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Publisher's Summary

New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce returns to the magical world of Winding Circle. Set two years before the events of The Will of the Empress and Melting Stones, this adventure reunites plant mage Briar; his mentor, Rosethorn; and his young apprentice, Evvy, who has a talent for making stones...do things. The three journey eastward to the forbidding land of Yanjing, where they discover a danger that threatens the home temple of the Living Circle religion.

©2013 © 2013 by Tamora Pierce (P)2013 Scholastic Inc.

What listeners say about Battle Magic

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A delight to listen to

What did you love best about Battle Magic?

Nancy Wu's performance as Evvy is enthusiastic, youthful, and convincing as a 12 year old girl with immense magical abilities.

What did you like best about this story?

Tamora Pierce's cultural and political designs are realistic, and the descriptions are vivid.

What does Nancy Wu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Evvy's excitement, rosethorn's maturity, and briar's adolescence. The characters all came completely to life; Nancy Wu's performance is nuanced and diverse.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did, and am listening a second time.

Any additional comments?

looking into Nancy Wu's other work, I enjoyed her narration and characters in particular!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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My patience paid off

Who was your favorite character and why?

I absolutely adore Evvi, while I knew her from a different book that takes place after this one she still captured my heart during this story. She is so headstrong and honest, isn't afraid to tell it how she sees it and damn the consequences. She also would teach young children that it is good to learn when to shut their mouth.
It always makes me happy to see books with strong young women in them, and Evvi is definitely one of them.

What does Nancy Wu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She finds a way to help set the scene that I have a harder time doing when I read. I normally can picture something fine when I read, but Nancy really helps to bring the scene to life.

Who knows, maybe I just imagine things better when listening and not reading.

My reason for knocking a star off is that all of the other books that have Briar and Rosethorn in them are done as Full Cast Audio and I definitely missed that here.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The cats.... being an animal lover I loved Evvi's cats. And that is all I will say so that there are no spoilers.

Any additional comments?

While this book will make sense on its own I STRONGLY urge you to read or listen to a few other series first only so that you have the history of the characters. There is information in this book that will be spoilers for past ones.
The series' that I would suggest are "The Circle of Magic" quartet and "The Circle Opens" quartet. Both follow Briar and his sisters before Battle Magic. It is totally possible to listen to "Melting Stones" before as well, but that follows after Battle Magic. However it doesn't give much away to this story.

Tamora Pierce has a way of writing from many view points and building a world that is just amazing. Her worlds are always well-rounded and full, completely believable and they make you want to jump into the book and be a part of the story because of how well they are written. You often aren't left wondering about the big things, but even the littlest things are taken into account when talking about the cultures of the people in the book. She is consistent in those things that are mentioned often but aren't major to the story.
I love a book with good world building.

4 people found this helpful

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AWESOME

Where does Battle Magic rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Ive read ALL Tamora Pierce's books! They are amazing!!!!!!

What other book might you compare Battle Magic to and why?

Her best was Tricker's Choice and Trickster's Queen

What does Nancy Wu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

You feel like you are really there

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes!

3 people found this helpful

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great read

i really enjoyed the whole thing! i liked the characters and how well they came alive throughout the stoy.

3 people found this helpful

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Woo woo for Nancy Wu!

I enjoyed Battle Magic, even though I’m about 40 years past it’s target audience. :-) I especially enjoyed Nancy Wu’s performance. I don’t know how she does so many different voices!

The review by “Jane” is unfair. It sounds like she’s read the other books in the series, which were produced with a full cast. If you’re used to hearing a character performed by one actor, and then you hear another actor perform the same character, of course they’ll sound different. When I read “Winnie the Pooh” I remember my mother’s voice for each character. I can’t watch the Disney movies because Disney cast other actors with the “wrong” voices. As an adult I understand this and I don’t blame Disney’s actors for bad performances.

3 people found this helpful

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A war of blood and magic in a land of many gods

Tamora Pierce never fails to deliver. A fantastic story and my personal favorite (former) thief!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story - horrible narrator - read the book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I've read almost all of Tamora Pierces novels, include Battle Magic. I also have the majority of them on audio via Audible. I enjoy listening to them while driving or doing other tasks.

Battle Magic is a great novel. The characters are full of life, Tamora Pierce does yet again a wonderful job of drawing the reader into the story and weaving a good paced attention keeping tale.

Unfortunately Nancy Wu narration slaughtered Battle Magic. I read the book before getting the audio. I was going to do a long drive and thought it would be nice to listen to the story. I got so irritated that midway through I had to turn it off. The way she changes the voices are horrid. At places she goes to a monotone voice and I felt myself not listening anymore. The story is a good one, that was the reader not the story. Sometimes I couldn't even tell that the speaker had changed except by the word "said" or such. The vocal reading didn't give any indication with change in inflection. She doesn't make any pause between section changes. The first time she went from the end of a sentence in one section (think context change within a chapter) - straight into the next without pausing , I thought the audio was broken. Then I realized what had happened. It happened again and again. Seriously. She completely ruined this story for me. Read the book instead.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nancy Wu?

I would prefer to have Tamora Pierce and the cast of the other books do the narrative. And if not that - then someone who can at least read without just ruining everything together. The character of Briar Moss is an upstart street wise cocky kid who is maturing - but her narrative of him has absolutely none of that feel or playful tone, etc that goes with his character. I don't know the reasons why the narration was done differently for this book than the others, but it was a mistake to change.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story is great. Tamora Pierce put out another well written novel. I did love the book - I hated the audio narration.

9 people found this helpful

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no full cast audio?

Im really disappointed that this is just one narrator. i didnt think it would bother me as much as it did. it just seem that the magic of this series is lost.

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Battle Magic was a good story

It was a good story. I do miss the other voices in the other productions . I do wish it could have been in line with the other story.

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Great story fills in gaps for other story archs

The story carried itself. The narrator reading well, enunciating the words clearly. I wish she had put more feeling and excitement into her reading. otherwise I loved it.

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  • J. LoVecchio
  • 11-06-19

difficult but worth it

CN: war, dictatorship, torture, death, animal death, a lot of trauma, I think I could only stand going in to this book knowing everyone survives, albeit with major PTSD, and knowing what the worst bits were going to be from the previous two books. I've seen people complain about that lessening the impact but I'm greatful. Even then it isn't an easy book. But it's still very good. I love seeing rosethorn being vulnerable and more nuanced rather than how her pupils see her (as very competent most of the time)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vanessa
  • 02-09-17

I love this book

Would you listen to Battle Magic again? Why?

Yes - because I found the writing brilliant and so engaging that I just have to hear it again

What was one of the most memorable moments of Battle Magic?

When Evvey found her cats after the torture - I don't want to ruin it for others so that's all I'm going to say about it.

Which character – as performed by Nancy Wu – was your favourite?

Evvey. I think that the character development- the personality that is emerging- is going to be amazing.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Their lifes where not easy before .Briar - a thief living on the streets until he got caught once to often. Evvey a run away slave who was struggling to get enough food for herself and her 7 cats - but little did they know it was going to get even harder.

Any additional comments?

I will get the rest of this series. This feels like a more grownup type of story - Tamara's books have never been all roses and good times but this seems to have some subjects that stand out . I always thought it would be fun seeing her interact with the other girls in Briars life too.

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  • Casey w.
  • 09-12-17

a truly amazing author and very well read

I truly love tamora pierce all her stories are incredible, one of the best things is being able to follow your favorite characters through other stories as the years go by they interweave with new books. the full cast audios are the best readings I wish audible had the full sets

1 person found this helpful