Monday, September 23, 2013

What Do You Mean You Haven't Read "Wild Magic" by Tamora Pierce

Katie gets us started with a look back at one strong lady of fantasy fiction, Ms. Tamora Pierce.

What Do You Mean You Haven't Read  

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
I've had magic on the brain ever since the news broke last week of J.K. Rowling turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a screenplay. The combination of fantastic beasts and magical worlds immediately took me back to a time before Hagrid and his Care of Magical Creatures class to an even older favorite of mine--Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce.
Let me start by saying if you haven’t made the journey to Pierce’s Tortall, then you are missing out. Before Kristin Cashore brought us Graceling (see posts) or Melina Marchetta gave us The Lumatere Chronicles (see our posts), Tamora Pierce was writing the stories of the land of Tortall, beginning with the lady knight Alanna the Lioness.
Wild Magic is the first book in the Immortals series, which opens several years after the The Song of the Lioness quartet ends, but you don’t have to read about Alanna’s adventures to enjoy Daine’s story (although you really should anyway because they are wonderful).
In classic fantasy heroine form, Daine is an orphan of uncertain parentage. After losing her family in tragic circumstances, Daine with her mysterious past and seeming lack of the Gift (read: magic ability) finds work as an assistant to Onua, a woman charged with bringing a herd of ponies to the castle for the Queen’s Riders. Daine’s obvious knack with animals lands her the job, but she proves her real worth when it is revealed that she can sense animals in a way even people with the Gift cannot.
Her connection to creatures, both mortal and immortal, are evidence of the wild magic that lives within her, strong and elemental. As she begins her training with the master mage Numair to discover the scope of her abilities, she must also team up with her new friends to protect the world from the immortals who are emerging from their prison and terrorizing the land after four hundred years of being locked away.
The creatures of Wild Magic are by turns strange and familiar but always fantastic. And yet it is with the human characters and their intelligence, senses of humor, humanity, bravery, and affection for one another that true spirit of this story lies. So if you’re in the mood for magic, some fantastic beasts, a richly created world, and an amazing heroine, well, then what you do mean you haven’t read Wild Magic?

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