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Emperor Mage (2005)

Emperor Mage (2005)

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4.28 of 5 Votes: 5
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1416903372 (ISBN13: 9781416903376)
simon pulse

About book Emperor Mage (2005)

I've been doing some thinking and have come to a conclusion that, I suppose, should have been obvious a long time ago: I connect to Tamora Pierce's characters better than I connect to pretty much any other characters. They get under my skin, in my blood, into my heart; I see through their eyes so easily it astounds me. I've read this series more times than I can remember, but I still feel the same intensity that I recall from the first time - and the last few chapters of this book still have a horrible kick in the gut in store for me, even if I know it's coming. I almost cried, and I hardly ever cry at books.That, I think, is Pierce's true mastery. It's not her fantastic plotting, or her pacing, or the way she uses magic and integrates it into the societies she builds. It's not the vividity of different cultures. It's not even the sharp, wry dialogue that I adore. What makes her one of my favorite authors is the way her characters are so very human, developed and flawed so that I can live through them and almost breathe with them and I don't have to think about it. When I am reading a Tamora Pierce book, Tortall is the real world and woe betide any interruptions.This particular book can be described in two words: Fucking Epic. The Immortals Quartet grows vastly in scale here. As a veteran of the Lioness Quartet, I know that in Tortall the question is not whether or not the gods are real but how long it will take one of them to show up, and this is the book in which at least one of them becomes a driving force. In a big way. Okay, so sue me; I really like the Graveyard Hag. She's got spunk. Also, old goddesses for the win! There aren't nearly enough of them in mythology or fiction. (Off the top of my head all I can think of is Elli, the Norse goddess of old age who arm-wrestled Thor and won.) Even Pierce's deities are human, something that becomes abundantly clear in the fourth book.But I digress. There's really not much to say about this book without spoiling the ending because all that is wonderful about it ties directly into the ending. So I'm going to waste a little more of your time analyzing one scene, one of my favorites in the book: when Daine and Prince Kaddar go to the archery yard and Daine beats all the Carthaki nobles in archery.First of all, we get this:"Women aren't up to the discipline of military life.""You must tell Lady Alanna that sometime. I'd do it from a distance."Knowing the sexism that Alanna had to fight to win her shield, that little exchange always makes me grin. It might be easy to lose sight of the cultural revolution Tortall has undergone in a relatively short period of time, but Alanna is a distinct reminder of that. (And Kel, but she hasn't shown up yet.)The best thing about this scene is that instead of using it to show how stupid and sexist these young men are, Pierce makes it rather more pleasant: Daine impresses them all with her archery skills, and they immediately accept her, almost as one of their own. They're not hopeless bigots, and they're not haughty and dismissive of her as an aberration. It's very clear that these are young men raised to believe certain things, but still not so old they think what they were taught is the one and only truth. It's not black and white.So yeah. This book is awesome. And I'm going to go start Realms of the Gods now.

Reviewed by Candace Cunard for TeensReadToo.comEMPEROR MAGE follows the story of Daine, now fifteen years old, a girl with the rare power of "wild magic" that gives her an extraordinary affinity with animals. With her wild magic, Daine can communicate with animals, see the world through their senses, and even transform herself into one, all skills that the first two books of THE IMMORTALS series have shown her develop.In this third book, the stakes are raised as Daine accompanies an ambassadorial delegation to Carthak, where she is to use her wild magic to cure the Carthaki Emperor's sick pet birds as a show of goodwill. Carthaki ships have been attacking the coast of Daine's country of Tortall for the last year, resulting in increasingly violent skirmishes, and the intention of this delegation is to negotiate for peace between the nations.Accompanying Daine on this trip are the famous lady knight Alanna, star of Pierce's LIONESS QUARTET, Tortall's most powerful mage and Daine's teacher, Numair, and the young dragon, Kitten.Daine finds Carthak to be an alternately strange and disturbing place; she's not comfortable with the practice of slavery, which is legal there, or with Emperor Orzone, a powerful mage in his own right. When the peace negotiations stall, things start to heat up, and the balance of power between two great nations has been staked on the outcome.In what is undoubtedly my favorite book of the quartet, Pierce continues to develop Daine's skills and abilities while simultaneously allowing the readers entry into the struggles that this wild mage has had to face in order to build her talent. The cast of supporting characters is large but nuanced, and although it might initially seem an easy job to discern between the two sides of the impending fight, the distinctions are increasingly and intelligently blurred.I particularly enjoyed the further characterization of Numair, as well as the introduction of the young Prince Kaddar, who always kept me guessing. The pacing is spot on, with seemingly innocuous events leading up to a powerful climactic sequence.I read it all the way through without stopping!

