I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others in the series. I just couldn't connect with Daja and her plight. I also didn't like the whiney girls Niamara and Jorality who spent most of the book complaining about something or other.
In the second series concerning Sandry, Tris, Briar and Daja, each book features one of the four coming upon a non-discovered magical person and then having to train them or find them a teacher. These four are no more than 14 or 15 themselves, training 12-13 year olds. It just seems weird and it's not as good a story as their own training. This is the third book in the second series and I'm not sure I will be reading the last as all the books in this set seem to be the same story told from a different set of eyes. It's too much like rereading the first book again and again.
The third novel in Tamora Pierce's "Circle Opens" series. Mystery and magic moves the story along.
Characters, plot, and the fine line between admiration and loathing - Tamora Pierce balances on a knife-edge with skill.
This book is the third book in The Circle Opens quartet. In it we follow Daja as she and her teacher travel to visit other smiths around their world.
For just seeing more of Daja, this is an interesting book. Like the other books in the series, it also shows us an aspect of the darker sides of people - in this book we follow an arsonist.
He grew up with an abusive mother and has found a sense of importance in knowing how to put out fires with minimal property damage and injuries. However, when too long goes without a fire he starts setting them in order to feed his need for recognition. He also becomes a friend of Daja, who for most of the book only sees the heroic side of him. The book shows how people who seem to be good aren't always as good as they seem.
Like many of Pierce's books, this book has a formula that it follows. This isn't normally a problem, as she makes the formulaic parts fit into the story and feel right. However, in this book one part of that formula just doesn't fit. Like Sandy and Briar before her, Daja discovers a user of ambient magic - in this case two of them - twin sisters. Like Sandy and Briar before her Daja is told she's in charge of training them in meditation and their magic until she can find proper teachers. Unlike Sandy and Briar, Daja quickly finds appropriate teachers for both girls and winds up only in charge of meditation. While there are a few hiccups there, overall she has very agreeable and eager to learn students, unlike Sandy and Briar. And unlike the two previous books, the twins play no real part in the story - they show up here and there, but if they had been removed the plot would have been unchanged. Instead, they feel like they're there only because that's what the formula for this series called for.
Overall, a quick, interesting read, but certainly not the best in the series.