Street Magic (Circle Opens Series #2)

Street Magic (Circle Opens Series #2)

4.6 82
by Tamora Pierce

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Part of the 8-book Tamora Pierce reissue for Fall 2006, this title in the Circle Opens quartet features spellbinding new cover art. Coincides with the release of WILL OF THE EMPRESS in trade pb. Briar Moss been training four years as a plant mage, but he hasn't put his past behind him. He meets a street girl, Evvy, using powerful magic to polish stones for a merchant…  See more details below


Part of the 8-book Tamora Pierce reissue for Fall 2006, this title in the Circle Opens quartet features spellbinding new cover art. Coincides with the release of WILL OF THE EMPRESS in trade pb. Briar Moss been training four years as a plant mage, but he hasn't put his past behind him. He meets a street girl, Evvy, using powerful magic to polish stones for a merchant, and resolves to find her a teacher. But Briar understands the city's gangs as well as he understands Evvy. When gang warfare breaks out, he discovers that the fiercest gang is seeking a stone mage to lead them to hidden gems. Only Briar and his magic can offer Evvy protection. Swept up in a bloody conflict, Briar must decide if he's ready to make the final step away from his former life as a "street rat".

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Jo Edwards
A fourteen-year-old plant mage, Briar Moss, and his mentor, Rosethorn, travel to the ancient Middle Eastern city of Chammur. While browsing through a marketplace one day, Briar spots a girl named Evvy using magic on the stones she is polishing. Briar tells Rosethorn about his discovery and she informs him that he is now responsible for the mage's education. After a Chammurian noblewoman named Lady Zenadia is told about Evvy's power, she orders her street gang to kidnap the mage. Upon learning this, Briar goes to Lady Zenadia's residence. Once reunited, the two mages confront the lady of the house. This unabridged title, recorded on eight compact discs, is the second installment in "The Circle Opens" quartet. Bruce Coville's narration is soothing and effortless, and the voice actors give a professional and passionate performance. The music, created for this audio book, has a Middle Eastern flavor. Since gang life is a prominent theme throughout this story, Pierce addresses the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of belonging to a gang. Pierce's fans will not be disappointed.
This second book in Pierce's The Circle Opens quartet takes place four years after Briar Moss began his studies as a plant mage in Briar's Book (Scholastic, 1999/VOYA June 1999) of the first quartet, Circle of Magic. Now fourteen, Briar and his teacher, Dedicate Rosethorn of Winding Circle temple in Emelan, have stopped in the trade city of Chammur on their way to distant Yanjing. In Chammur, Briar encounters a young girl named Evvy, who appears to have powerful stone magic. Evvy's power is sought by warring street gangs, and Briar must come to terms with his own past as a "street rat" to convince Evvy to begin training as a stone mage and to find her a teacher. Fans of Pierce's Circle of Magic, which introduced readers to Briar and his foster sisters Sandry, Tris, and Daja, will welcome enthusiastically the latest entry chronicling the friends' further adventures. The vocabulary, setting, and characters in Briar's world are richly detailed and among the best in fantasy fiction. Information from the previous books is woven seamlessly throughout the text in a way that will inform newcomers to Pierce's quartets without seeming repetitive to devoted fans. Extras include a glossary, a list of the author's works by series, and acknowledgments showing Pierce's research on everything from head wounds to gang culture to the mapping of Arab cities. The lively plot, imaginative setting, and engaging characters will keep fans and new readers alike wanting more from this gifted author. This series is recommended for all libraries serving middle and high school students. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined asgrades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Scholastic, 304p, . Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Leah J. Sparks SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
