Book Review: Tamora Pierce’s Realms of the Gods

Posted January 27, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade, Young Adult

This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.

Book Review: Tamora Pierce’s Realms of the Gods

Realms of the Gods

by Tamora Pierce

five-stars

Series: The Immortals #4, Tortall #11

Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant, Wild Magic, Trickster's Choice, Trickster's Queen, Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight, Terrier, Bloodhound, Mastiff, Daja's Book, Sandry's Book, Tris's Book, Briar's Book, Magic Steps, Street Magic, Cold Fire, Shatterglass, The Will of the Empress, Melting Stones.

Genres: Fantasy

This Paperback has 209 pages and was published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on 2003. Discover more about it at Goodreads. You can also buy it at Amazon

Fourth and last in the Immortals fantasy adventure series for children revolving around Daine, a wielder of the wild magic. If you like to read an author’s series in order, start with Alanna: The First Adventure in the Song of the Lioness series or explore the chronological listing of the Tortall books on my website.

My Take

Oh, I do adore Tamora Pierce’s stories! Great characters with fantastic adventures that emphasize kindness and consideration for others.

In this installment, the war is pressing hard on Tortall until kindness turns the tide. And the focus of all this kindness is Daine.

I found it odd that the gods saw Daine’s kindnesses as meddling. That they thought her actions created trouble and disorder. I don’t see that. I’m also thinking I’d better read through the Protector of the Small series because the choices the gods give Daine here don’t seem to match up with what I read in the Daughter of the Lioness series. So, now I’m curious…

I did enjoy Daine’s response to Numarin’s proposal of marriage! Hee-hee…

The Story

The barriers mages put in place to keep the immortals in another plane collapses one night — the final blow by the old emperor mage, Orzone. When the emperor’s mages opened the gates between realms some years ago, the barrier attempted to compensate, but it weakened. Now there is nothing to protect mortals from giants, stormwings, griffins, basilisks, tauroses, Coldfangs, ogres, hurroks, centaurs, winged horses, or unicorns.

Stormwing Orzone has quickly learned to use his stormwing magic and now has spies everywhere. The kingdom can’t continue to fight against Orzone and his allies forever, especially when the enemy seems to know what they’re doing before they do! But its his Skinners that tilt the action, for it encourages Daine’s parents to help their daughter, leading to a great many adventures in the realms of the gods and unexpected alliances.

Alliances that will tip the balance in a number of unexpected directions. And that will cause the Gods to force an unwelcome, irrevocable decision about Daine.

The Characters

Veralidaine “Daine” Sarrasri is gifted with the wild magic which enables her to speak to and shapeshift into any animal. With the kingdom of Tortall under attack, Daine is asking all her animal friends to help in its defense. She also meets her dad, the god of the hunt Weiryn when he and her mother, Sarra Beneksri, the Green Lady, rescue her and Numarin from the Skinners.

Rattail from the Long Lake Pack shows up to help Daine in the Divine Realms. Even Tkaa the basilisk and Kitten, a.k.a., Skysong, the baby dragon have duties in saving the kingdom. Diamondflame is Kitten’s many-times great-grandfather while Wingstar is her grandmother and, luckily, both are feeling quite indebted to Daine for her care of Skysong.

Badger is joined by Broad Foot, a duckmole, in aiding Daine and Numarin to get to the Dragonlands across the Sea of Sand. Queenclaw is a house cat goddess with all of a cat’s characteristics! In some of her dreams, Daine watches the gods fight the Chaos Queen: the Black God; the Great Mother Goddess, Sir Alanna’s personal contact; Kidunka, the world snake and lord of the Banjiku tribes; Wave Walker; Thief; Smith; the K’miri gods of storms and fire; and, Mithros. Gainel is the Dream God.

Numair Salmalín is King Jon’s wizard and he and Daine are in constant demand throughout the kingdom throwing off magical attacks. Jonathan of Conté, king of Tortall, and his Queen Thayet have large cameo roles; Jon makes good use of the Dominion Jewel in this war (see Lioness Rampant) while Thayet goes to battle with her Riders. Sir Alanna as the King’s Champion, Sir Raoul of the King’s Own, Buri of the Queen’s Riders are all fighting. Onua, Daine’s first Tortallan friend, also fights at the king’s side. Lord Imrah is the ruler of the beseiged fief of Legann.

Queen Barzha of the Stone Tree nation and her mate Hebakh are free of Orzone’s cage due to Daine, but Queen Jachull of the Mortal Fear nation and most of the stormwings have allied with Orzone. Lucky for Daine and Numair that these stormwings provide some much-needed aid to repay the debt. Lord Rikash Moonsword serves Barzha and is friendly with Daine. From Rikash we learn how the stormwings, half-metal, half-human immortal birds, were created.

Orzone was the emperor of Carthak and a very powerful mage. Skills he uses to more quickly learn how to use his stormwing power. Yup, ol’ Orzone got transformed into a stormwing at the end of Emperor Mage! He’s determined to take down Daine and Numarin. Skinners are a nasty creation that destroys absolutely anything they touch. Darkings are cute little creatures; we’ll encounter them again in Trickster’s Queen. In this story, we meet Gold-streak, Jelly, Leaf, and Inkblot.

Inar Hadensra is an incredibly powerful mage, partly through the plucking out of an eye and the insertion of a huge, magic ruby; he’s also an ally of Orzone. Uusoae is the Queen of Chaos. She has allied herself with Orzone and is breaking the rules laid down by Mother Flame and Father Universe.

The Cover and Title

It’s another faded-out Russian lacquer box style with leafy pillars on either side of the cover, centaurs flanking the title at the top, and a narrow plaque at the bottom for the author’s name. All framing a blanketed Daine clutching her badger’s tooth with Kitten and her many-greats-grandfather, Diamondflame, surrounding her with Badger cuddling in at the bottom right.

The title is where most of the action takes place, in The Realms of the Gods.


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