Friday, May 15, 2015

Battle Magic

Tamora Pierce was the author who got me back into reading. Twice. So it's safe to say I adore her books. I have tattered copies of all her series, from the first Song of the Lioness book, to Melting Stones and Mastiff. So why, do you ask, has it taken me a year and a half to read Battle Magic, the latest Pierce book? Good Question. I guess you'll just have to read on to find out.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Set before the events of Melting Stones and The Will of the Empress, Briar, Rosethorn, and Evy travel to Yanjing. While there, they discover the emperor has plans to invade Gyongxe, the home of the first temple of the Living Circle. The three pit themselves against the vast armies of Yanjing to save Gyongxe, and in the process experience the gods as they never have before.

Short plot, huh? I thought so too. But really, that's all this book is about. And honestly, though I will forever and ever adore these characters, the story was...well...dull. There's a plot with Rosethorn that goes nowhere, a plot resolution with deus ex machina, lackluster side characters...I dunno. I love Briar and Rosethorn and Evy, and Street Magic was one of my favorite books in The Circle Opens. But the plot here just fell flat. Ambient magic easily beats all other kinds of magic, and the side characters I always end up loving didn't get developed. I was reading Goodreads reviews, trying to figure out why this book didn't resonate with me, and found a couple good points. Instead of focusing on individual fights where there are intense character interactions within a battle, Pierce showed a whole battle with the movements of the armies. So I didn't end up feeling the urgency or the horror I could have. Considering how much was known about what happened to these three in The Will of the Empress, with all three getting varying levels of PTSD, I just...didn't understand. It didn't seem that horrible, especially compared to what Kel went through in The Protector of the Small series. There was only one scene in this book that really, really got to me, and it had to do with Evy's cats. I still enjoyed reading this book because Pierce has a way of making narration invisible and developing her worlds, but I do know I'd rather read Trickster's Choice again before this one.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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