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The Will of the Empress

The Will of the Empress

by Tamora Pierce

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Tamora Pierce returns to the world of Circle of Magic for this smashing novel that brings the four young mages back together as teens. Suspense! Court intrigue! Romance! Fights! All the things that you love about Tammy’s books are here in abundance.


Tamora Pierce returns to the world of Circle of Magic for this smashing novel that brings the four young mages back together as teens. Suspense! Court intrigue! Romance! Fights! All the things that you love about Tammy’s books are here in abundance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Devotees of Tamora Pierce's The Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens quartets will welcome back Sandry and her friends from Winding Circle-Daja, Tris and Briar-in The Will of the Empress. Here the Empress of Namorn, older cousin to Lady Sandrilene fa Toren, attempts to virtually imprison Sandry in Namorn and marry her off to a noble. Can Sandry count on her friends (and their special talents), in spite of how estranged they have become? Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Will the Circle be unbroken? Pierce has brought her young mages Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar together again after their independent adventures in "The Circle Opens" quartet. Ah, but they are now eighteen and adults. Will they still bond, or close each off from their telepathic communications? This is the crux of the story and forms the tension that propels the plot along until a real menace enters the scene. The Empress Berenene of Namorn is beautiful, intelligent, and cold as ice. What is her true reason for bringing Sandry and her friends to Lady Sandrilene's ancestral homeland? The squabbling cohort take their own good time in learning this agenda. They are too busy falling into the glamour of court life: flirtations, first love, really fabulous libraries and greenhouses. But the temptations become shallow when Sandry is put in true danger, and the old friends must learn new accommodations to save her. Pierce's voluminous book starts slowly, but once it gets rolling she proves again that she is still a very good, page-turning storyteller. 2005, Scholastic, Ages 12 up.
—Kathleen Karr
In her latest tale, fantasy queen Pierce reunites the four young mages from her Circle of Magic and Circle Opens series, and her many fans will be delighted. The book opens as thread mage Sandry is turning 16. She isn't just a talented "stitch witch"; she's also a wealthy noblewoman, and when her powerful kinswoman, the Empress Berenne, summons her to the land of Namorn, Sandry feels obliged to go. Accompanied by her long-separated, bickering foster siblings, the mages Daja, Tris, and Briar, Sandry arrives at the empress's court, only to discover that the treacherous empress has no intention of letting her—or her fortune—ever leave. It will take the skills of all four mages to thwart the empress's game of "snare-the-heiress," as Sandry is kidnapped not once but twice (Namorn custom allows men to abduct their would-be brides) and Tris is badly injured. Pierce's characters are, as always, fully developed, and there is a feminist slant to her writing along with suspense, romance (including a non-explicit lesbian affair), and a great sense of humor. A delightful page-turner, though perhaps best enjoyed by readers already familiar with the characters. KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Scholastic, 320p., Ages 12 to adult.
—Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-This novel begins two years after the "Circle of Magic" and "The Circle Opens" series. Readers are reintroduced to the four characters who made the other series so popular: Sandry, who has worked at her uncle's these past two years; Tris, who has developed a new power that she is afraid to share; Daja, who immediately renews her link with Sandry; and Briar, who is afraid to open up because of his memories of the war. Sandry still holds the circle that binds these four individuals together, creating a strong whole out of four very diverse parts. When the book opens, they refuse to reopen the link that has made them stronger due to changes in their lives. Sandry discovers that the lands she holds for the Empress will be given away unless she returns home. Her uncle talks her friends into accompanying her. She hopes to visit her lands and leave by fall, but the Empress has other plans for her, including marriage. After the Empress meets her friends, she devises plans to keep them all. Readers will enjoy being reacquainted with these older but still very well-developed characters. This book stands alone, but readers unfamiliar with the earlier books will be asking for them after finishing this one.-June H. Keuhn, Corning East High School, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Tris, Sandry, Briar and Daja return in the latest Circle book, but their formerly close friendship has weakened as they've grown apart on their separate adventures. Once closer than siblings, the four no longer understand one another. Nonetheless, when Sandry is summoned to her ancestral lands in Namorn at Empress Berenene's whim, only her friends-all supremely powerful mages-can protect her from political machinations. Berenene wants Sandry to stay, though Namorn's unpleasant and misogynistic legal system revolts the quartet. Sandry finds herself wooed by Berenene's courtiers, while practical Tris is tempted with education and Briar with the palace's extensive gardens. Daja, meanwhile, finds love with one of Berenene's ladies. The four come to terms with one another's passages to adulthood in this surprisingly rich adventure. Main characters all get satisfactory depth, although much development is left tantalizingly unresolved for future offerings. When Pierce first began writing longer books, her pacing was shaky; she's settled into the length quite well. Satisfying. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Circle Reforged Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Tamora Pierce has published over two dozen novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Trickster’s Choice and Terrier. A former house mother, literary agent, and radio actress, Tammy lives in Syracuse, New York, with a growing number of cats and her beloved “spouse creature,” Tim Liebe, with whom she wrote the Marvel Comics series “White Tiger.” You can visit her on the Web at www.tamorapierce.com.

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