Tamora Pierce is a great author and this series is one of her best! I absolutely loved these books, even more than the Alanna and other Tortall books! These are keepers for me, sorry!
The third novel in Tamora Pierce's "Circle of Magic" series. Full of magic and adventure.
IMHO this is the best book in the series. Real life issues were faced by the four mage students - Daja, Briar, Sandry and Tris - and overcome. Ostricism, personal handicaps, drought, famine, forest fires and even an arrogant (know-it-all) magician. All of these issues were handles morally and done extremely well. This is a really good "Christian-feeling" novel without preaching religion. It clearly shows the proper thing to do in each situation and how to do it without being arrogant about your powers (in this case, magic). It also reinforces the benefits of teamwork instead of struggling to do it yourself.
I can't wait to read Briar's Book (#4 - conclusion) to see what misadventures the only boy in the group can get in to. Bug again, this series is so original and entertaining that I hate to reach the conclusion.