on October 28, 2002
For all readers who enjoyed Tamora Pierce's four books in the Circle of Magic quartet, MAGIC STEPS gives an opportunity to read more about the unusual mages Sandy, Tris, Daja, and Briar. Though the Circle of Magic and the Circle Opens quartets are supposedly geared for younger audiences than Pierce's Tortall books, MAGIC STEPS gives hints that this may not remain the case.
After coming across a boy-mage just a few years younger than herself, Sandry, thread-mage of Winding Circle, learns that as the discoverer of the boy's power she is responsible for making sure he learns the basics of its use. Her instruction of the boy Pasco, however, takes on more importance when members of a prominent family in the city begin to be brutally murdered. Despite the open attacks which take place with growing frequency and brutality, the killers continue to escape until only a combination of Sandry and Pasco's powers will bring the horror to an end.
Fans of Tamora Pierce everywhere will probably enjoy this book, as well as those that follow it. I myself have read it about two times, and was thouroughly engrossed both times. I happen to think that the usual Tamora Pierce magic is somewhat lacking in this first book of the Circle Opens quartet, but it remains yet another enjoyable read by one of my favourite authors.
on July 25, 2002
In this sequel to the excellent Circle of Magic series, four years have passed since her previous adventures, and a now teenaged Sandry has graduated to magehood and returned to the side of her ailing uncle. What she doesn't expect however, is to find another young mage hopeful, posessing a highly unusual form of magic. And as if that wasn't enough, to then be told by the mage council that, since there are no readily available teachers possesing this boy's unique form of magic, she herself must become young Pasco Acalon's teacher. This book promises excellent character development, a strong engaging plot, and plenty of action scenes. However, those of you hoping for more of the hilarious interactions between Sandry and her other young mage partners will be dissapointed; Daja, Tris, and Briar are completely absent here. Even so, this book's good points definitely outweigh it's one complaint; Pasco is a likable, charming character who reminded me pleasantly (though not reduntantly) of Briar. Anyone who loved the Circle of Magic series should check this series out.
on March 18, 2002
In Magic steps, Sandry is four years older and four years wiser. Her talent with threadcraft is famous all through Summersea and many people know both her and her friends', Tris, Briar, and Daja's names. When she travels to her uncle, Duke Vedris's, lands to help him recover from a heart attack she plans on putting all of her energy into helping him. But two things happen that changes everything. Sandry meets a young boy named Pasco, who can dance with such magic that few people have ever seen before. Pasco, a future harrier (police guard) of Summersea refuses to admit he has any talent but Sandry isn't giving up on him that easily. Another challenge faces Sandry when horrible murders start to occur in her uncles lands, murders that are distinctly linked to magic, murders that Sandry cannot ignore.
I was a bit dubious with this book. Sandry has always been my least favorite character of the series, but I was happy to see she's improved in the past four years and has grown into a wonderful character. Yes, Magic Steps, is a lot more gruesome than the rest of Tamora Pierce's Magic Circle books, but people are making too big of a deal over it. The story behind it is satisfying and exciting, and that's what really matters anyway. If you want to read about Sandry and Lark after the Magic Circle Series, pick up this book!
on May 17, 2001
Tamora Pierce has really out done herself with details this time!This book, Magic Steps, was very suspenseful and exciting, but when someone was injured or killed even, she went into great detail. Whether about the salty stench of blood or the way the bodies of victims were left by their murderers, strewn about in chopped up pieces. This may be a reason why some people with weak stomachs would not want to read this book, but the reasons to read it out way the reasons not to.So, you should definitely consider reading it.
Now I will briefly describe the story line so you can make a final decision : To Read? Or Not To Read? Magic Steps is about a girl named Sandralene Fa Toren who has recently graduated out of the Winding Circle magic school. She is now living with her Great Uncle Duke Vedris because of his heart attack which happened just a few short months ago. She is determined to keep him out of harms way until he is fully healed. While out on a morning ride with her uncle, Lady Sandry spies a boy of about her age, maybe a little taller than her, with brown curly hair and tan skin who is dancing around a net on the beach, his name was Pasco. She eventually discovers his magic and becomes his teacher. While this is going on, there are a few murders in a local merchant family and Lady Sandry gets wrapped up in this investigation and soon finds that she and Pasco are the only ones who, joined with some head mages, can save the rest of the merchant family and catch the killers. If you are interested in finding out how, read Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce.
on March 8, 2001
Wow!! That one word says everything! This book, though a little more gruesome than the Circle of Magic series, has an incredibly original plot! The shortest summary I could give is this; a group of murderers is destroying a family of rich merchants using "unmagic". You may be thinking, "Unmagic? What on earth is she talking about?" Well, you see, unmagic, is something like the absence of all magic. When you're coated with unmagic, you're invisible, and can pass through magic spells like they weren't there, which is a VERY important part of the book! The main characters, Sandry, a mage who uses magic like thread, and Pasco, a mage who dances magic, have just become teacher and student. Pasco is not very enthusiastic about the idea, and he definitely doesn't like his new dance teacher, a friend of Sandry's teacher. It soon becomes clear that Sandry and Pasco are the only ones who can stop this trio of murderers! Do you want to know what happens next? Read the book! By the way, thanks for reading my review!
on July 10, 2000
As someone who is generally not a big fan of Tamora Pierce's work, I was pleasantly surprised by Magic Steps, the first in a promising new quartet. It's a very diverting action-fantasy with plenty of-- well, everything. There's some particularly creative magic going on: Sandry continues to work with and explore her special type of thread magic, Pasco (her new and somewhat unwilling student) begins to learn control over his unusual dancing Talent, and a new and very dangerous type of magic is discovered. Unmagic, as they call it, permits several murderers to go undiscovered as they exact revenge upon the prominent Rokat family in a truly grisly manner. And only Sandry and Pasco, two young and inexperienced mages, have the combined unique talents to deal with the menace...
