Pierce, Tamora. Wild Magic (2005 ed). 362 Pages. Simon Pulse. $6.99
The Immortals: Book One
Like so many other books I’ve reviewed, I’ve had this since I was a kid. I really enjoy Tamora Pierce’s work, and The Immortals was the last Tortall series which was complete before I started reading it. I hate waiting for books, so I’m glad when I pick up a series and find out it’s already complete.
Anyway, The Immortals series is about Veralidaine Sarrasri and her Wild Magic. She’s a solid heroine, one who has to grow up abruptly because there is no childhood in war. The details of her past, and her present are slowly revealed to us, as she learns to trust some familiar faces, and as she gains more confidence in herself. I think the slow revelation of details helps to make her a richer character, and it makes her feel more real.
The series starts at a horse-fair in Galla, where Ouna is looking for some fresh new ponies to take back to Tortall for Thayet’s Riders. Ouna is a bit dismayed when she finds herself in charge of thirteen year-old Daine, but figures the girl knows horses, and will be helpful. Daine more than earns her way when they come across Stormwings– human/bird hybrids which are intelligent, but crude, smelly, and more than a little evil. The Stormwings are after a large, black bird which is not what it seems, and it is by using her untrained magic that Daine manages to locate the confused animal.
Eventually, Daine finds herself working for the Queen’s Riders, and studying magic with the mage Numair Salamin. In Tortall, she meets nobles who aren’t “proper” (Alanna, George, Thayet, Jon), and a lot of Rider trainees. She learns to speak to animals, to control them, and even to heal. But this isn’t without a lot of difficulty. Stormwings attack more than once, Daine nearly kills herself, she gets lectured by an angry Badger, is terrified by a Dragon, and brings a Kraken down upon Pirate’s Swoop.
It’s the start to a great adventure, as Daine gets involved in Tortall, and the Immortals War.
The Quick Version:
I was thrilled when Alanna made an appearance; she’s married, and she’s the mother of three excellent children. Thayet, too, shows up, and proves to be an awesome queen, and a good mother. (Motherhood suits these women, proving that just because you have children doesn’t mean you can’t kick ass.*) Of course, this series is about Daine, a character who frustrated me a lot in this particular volume. I like her better later, when she becomes more confident in herself and her abilities. This volume gets a 4/5, because Daine’s story has not even really begun.
* a la Molly Weasley.