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Briar's Book (Circle of Magic #4) by…
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Briar's Book (Circle of Magic #4) (original 1999; edition 2011)

by Tamora Pierce (Author)

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2,440273,871 (4.06)33
Member:Honyasbookshelf
Title:Briar's Book (Circle of Magic #4)
Authors:Tamora Pierce (Author)
Info:Scholastic Inc. (2011), Edition: 1st, 275 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:
Tags:Tamora Pierce, digital copy, Kindle

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Briar’s Book by Tamora Pierce (1999)

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» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
OK, finally. The book that justifies my nostalgic expectations for this series. 'Sandry's Book' got a pass through the potential of the characters being introduced and the full weight of re-experiencing these books for the first time. But with 'Tris's Book' and 'Daja's Book' that nostalgia began to spread thin. The book were still pleasant and not unenjoyable, but they were offering less and less for adult me to reflect on. Especially since Pierce was resolving those traits that made the characters stand out in the first place...

But, finally, with 'Briar's Book' we have a solid plot dealt with as realistically as this brand of magic allows, that (almost) doesn't involve the wonder quads saving the day in the last second.

Essentially, this book is the movie 'Contagion' for the tween fantasy genre set. A mysterious plague has come to Summersea and it is the duty of the Winding Circle community to help find a cure, especially after a friend of Briar's falls sick and more people they know begin to fall victim.

I'm much more on the fence then I was before about reading the next quartets, but I'll likely end up checking them out eventually.

Circle of Magic

Next: 'Magic Steps (The Circle Opens, #1)'

Previous: 'Daja's Book' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
OMG. this book is so emotional. ( )
  Monica_P | Nov 22, 2018 |
I've now listened to the entire Circle of Magic series on audiobook. This was the last book in the series and instead of Pirates or other human enemy to fight, our young mages have to deal with a plague that's spreading rapidly through Summersea. For most of this book, Briar and Rosethorn are separated from the rest of their housemates, nursing the sick in quarantine because they were exposed to the disease. It's a huge change from the previous books, where the four young mages and their teachers were always together. I loved how they all work together throughout the series, but separating them was a surprisingly refreshing change. Due to quarantine, we see different aspects of Rosethorn and Briar's characters than in other stories. As the book [and the disease] progresses, we see more and more of Rosethorn's layered personality, which I loved.

Having a disease that has a magic element,with something created by a malicious mage. But it's more then that. It's not just a matter of tracking down the mage and stopping the spell. This was a true disease that needed a medical cure found with painstaking research and a scientific approach to the disease. It was a joy to read something so true to life in a fantasy novel while still, of course, retaining its fantasy aspects. Then there is the element of Rosethorn contracting the disease and how Briar reacts. I loved the book.
Jack Murphy ( )
  urph818 | Jun 5, 2017 |
Briar escaped life as a homeless young thief when his magic was discovered. Since then, he has renamed himself and, to a certain extent, reinvented himself. He realizes how much he's changed in skills, outlook and assumptions (like trusting authorities, or actually *wanting* to be clean) when one of his street-rat friends falls ill. And as the illness spreads, and plague envelops the city, Briar is forced to come to terms with his new destiny.

This book is basically everything I have ever wanted in fiction. Outbreak investigation AND structural inequalities of health AND magic? It is like Tamora Pierce wrote this book just for me. So I can't pretend to be even partially objective or trustworthy about this novel, except to say that I am so, so thankful that someone is actually writing this kind of story in a fantasy setting. The plot involves garbage collection, waste disposal, differential health care access, medical resources rationing--all the dirty, earthy, banal things that get ignored in traditional sf/f (and, to be fair, most fiction regardless of genre). But it's not without wonder, either; Pierce describes magic in a way that thrills me to my core. You might not assume that plant magic could be written in a way that makes your heart beat faster, but Pierce can do it. The characters in this series have grown far richer since their unsubtle introductions. (And astonishingly, Pierce accomplishes this without making them all assholes, or giving them increasingly unlikely traumatic pasts. Take note, modern grimdark fantasy novelists--it can be done!)

I love that Pierce chose to step outside the easy plots of human antagonists. It opened her plots up to include all sorts of events most authors never get to grapple with, like natural disasters and resource admininstration. In this world, even magic isn't limitless, and magicians need to be wise in their use of it. And they can't do everything--the best way to weave is still to do it by hand, and not all fires can be stopped. That was another aspect of this series that I loved: the acknowledgment that not everything can be fully understood or controlled. Even the most powerful wizard in Pierce's world can't stop the tides, and even if she could, it would lead to even greater disasters. Trying to control too much is actually a serious flaw, which is a fantastically novel viewpoint to find in a sf/f story. I think I'm starting to babble here, but I really just loved everything about this series. It's written for a younger audience, so the writing isn't that sophisticated (except for the descriptions of magic use, which are seriously the most enthralling things ever), but the ideas are. I can't think of another fantasy series that looks at classism, the limitations of a humanist worldview, and the necessity of hard work--all in the midst of a truly entertaining adventure.

Apparently the next series, The Circle Opens, is even better. omg how can this beeee? ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
love this series!!! ( )
  katieloucks | Feb 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tamora Pierceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Albano, UrsulaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bostick, DanielProducersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coville, BruceDirector/Producersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dawson, SteveNarrator photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobin, ToddMusicsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, IanMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
TheronCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watkins, LiselotteCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Briar Moss knew he was only dreaming, but he didn’t care.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0590554115, Mass Market Paperback)

Part of the 8-book Tamora Pierce reissue for Fall 2006, this title in the Circle of Magic quartet features spellbinding new cover art. Coincides with the release of WILL OF THE EMPRESS in trade pb.

Four elements of power, four mages-in-training learning to control them. In Book 4 of the Circle of Magic Quartet, former "street rat" Briar leads a comfortable life at Winding Circle Temple, learning plant magic from his teacher Rosethorn. But street kids are still his friends, and when one of them gets sick, she turns to Briar for help. As the mysterious illness spreads, Sandry, Daja, and Tris join Briar and their teachers to fight the epidemic. But just as the situation improves, the unthinkable happens. Will Briar be able to save what he loves most?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:36 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Briar, a young mage-in-training, and his teacher Rosethorn must use their magic to fight a deadly plague that is ravaging Summersea.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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