Let’s dive right back into Tortall with another series from this universe!
Daine has nothing left after raiders killed her family so she leaves her tiny village in search of hope–and a job. She hires on with Onua and they travel to Tortall, which is now known as the land of opportunity. Daine hopes that if Tortall can accept a lady knight, they may be able to accept a lady holster, too. However, despite their open-mindedness, Daine knows she has a secret she can’t share. ‘Cos, you know, if you talk to animals, you’re sentimental. If they talk back…
Anyhow, along the way, Onua and Daine rescue a weird black hawk who turns out to be the most powerful sorcerer in Tortall. Funny how that worked out, eh? The sorcerer, Numair, brings troubling news. Tortall’s neighbours are up to some really shady stuff, including summoning Stormwings, which are huge metal birds with human heads, and opening the gates to Spidrens, huge spiders with human heads. As if spiders weren’t already scary enough.
Daine’s a pretty good archer, but sometimes archery just isn’t enough. Numair tells her that her weird talking to animals thing is actually an extremely rare form of magic. He becomes her teacher but Daine soon discovers that learning magic will dig up parts of her past she’d rather never reveal. The part of her past where she went insane and became a beast-child. She desperately wants the magic so she has the power to protect the ones she loves, but if she becomes the beast again, she may lose them all anyway. Tough luck, eh?
The Quills: 7/10
“I’ve heard a lot of weird stories lately, about monsters in the wild, attacking travelers. Things out of legend, so folk say. I haven’t seen any myself, but that doesn’t mean I won’t. Are you sure you want to hire on?”
Daine shrugged. “I hear tales. I need work, mum. If I see monsters, I see monsters. My family was killed and my home burned by human ones.”
-Tamora Pierce, Wild Magic
Like the Lioness quartet, The Immortals quartet is set in Tortall, but it follows a different set of characters. Some of the characters of the previous series do appear in this one (after having aged a bit) which really adds to the charm of this novel if you’ve read the others. Wild Magic is a middle-grade/young adult medieval fantasy told in third person from multiple points of view. The writing still isn’t great, but it’s not as clunky and bad as the first couple novels in the Lioness series.
The fact that this series is based on the same world as the Lioness series is very interesting. A lot of the world has already been built, so there is more focus on characters. Granted, there is still some good world-building, but it would be less than optimal for people who aren’t familiar with the Tortallan universe.
The characters themselves are very interesting. They’re all very nice, but not generically nice, if you catch my drift. All of them are nice people, but they have their own special traits. Some of them are stubborn, some of them have quick tempers, some of them are easy-going and absent-minded. The cast of characters is what really gives this book life.
I say this book is middle-grade because of the less sophisticated writing, the content (suitable for younger audiences), and the fact that the baddies are super bad while the good guys are super good. There is violence in this book, but it’s mostly directed toward Stormwings and Spidrens.
The base plot of this novel is rather simple, but I sense a more complex overarching plot, which could be amazing. We’ll just have to read the next books to find out!
The Roses: 9/10
It’s not fair, guys. When there are such loveable characters, it’s not fair.
I love almost all the characters. I love the fact that Alanna and George are in this book. I love the fact that they’ve grown, matured, and are slightly different but still the same people. And I absolutely love Numair. Numair, guys!! He’s getting his own series soon, and I can’t wait because he’s the most awesome character ever!
I’ve always enjoyed long series, so the fact that this is still based in Tortall is brilliant. At least for me. Daine is such a cool gal too. I can’t wait to read the next part of this series, despite the obvious downfalls of awkward writing at times.
Conclusion: It’s better to read the Song of the Lioness series before this one because you’ll get more out of it, but even by itself, Wild Magic is a win in terms of fun characters. Just brace yourself for those moments of awkward writing.