This really is shaping up to become a great series! Definitelly improving over the last two as far as plot and exciting things going on, this one also builds on each of the characters, while Daja takes center stage. This book picks up with the four kids (with their respective teachers) on a journey to Goldridge Valley, where severe drought has caused rampant wildfires and many other problems. While practicing her metelwork, Daja (with accidental help from Sandry, Tris, and Briar) creates a bizarre vine, made of 'living metel' that only pure magic can shape properly. Daja's former people, the Traders, try to buy it from her, even though now they consider her Trangshi, a person so full of bad luck that no decent person can ever speak to her or deal with her. Even so, being around them again reminds Daja of the family she lost, and makes her long for the way things used to be, and soon she'll have to make a choice; return with the Traders and give up the metelworking she loves, or remain with her beloved teacher and friends, and dispare of ever being a true Trader again. Anyway, this book has charm, humour, warmth, and excitement. For anyone looking for a great fantasy read, this book is the answer.