Book Review: Tamora Pierce’s Wild Magic

Posted December 30, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Tamora Pierce’s Wild Magic

Wild Magic


Tamora Pierce

fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by Simon Pulse on June 1, 2005 and has 362 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant, Trickster's Choice, Trickster's Queen, Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, Realms of the Gods, 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, Battle Magic

First in the Immortals series that follows Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series. This children’s adventure fantasy series follows the life of Daine Sarrasri in the kingdom of Tortall. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Tortall books on my website.

There is a very strong resemblance to Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series only the writing is set at a children’s reading level as opposed to young adult.

My Take

This was an excellent story but kind of odd because it didn’t feel like a Tamora Pierce story about Tortall. I kept checking the cover to be sure it was.

Now that the whining is over…if you like adventure and animals, you will adore Wild Magic. The first time a badger crawled in to sleep with Daine, I knew this was going to be an adorable tale—it reminds me of the Junior Classics I read [and still read!] as a child. You’ll enjoy learning about herd hierarchy as well as how closely oneupsmanship also exists amongst horses!

It’s also a lesson in responsibility for the children who want to be a part of things as well as one which Daine needs to understand when it comes to her animal friends. When she learns that she cannot deny her friends their need to protect her and their own homes.

The Story

Onua is in a bind. She needs an assistant to help her get this new string of ponies to Tortall and this, this, this young runaway appears to be all that’s available. A choice who soon proves her merit on the trail in so many different ways. But especially when she rescues the injured hawk from the Stormwings.

A hawk who shifts into a mage, Numair Salmalín. Who soon realizes the magic that lurks within Daine and takes on the task of teaching her about her magic and how to use it. A learning she carries over into her introduction to the school for Riders in Corus at the palace as she sheds the inhibitions pounded into her by her mother and the villagers of her home.

Yet more on-the-job training is forced on Daine when the trainees and their ponies travel to Pirate’s Swoop and aid in its defense even as Daine learns of other magical animals. Training that terrifies Daine. If her new friends should ever learn of the madness that took her…a madness just lurking in wait. She could lose everything she has gained! Then there’s the affinity Daine has with all animals. The battle at Pirate’s Swoop could well be lost unless Daine allows her animal friends to come to their aid. Only, Daine can’t bear the thought of her friends dying.

The Characters

Veralidaine “Daine” Sarrasri is a young orphan with some uncanny abilities lucky enough to get taken on by Trader Onua, an encounter that will change Daine’s life. Cloud is Daine’s mountain pony with her own set of hidden skills! Sarra is Daine’s mother, and Daine learns her father’s identity.

Onua Chamtong, a K’mir, is a horse trader and in charge of acquiring and training the ponies for Queen Thayet’s Riders. Tahoi is her guard dog and almost as big as one of her ponies!

Numair Salmalín, a.k.a., Arram Draper, is a mage who can shift into a hawk.

Queen Thayet is married to King Jonathan of Tortall (see Lioness Rampant). Buriram “Buri” Tourakom is the Commander of the Queen’s Guard. Sarge is just under Buri in the hierarchy. Stefan is still in charge of the stables, and he has some thoughts for Daine to ponder. The new crop of students include Miri; Evin Larse, a Player recommended by George; Farant, a lazy flirt; Padrach; the mean Selda; Jacy; and, Kenelm. Kuri Tailor is in charge of the girls.

Sir Alanna of Pirate’s Swoop and Olau is the King’s Champion; she’s now riding Darkmoon, out of Moonlight, her first horse. Others of the King’s Own include Hakim whom we first met in Woman Who Rides Like a Man. Baron George Cooper of Pirate’s Swoop and Olau is in charge of King Jon’s spies and married to Alanna. Thayet and Jon’s children are Kalasin and Roald while 6-year-old Thom belongs to George and Alanna. Maude (Alanna: The First Adventure) has moved from Trebond to Pirate’s Swoop to care for Alanna’s young Thom.

Zhaneh Bitterclaws is the queen of the Stormwings, which are a fusion of metal birds with human heads long thought to be trapped in the Divine Realms along with the spidrens, metal spiders with, yup, human heads.

The Title

The title is all about the Wild Magic that suffuses Daine’s being.

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