Gr 6–10—Tamora Pierce's third title (Atheneum, 2003) in the series continues the riveting story of Daine, a Tortallan girl with wild magic—the ability to communicate with animals and shape-shift into their form. This power earns her a mentorship from Numair Salmalin, a mage, and a fast friendship with Alanna the Lioness, the King's Champion (and the main character from Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet). As a developing mage and healer, Daine is invited to Carthak to meet with Emperor Ozorne, also known as the Emperor Mage. Unfortunately, he has angered the gods, especially Carthak's own Graveyard Hag, and Daine is tapped as a vessel for the goddess, quickly managing to become embroiled in the battle between Emperor and gods. Given a "gift" by the goddess, Daine is able to raise creatures from the dead. When Ozorne threatens Numair, Daine becomes so angry that she raises an army of dinosaur skeletons that destroys the Emperor's palace. In the aftermath, Ozorne escapes and Daine discovers that Numair is still alive. This full-cast production is narrated by the author. They all do a wonderful job, especially Carmen Viviano-Crafts, who voices Daine, and Mike Komurek as Daine's new friend, Zek the Marmoset. All the drama, humor, anger, and romance come across clearly. While the audiobook could stand on its own, it is recommended for libraries circulating the previous volumes.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Following "Wild Magic" (1992) and "Wolf-Speaker" (1994), this third entry in the Immortals series again centers on the adventures of Daine, now 15. Because of her wild magic, which gives her a strong affinity with animals and the ability to heal them, Daine is part of a delegation sent to work out a peace treaty with a barbarous emperor whose beloved captive birds are deathly ill. Pierce continues to build on the universe she created for the Song of the Lioness series about Alanna, who's a secondary character here, and as Daine grows in her powers so does the power of the narrative. Daine's ability to communicate with animals and to shape shift into animal form is comparable with that of characters in Andre Norton's renown tales involving human-animal communication. Daine's companion, the irrepressible, incurably curious young dragon, Kitten, is appealing as a character, as is the resourceful marmoset, Zek, whom Daine rescues and takes under her wing. The climactic scenes in which Daine brings to life the bones of the long-dead dinosaurs and fellow creatures in the great natural history hall and leads them in the destruction of the castle and downfall of the emperor are truly riveting. This impressive entry in Pierce's saga will leave fans clamoring for more.