The shift of this quartet is definitely off the original four characters; Tris, Briar and Daja are mentioned only in passing. However, Sandry's character is further developed as she becomes more independent, and she gains a surprising amount of depth and maturity by the end of the book. Pasco is also an engaging creation, and Pierce's vivid description of his first dance lesson (and his ensuing sore muscles) will provoke a good deal of compassion from anyone who has ever taken serious dance lessons. Additionally, the villains, though a little underdeveloped, are not the standard implausibly evil Bad Guys.
Really, the only thing that detracted from my pleasure in reading Magic Steps was the occasional intrusion of terms from this world. Tamora Pierce did, for the most part, a good job of creating slang and customs for her world. Even the names of the weekdays are altered. However, they still inexplicably measure height in feet and inches, and some of the foreign customs mentioned are very Asian and Middle-Eastern in feel. Not a major fault, though, and there are plenty of good points that more than make up for that. A warning to those with weaker stomachs-- there is quite a lot more gore and death in Magic Steps than in The Magic Circle quartet. It's hardly excessive, though, and shouldn't be too bothersome.
Naturally, it's a good idea to read The Magic Circle quartet (Sandry's Book, Tris' Book, Daja's Book, Briar's Book) before reading the first entry in The Circle Opens series. I'll be looking forward to following entries as the remaining three characters mature and become teachers in their own rights. But if you like Tamora Pierce, you really must try Sherwood Smith's Crown and Court Duet...
on February 21, 2001
The book was good, but I really don't feel like it was great in a Tamora Piercy way. I liked it, but that's because I also like the kind of book this is: Drugs and murder and strange deaths. The dancing magic was a good idea, however, I feel that it was not carried out as well as it could have been. It also introduces too many concepts in effort to explain itself. In most of her books she will tell you something that you might forget but when it is the solution to the problem you say "Oh, yeah!" However, in this book, that doesn't happen. It's just like "Here's what it must be," even if you have no idea what that means. And then you're like "Okay..." It's also very confusing. Who kills who again? Oh, they're the bad guy? Where are they? I don't reccomend it to people who get queasy or to the general population for that matter. You probably should read it though, if only to be informed of Sandry's doings when "Street Mages" comes around.
on April 21, 2002
the Magic Circle series is a must-read. Your probably thinking this book in the Circle Opens series will be even better; uh... WRONG! The only characters it stars are Sandry (one of the earlier four mages), Pasco (the dance mage, who can make magic do things by dancing, and who also- at least I think- has a crush on Sandry), and the "bad guy" of the story, who makes the story gory, because she murders a whole family. It's not exciting at all. I love to read, and it's a really bad insult to be called "boring" in my standards; it doesn't even TALK about Briar, Trish, Daja, or their teachers (which I think [is bad]). I would prefer "The Hobbit", and "Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Rings", for people who like tamora pierce's first few book series. The immortals series would be reccomended in this situation; except for the fourth book, where Daine(a sixten yr old girl with magic that includes everything to do with animals) falls in love with her 40 yr old teacher.
on March 21, 2001
Tamora Pierce begins her new series with a great book for her avid readers. This book continues the story of another of her series, The Circle of Magic, wich tells the story of four youngsters, who have amazing and unprecidented magical gifts. This story centers on The Lady Sandrilene Fa Toren, the grand niece of the Duke Vedris, and her discovery of another oddly talented youngster, Pasco. Pasco's magic manifests when he dances and, because Sandry discovered him, it's her job to train him and help him control his magic.
Also in the story, are the inexplicable and brutal murders of a very wealthy, although not well liked, family of myrrh traders. Together, Sandry and Pasco must work to stop and catch the assasins before the entire family is destroyed.
The plot is well maintained throughout the story and the only chance you get to put the book down is after you've finished reading it. Like all of her books, it flows well and is a pleasure to read. Enjoy!
on February 19, 2001
This book is awsome! Through out the book many exciting things happen! This book is about a young boy who has magical power through dancing and will not except it because his family and all the generation before him have alway been provost guards, (police like people) and he thinks his family will never truly except him as a magic DANCER. She must teach him that he really does have magic through dancing and how he must work it! At the same time, a family of mercahnts all related are being killed 1 at a time by someone with very mysterious and powerful magic. The duke (Sandry's Uncle} is just recovering from a recent heart-attack, and Sandry is trying to cope with this all at the same time! The ending is really good so I won't ruin it for you. But I will tell you that Sandry and the young magical dancer, Pacso, are the only ones who can stop these magical killers! I highly suggest that you read this book because you will love it!!