I love this book! It is kind of boring right at the beginning, but not too far in, it grabs you and doesn't let go. Before you read it, though, I suggest you read the books before it, especially Sandry's book.
This second book in the Circle Opens quartet follows Briar's adventures as the four friends from the Circle of Magic quartet go separate ways for a while. It follows the pattern laid out in the first book (Magic Steps) - Briar finds an untrained mage and has to start their training while at the same time finding himself in the middle of a whole lot of trouble.
Despite the fact that the various Circle books are starting to feel a little formulaic, this was still an interesting, well writing book. I had a little more trouble getting into this one than I did the previous book. I think it's because this book felt a little preachy on the subject of gangs and gang violence. It's a good message, but I always dislike it when books start working on a social agenda quite so baldly. Regardless of the author's intentions I always feel a bit like I'm reading propaganda instead of a story.
However, I was eventually able to get through that and enjoy the ending of the book
This magical fantasy is all mixed up. The people's names, place names, etc are all based on Chinese but the forms of address are all Indian in nature. Makes for really strange reading. I liked Briar in the previous books and here he is again causing trouble. As a former street rat (homeless thief), he really feels for Evumeimei Dingzai (Evvy). She's an unknown stone mage whom he sees unintentionally working magic. By the rules of The Winding Circles Initiate Council, the mage who finds an uninitiated mage must therefore become the teacher or find a teacher for that person. The last thing 14 year old Briar wants to do is teach a 10 year old magic. Besides he's a plant mage not a stone mage, what could he possibly teach Evvy? So he sets out to find a local stone mage without much luck. And as if this wasn't enough stress considering he is in this town to help their people with medicine and healing, he now has to deal with dueling gangs who both want Evvy and her power.
This is entertaining and very enjoyable. Not really humerous and actually a little to serious but enjoyable nonetheless. This is the second book in the second series featuring Daja, Sandry, Briar and Tris.
Its been four years Briar Moss begsm his training as a plant mage, but he still has not put his past behind him. Wandering through a Chammuri market. Briar comes across a street girl uning a powerful magic to polich stones for a merchant. He resolves to find her a teacher. But Briar understands the streets gangs as he understands Eavy, the young mage. When gang war breaks out in Chammur, Briar has sympathy for those caught in the cross fire.
As Briar is swept up in the bloody conflick, he must decide rather he is ready to make the final step away from his former life as a "street rat."