Daine is a wonderful character, especially for someone like me who always wanted to be able to communicate with animals like she can. Add in my horse crazy tendencies to Daine's friend, Cloud the pony, and it's book that can't lose!
Daine is definitely may favorite character (so far) in the Tortall books. This story was wonderful. There's lots of laughs, magic and action going on. Daine's ability to speak with animals is just too cool and the animals themselves are great side characters. It's an excellent start to another series in this world created by Pierce.
Reviewed by Candace Cunard for TeensReadToo.com
Veralidaine Sarrasri--Daine to everyone who knows her--is thirteen years old, orphaned, and without a home. Her amazing rapport with animals gets her a job with a horsemaster named Onua, and the two women become fast companions during their arduous journey from Daine's homeland of Galla to the kingdom of Tortall, where they are to deliver their equine charges to the service of the Queen's Riders.
Along the way, Daine's gift for communicating with animals becomes more and more apparent, and when she alerts Onua to the approach of dangerous Immortals known as Stormwings, who feed off of fear and death, her talent can no longer be ignored. It is revealed that, while she does not have the magical Gift required to become a sorcerer, she does have a rarer form known as wild magic that connects her to the animals around her.
Under the auspices of one of the most powerful mages in the country, Daine begins to strengthen her natural affinity, but she's haunted by a past she won't share with anyone, and a secret fear that if she uses too much of her power to communicate with animals, even for the good of those around her, she might find herself losing her own humanity.
In the eyes of the Tortallan nobles, her training is of great importance in the ongoing effort to protect the kingdom against the vicious Immortals who have begun appearing out of nowhere in the last few years.
Pierce has once again delivered a plucky heroine that girls young and old can ally with. Daine's no-nonsense attitude, coupled with her naïve fascination for the way in which business is conducted in Tortall, make her a completely likable character. For an experienced author, returning to an old fictional world and attempting to see it through new eyes can be difficult, but it also has manifold pleasures for both the writer and the reader.
In this first book of THE IMMORTALS QUARTET, Tamora Pierce returns to the world her LIONESS QUARTET first popularized, and fans of Alanna, Tortall's first female knight, will be pleased to see their favorite lady heroine appear in print once more, but this time as a secondary character to another young girl with the potential to become a strong woman in her own right.
Very fine book of magic and a bit of romance and a girl learning her skill with animals. If you want Tamora Pierce without the sex scenes, this book and the one after it, Wolf Speaker, are good. After that the character matures to the ripe age of 16 and starts making out with her 30ish teacher, eyew. Yes, they are in love, and yes the writing is well done overall. Just an fyi.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of Daine, the animal-whisperer and her adventures in Tortall. Daine is a mage but doesn't know it yet. Numair, the King's mage, knows it and is training her to wield her "wild magic". Daine is the hero who saves the day when invaders attack her new home. She draws all the animals - land and sea - to fight. The invaders consist of "immortals" which are fantasy creatures (griffins, ogres, dragons and human/animal hybrids) that were once sealed in another kingdom but were recently released by the mages of the human invaders.
A terrific start to the Immortals series. Wolf-Speaker (book 2) should be great. I particularly liked revisiting characters from Tamora Pierce's previous novels. It's a lot of fun to see how these characters have grown since we last encountered them.
Daine, the animal whisperer, is the focus of this series. If you are not an animal lover, you might want to skip this series