A long while back, E, Has and myself did a post on the books we loved written by Tamora Pierce.
My personal favourite is the Immortals series that is set in the Tortall Universe. I’ve been meaning for a while to do an overall review, and this past week, I’ve done a major re-read of the series so I thought it was the perfect time.
I’m going to do a review of each book through out a time period. I’ll try and not totally gush and express my total book love of the most awesome mage EVER, Numair Salamin *grins*.
“Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.”
Our heroine of the series is young Daine, a 13 year old girl orphan who has the most extraordinary gift which allows her to communicate and talk to animals. In Wild Magic, it’s the story of Daine’s introduction to the Tortall Kingdom and her learning about her abilities and finding a place to call home. We meet again characters we grew to love from the Alanna series who make appearances quite often — not only in Wild Magic — but throughout the rest of the series. If you’re a big fan of animals, you will enjoy this series a lot. What Tamora Pierce is best at is her ability for world building, her imagination for creating magical beasts and gods, and for creating characters that are unique and so full of personality that you’ll remember them for a long time to come.
Wild Magic I don’t believe is the best book in the series. It’s a little slow to start with, but once it gets going, it goes to strength to strength. Daine for the past few years has had a terrible and traumatic time after raiders killed her mother. She’s never had a father and doesn’t know who he is, and except for her horse, Cloud — who she can communicate with — she’s been alone for a long time, expect for when she was with the wolf pack. When she meets horsemistress Onua, and becomes her apprentice, it’s a lifeline for Daine. She tells a few porky pies, but Onua likes what she sees and hires Daine. From there, the two begin a friendship, and it’s not long into the journey they encounter trouble from monsters, they meet my book crush, Numair. *happy sigh*
Daine is very much young and naive despite the horror she had to endure, but there is also a core of strength in her that is similar to Alanna when she was young, but in a much quieter way. Daine can seem perhaps to others as ‘too perfect’ but she is a major contrast to Alanna and I think having another strong and in your face character as Alanna would have been overbearing. Daine though is thrust quickly into using her gifts when terrible creatures from the Immortal world, the Divine Realm, have escaped. Daine is forced to use her gifts to battle these terrible creatures, and there is a realistic amount of violence that doesn’t escape into graphic territory. I loved the scenes when they travelled to Pirates Swoop, and it’s there where a big-ass battle commences where animals, monsters, sea monsters and a dragon appear in scenes that showcases the awesome world building. I think said it before, but I would have LOVED to have read this series when I was kid. I think I would have loved it even more back then. Not only is the world building so solid, the dialog and characters and just as fantastic. There is wit and humour that makes reading Wild Magic so engrossing.
Wild Magic is more of an introductory piece than anything as the subsequent books go into a lot more depth. But it’s one that invokes such imagination that you’ll find it very hard to put down. I give Wild Magic a B+.