Briar Moss has been training as a plant mage for four years now, and he and his teacher have come to the ancient eastern city of Chammur to use their magic to help the farmers there. In the bustling marketplace Briar comes across a street child named Evvy who clearly possesses magic as well: the stones she is polishing glow as she touches them (this exotic scene is depicted on the cover). Briar learns to his dismay from his teacher that having discovered an untrained mage, he is to be the one responsible for training her. Briar is only 14, and he feels he isn't up to the job. But when he realizes that a wicked noblewoman who runs one of the street gangs wants Evvy to work for her, using her magical talent to steal precious stones, his protective instincts—and his own background as a gang member—come into play. Together Briar and Evvy foil the gangs and the nasty noblewoman, in an exciting and rather violent climax. Evvy begins to learn the art of controlling her magic from Briar, and he begins to feel pride in his new role as teacher. The Circle Opens series is a continuation of Pierce's Circle of Magic quartet, which told how Briar and three other mages learned about their magical abilities. In this new series, each takes on an apprentice (Book 1, Magic Steps, was reviewed in KLIATT in Jan. 2000, p. 8). Tales of teens with special powers always have appeal (witness the success of X-men, for example), and this fantasy is also fast moving and well written. Impudent Evvy is a good match for streetwise Briar, and Pierce delivers a strong anti-gang message as well as an engrossing tale. A glossary of invented terms is appended at the end. The Circle Opens Quartet, Book 2.KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, Scholastic, 302p, $16.95. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In the "Circle of Magic" quartet, Tamora Pierce introduced readers to four young mages who each had different magical abilities. Briar Moss, the plant mage, is featured in this second book (Scholastic, 2001) of a new quartet. Briar has traveled to Chammur with his mentor, Rosethorn, in order to help the farmers of the town. While roaming the busy market, Briar meets a street urchin who has the ability to turn lumps of rock into glowing stones. Briar is dismayed to learn that since he discovered Evvy's magic, he is responsible for training her. Matters become complicated when rival street gangs struggle to control Evvy for their own ends. Evil Lady Zenadia controls one of the gangs and is determined to have her way. Pierce fans will find much to enjoy here. Briar is a likeable character and it is amusing to see his role reversal from student to teacher. The accompanying music enhances the Middle-Eastern setting. The full cast of narrators do a fine job of bringing all the characters to life. A treat for fantasy fans.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Pierce (Magic Steps, 2000, etc.) continues to individually develop her quartet of adolescent mages. Former street rat Briar Moss, now 14 and a fully certified Mage, visits the distant city of Chammur with his mentor Rosethorn, in order to use their plant magic to replenish its depleted soil. While sightseeing, Briar discovers the homeless waif Evvy leaking stone magic. Reluctantly tutoring her in the control of her incipient powers, he becomes embroiled in a gang war, as the Vipers, prodded by a bored noblewoman, seek to profit by Evvy's talents. While retaining his most appealing traits-his affectionate bond with plant life, his jaundiced skepticism towards authority, and the prickly sarcasm disguising his deep love for his teacher and foster sisters-Briar also matures through the rewards and frustrations of teaching; and the threat to his protégé forces him to confront his romanticized ambivalence toward his own childhood gang. Strong-willed Evvy is a delightful addition to Pierce's mostly female cast, and the villainous Lady Zenadia oozes serpentine menace. Most fascinating is rose-red Chammur itself, with its timeworn stones, bustling bazaars, dusty rooftop roads, and cool, shaded palaces. Ancient, arid, elegant, sinister, sophisticated, weary, and cruel, Chammur drips with an exotic atmosphere clearly inspired by (if uncomfortably close to stereotyping) classical Arab culture. A must for Pierce's many fans, and a solid choice for those interested in a different take on gangs, faraway lands, or just good imaginative fantasy. (Fiction. 9-14)

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Circle Opens Series , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Meet the Author

Tamora Pierce has published more than two dozen novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Trickster’s Choice and Terrier. A former housemother, literary agent, and radio actress, Tammy lives in Syracuse, New York, with her beloved “spouse creature,” Tim Liebe, with whom she wrote the Marvel Comics series “White Tiger.” Visit her on the Web at

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