kitchens, and Briar thinks it is THE MOST SUSPICIOUS THING POSSIBLE that he got out of the kitchens without speaking to the cook. Aymery is moving into the cottage with them!

Chapter nine
All the senior mages are up on the walls, trying to use their magic to work in place of the LSD net. Rosethorn and Briar start doing some serious magic to build a giant Sleeping Beauty-esque thorn barrier. Pirates are landing and attacking with magical battlefire! Something happens to Rosethorn, but Briar calls to the other Circleteers telepathically and they help him finish the huge spell, but–ruh-roh–they’re psychically trapped in it! Luckily Aymery yells in Tris’ mind in the voice of their bitchy aunt and that somehow saves the day.

Chapter ten
Briar snoops through Aymery’s stuff and finds more SUPER SUSPICIOUS things: 1) he is a fancy guy, but only has a few sets of fancy clothes despite supposedly staying for weeks, 2) he has a magic mirror, somehow not cracked like the others, and 3) invisibility potion ingredients! That night Briar sneaks out and tells Tris his findings. His main argument is “Students are poor, but he’s got fancy shit! Where’s he getting that money? VILLAINY?” Aymery starts sneaking around at midnight and Tris and Briar follow. They discover a lot of drugged soldiers–presumably what Invisible!Aymery was doing in the kitchens. They follow him to the gate before Tris calls out to him. Aymery owes the pirates money, but still seems totally cool with them killing and pillaging. He shows Tris his Pirate Blood Contract Earring, and admits that her dad’s not really dying at all. He opens the gate for the pirates, who, of course, then kill him. Tris is PISSED and attacks everyone with hail, which also helps to wake up all the drugged soldiers.

Chapter eleven
Tris starts learning to get lightning to strike on command. One of those exploding thunder weapons hits the carpentry shops and starts massive fires, so all the adults run off to help. The Circleteers realize the earring Tris took from her dead cousin is still totally linked to pirate mage Enahar, like a cursed half of a Best Friends Forever heart charm.

Chapter twelve
The adults start talking about evacuating the kids, and the Circleteers throw a tantrum and decide to solve this war on their own. They start making a plan for how, during which Tris sneaks off alone. Luckily, Tris is fat so the Circleteers catch up pretty fast. Tris makes a cyclone to attack the ships, Daja starts taking apart all the metal pieces in the ships, Briar attacks them with seaweed, and Sandry has a protective circle around them to prevent enemy mages/the soldiers on the wall from interrupting them. Tris explodes a ship!

Chapter thirteen
Unfortunately, Enahar is still alive, and Tris uses her cousin’s bling to find him. Too bad Enahar has trapped them all in a “mage trap” and is stealing their magic! By this time, Niko, Lark, Rosethorn, and Frostpine have made it to the wall, and now they give their strength to the Circleteers. They break out of Enahar’s trap and Enahar dies! Also, the navy is finally here! Tris’ baby starling is healthy and annoying! She names it Shriek.

Next: Circle of Magic Book 3: Daja’s Book
Previously: Circle of Magic Book 1: Sandry’s Book

3 responses to “Circle of Magic Book 2: Tris’s Book”

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