Melting Stones (Circle Reforged Series #2)

Melting Stones (Circle Reforged Series #2)

4.0 97
by Tamora Pierce

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Four years have passed since Evvy left the streets of Chammur to begin her training as a stone mage. At fourteen, she's unhappy to be on a new journey with her mentor, prickly green mage Rosethorn, who has been called to the Battle Islands to determine why the plants and animals there are dying. Evvy's job is to listen and learn, but she can't keep quiet and do…  See more details below


Four years have passed since Evvy left the streets of Chammur to begin her training as a stone mage. At fourteen, she's unhappy to be on a new journey with her mentor, prickly green mage Rosethorn, who has been called to the Battle Islands to determine why the plants and animals there are dying. Evvy's job is to listen and learn, but she can't keep quiet and do nothing. With the help of Luvo, the living stone heart of a mountain, Evvy uncovers an important clue. Now, with the island on the brink of disaster, it's up to Evvy to avert the destruction that looms ahead.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Almost as prolific as she is popular, Pierce bucks convention and brings this novel to audio a year in advance of its hardcover publication. Once a writer for radio theater, Pierce tailors the narrative to audio, which is evident in the enhanced use of dialogue to convey plot and the streamlined descriptions. The story itself is a continuation of adventures begun in Street Magic, part of the author's Circle of Magic cycle-fortunately, listeners can easily enter the fantasy world here without any previous acquaintance. Narrator Evvy, a young and battle-scarred mage whose words and thoughts are crisply, even commandingly read by Kelly, goes with her guardian Rosethorn to a "battle island" where the plants are dying off. With help from her friend Luvo, the living heart of a mountain (his voice sounds a bit robotic), she discovers that volcanic spirits plan to erupt. Production values are consistently high: carefully integrated original music raises the emotional stakes, and a skilled cast delivers full-bodied performances, even making good on lines like "his voice was as hard asdiamonds, and as soft as chalk." The novel is not one of Pierce's more surprising or innovative, but her typically strong characterizations and the superb acting camouflage its deficiencies. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Evvy, the street child turned stone mage of the Circle of Magic and Circle Opens quartets, is featured in Pierce's return to that world. This time Evvy is separated from her friends and sent to help a group of troubled volcanic islands with only the adult mages Rosethorn and the prissy Myrrhtide as companions and, of course, her talking rock Luvo. This is the kind of fantasy that one has to open up to and accept straight out. Okay, so Evvy is in tune with rocks, which means all the strata of the geological world. It also means that she can feel coming earthquakes (which appear to be ceaseless on the Battle Islands), and swoop her spirit-self deep into the core of the earth to hunt birthing volcanoes. That acknowledged, it is easier to travel along with Evvy's nonstop spirit explorations which make up the majority of the story. Will she save the island and its villagers in time? Will she learn to love human beings as much as rocks? It is a fairly simple plot, one that Pierce worked out first for the audio format, which probably accounts for the endless swoops beneath the earth. Red-hot swirling, personified magma is rife with drama-laden opportunities, after all. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
KLIATT - Cara Chancellor
Stone mage Evumeimei, better known as Evvy, knew she should have tried harder to get out of this trip. She dislikes foreigners, she dislikes the sea, and she especially dislikes water mage Myrrhtide. Even if she is accompanied by her teacher Rosethorn and her best friend Luvo—a "talking rock" who is actually the animate heart of a mountain—traveling to Starns Island to discover what's poisoning its plants and lakes is not her idea of fun. Soon after arriving, though, Evvy encounters a flow of stone magic unlike any she or Luvo has ever felt. She can't resist trying to follow the dangerous power to its source, but what she discovers may spell disaster for her, her friends, and the entire island nation. Pierce is at her best when Evvy is exploring her magic, delving through stones with an effortless scientific analysis that is at once illuminating and credible. When dealing with more mundane matters, though, Evvy displays a juvenility that confines this book to junior and early high school readers. Older readers also are likely to discern the secret (a volcano) far earlier than does Evvy. Melting Stones will be most enjoyed by elemental magic fantasy readers, as well as fans of Pierce's other Circle of Magic books. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
VOYA - Bonnie Kunzel
Pierce returns to the world of her Circle of Magic and Circle Opens quartets for a first-of-a-kind publishing event. She wrote this novel in audiobook format, which was beautifully recorded by Full Cast Audio (2007/AudioTalk, VOYA April 2008) a year before the print version became available. Central here is Evvy, the street urchin Briar rescued in Street Magic (Scholastic, 2001/VOYA April 2001), the second book of The Circle Opens. Four years have passed, and Evvy is in training as a stone mage at Winding Circle Temple. Now fourteen, she accompanies Rosethorn, with her plant magic, and Myrrhtide, a disapproving Water Mage, on their mission to Starns, an island where plants are dying and water is being poisoned. Evvy and her living rock companion, Luvo, the heart of a mountain, uncover the cause, a deadly threat to the continued existence of the island. Evvy barely survives her meeting with volcano spirits who are determined to break free from their underground confinement and reach the surface, no matter how much death and destruction follows. She and the other mages have their hands full, trying to convince the stubborn inhabitants of the island to flee. And when time runs out, it is up to Evvy to save the day, a Pierce "sheroe" who does not sit around waiting to be saved but goes out and does the saving herself. Fans old and new are going to love Evvy's adventures-in both formats-whether or not they have read the other Circle books. Reviewer: Bonnie Kunzel
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

The council of mages, The Winding Circle, has received a request from the Battle Islands for assistance. Their plants are dying and their rivers are turning to acid, and the situation is getting worse. The Circle sends two mages, along with a student who has gotten herself into a bit of trouble. Evvy has a choice-either go on the mission or be confined to Discipline Cottage. Her mentor is one of the mages, so she chooses to accompany them. When they arrive at the island, they discover that Evvy might be useful after all. What follows is a riveting story that has many inventive and exciting plot twists and turns. The story was originally created as an audio book, with actors helping the author develop the characters as they recorded. It was a fabulous idea, and the story features excellent character development because of it. Evvy has depth, and readers get hints as to her motivations and desires. The whole book, the first in a series, is an amazing ride.-Jennifer-Lynn Draper, Children's Literature Consultant, Oshawa, Ontario

Kirkus Reviews

In this first print edition of a tale originally conceived of and published as an audiobook (2007), the magic of Evumeimei Dingzai, a rough-edged young stone mage last met in Street Magic (2001), is tested to its limits on (and under) an island afflicted with mysterious dead zones. It doesn't take Evvy long to learn that the island of Starns is volcanic in origin and that after thousands of years powerful fire entities from the planet's core have nearly reached the surface. Can she convince the skeptical surface residents to flee and simultaneously divert the coming eruption? Thanks to a quick temper and rudimentary people skills shaped by her harsh early life, the first shapes up to be tougher than the second; fortunately, she has allies—notably Luvo, a deceptively small, stonelike being who is actually the ancient living heart of a mountain. Related in a strongly individual voice, expertly set in context without longwinded explanations and well-stocked with nuanced characters of several ages and species, this suspenseful tale is lit up with magic. (Fantasy. 10-14)

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Circle Reforged Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.26(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.61(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Tamora Pierce is the critically acclaimed author of more than twenty novels, including the Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens quartets, THE WILL OF THE EMPRESS, MELTING STONES, and, most recently, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Beka Cooper trilogy. She lives in New York State with her husband, Tim, and her seven cats and two birds. Visit her online at

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