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

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Melting Stones 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 reviews.
Kadri More than 1 year ago
I've been a Tamora Pierce fan for over 10 years, and I'm always eagerly awaiting her next novel. Like many authors who write over an extended time span, Ms. Pierce just keeps getting better with age. When I read The Will of the Empress, the hints of what happened to Briar, Evvy, and Rosethorn before their return to Summersea had me dying for the whole story. Of course, when I heard there would be a follow-up on Evvy (Melting Stones), I assumed that my prayers had finally been answered. It was my mistake that I took the story's plot for granted and never tried to look up what Melting Stones was really about... When I realized that Melting Stones wasn't the story I thought it was going to be, I was sorely disappointed. However, I love all of Tamora Pierce's works... so I was sure I could still enjoy Melting Stones. It makes me sad to say there's finally a Pierce book I honestly don't like. I barely made it through this one. The book's plot is solid; however, the storyline itself falls far short of my expectations for a Pierce novel. The story's events seemed disjointed and anticlimactic, even at the height of the adventure, and the characters were wholly unappealing. There was little to no character development during the entire duration of the story. I hated Evvy throughout, and frequently wished I could reach inside the pages and slap her upside the head. For a main character, she was quite annoying (a problem I've never had when reading from the protagonist's standpoint in Ms. Pierce's books). I also thought the interactions of Evvy's "companion" Luvo were just flat-out awkward. My final complaint of Melting Stones is that Briar is nowhere to be seen. I am so used to his personality being right in the middle of everything (both with Rosethorn, especially, and then with Evvy later on in Street Magic) that it felt like Melting Stones was lacking a crucial character... even if Evvy was the main focus of the story this time. Maybe she would have annoyed me less--I'm not sure. Anyway. Melting Stones is a decent read for young adults, but it's not up to snuff as far as the average Tamora Pierce novel goes. It's a must-have for fans and collectors... Otherwise, I would say it's not worth a second read; you can put it on your shelf and forget it. You're much better off with one of the other Circle books, or something from the Tortall universe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazingly Awesome!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm already a huge fan of Tamara Pierce. This title caught my eye. And although I didn't want to begin another series just yet -- after reading this well written, fast pased tale, I'm ready for more. I want to know "the rest of the story" and will continue with this author wherever she may go. Yes, I said I was already a huge fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, but it should not be listed as a part of the Circle Reforged series. It has little to nothing to do with Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If Tamora Pierce has written it, than I, my husband and our grandchild will love it. She has yet to write a mediocre book, let alone a poor one. I highly recommend this author to everyone of all ages over 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally don't like how this was written, however, it is still a decent read. Though I'm not a big fan of Evvy I love Rosethorn and her personality the most. The book doesn't get dull and it keeps you interested I just didn't like it from the POV that it was in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is unfortunate that Pierce selected Evvy for a foray into first person narrative. Evvy is self-involved, whiney, and so disingenuous that it renders her character entireyly unbelievable. Evidently the author believes Evvy to be so engaging that we will want to go deeply into what passes for her mind. Pierce usually does a better job of creating characters that will appeal to a wide variety of people. Even Rosethorn is not engaging in this book. Furthermore, the characters do not behave believably. Real people would not universally adore a badly behaved brat like Evvy and all support her except for a designated "bad" character or two. In reality, there would be punishments for the child, not cozening.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The circle series has been a huge reason reasin that i began reading so much. But thankfully this isnt the first book of the series or i wouldnt of picked it up. Huge let down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author was the one that got me into reading in high school. I absolutely love her books! This one in particular had a slower build up than the others but I still really liked it. I'm looking forward to the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She is an amazing author and continued the series very well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To call this a part of the Circle Reforged series is sad. It lacks the four main characters. I own All of Tamoras books, this one was a shock because it is not on the same level as her others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am only using this review space to say that i hope Battle magic will be out soon and i wonder if snybody knows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whymsy More than 1 year ago
This Story Was A Little Rocky First written as an audio book Melting Stones is a departure for Pierce from her usual pen and paper approach. While well written, as with all of Pierce’s other books, I found the Evvy in this story rather unappealing and the storyline not very well executed. As the story progressed I came to care very little where the storyline was heading; never a good sign. Perhaps it loses something in the translation from audio book to written book; I’m not sure as I haven’t been able to listen to it yet. Also the constant mentions of a human war in Evvy and Rosethorn’s recent history – which has yet to be written- was bothersome. I have to say I was rather disappointed in this book. As a fan of Tamora Pierce I have come to expect more. Evvy in no way compares to Ali or Beka Cooper or Kel –heroines in her other series - and the story lacked the spark of interest I found in Briar’s Book or Shatter Glass or Cold Fire from her Emelan Series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is another win for Tamora Pierce. It took a little longer to get engaged in, perhaps due to the strong attachment I formed to the original characters (Sandry, Daja, Tris and Briar); the book revolves around Evvy, and helps the reader understand more fully some of what the author briefly hints at happening to Briar in Yanjing (The Will of the Empress). I really appreciated Pierce going back into the Circle universe, and especially showing how the characters have grown. Maybe next we'll have word on Pasco?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book as anything Tamora Pierce writes but this one stood out to me and remains in my favorites of her books. I would recomend it to everyone!