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What I liked:-Daine. She has full control of her powers in this book, aside from the temporary power granted to her by the graveyard hag, and Daine has become a young woman in this book. She’s matured and grown and she’s become respected by her peers. She’s not my favorite heroine in the Realm of Tortall, but she’s still pretty cool. I’m envious of her bond with animals and her ability to make friends everywhere she goes.-Palace life. There was fancy clothing, beautiful banquets, dancing, and politics. It all seemed very realistic for what a kingdom might have been like in a fantasy setting similar to this one. -Setting. I loved the exotic setting that was far different than Tortall, where just about every other book in the Tortall universe takes place. The animals, the people, and the culture were all different than what we were used to, and I thought Tamora Pierce did an excellent job describing it all for us. I almost felt like I was there with Daine and the others.What I disliked:-Numair. I disliked that he seemed to be attempting to rekindle things with an old flame of his. Throughout this entire book, Numair was inconsistent for me. He went from being overprotective of Daine to ignoring her for his former flame’s advances. Then when they were leaving, he went back to being overprotective. Clearly the author is hinting at the possibility of something between him and Daine, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. There’s an age difference, but it’s not that uncommon for a world like Tortall. I guess we’ll see where this goes.Overall, this is probably my favorite book of the series. It had action, drama, mystery, suspense, and some amazing displays of magic and planning. Normally I’m not big on books dealing with a bit of politics, but this one was amazing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that loves fantasy and magical powers. 4.5

Aaaaand, we’re back. Everything that I felt was lacking in the second book (eg, my interest) was revived completely in this book. Daine is back in the land of the two-leggers and is facing the oft named but never before seen Emperor Mage Ozorne. And it turns out that Ozorne really shouldn’t have messed with our Daine. There’s a whole chapter called “Daine loses her temper” which I’m still grinning about. Daine may seem cute with her crunchy granola, tree-hugging, “save the whales” exterior but if you mess with her friends, she will bring. a world. of pain.Daine, Numair, Alanna, and a whole crew of Tortallans are sent to Carthak in an attempt at diplomacy and peace, after the Carthaki Emperor has allegedly opened the walls between the immortal and mortal realms. Daine is there in a very minor capacity, to heal the Emperor’s prized pet birds. Carthak is a very different place than Tortall: human slavery, censorship, and violence are a way of life there. The Emperor initially seems kind, even playful, but he has a hidden agenda. Along the way, we get to learn more about Numair’s past and meet a few of his old “friends.”If there’s one thing I’m sure about after reading this book, it’s this: Tamora Pierce has spent a significant amount of time in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. For anyone who’s ever visited the dinosaur exhibit, Daine’s new power will have a vividly frightening dimension. It’s just plain kismet that I happened to visit that very place only a weekend before starting this book. *shudders* There is only very minor development on the romance front, which I am extremely happy about in one sense. Why does Daine need a love interest at all? She’s wonderful all on her own. Yay for strong, independent ladies!!…On the other hand…Numair. Enough said. Daine actually has a bit of a “rival” in this book, when Numair runs into an old flame who’s obviously still interested. And by “rival” I mean someone that Daine barely notices is there and then treats with kindness and respect later on. I’m pretty sure that I was about one hundred times more peeved about the whole thing than Daine was. I fail.And now I must cut this short, as I just happened to read this tantalizing passage this morning: “Suddenly he [Numair] learned something that he’d never considered before. For a brief moment, that fresh knowledge erased even his sense of magical cataclysm.”And if I don’t find out what that’s all about, my head might explode.Perfect Musical PairingThe Cranberries – LiarThis kick-ass song is my little tribute to Emperor Ozorne. There's nothing quite like the stench of fear in the afternoon...

Diane Sarrasi heads off to ...the Middle East!? Well...only sort of. She heads off to Carthak to negotiate peace with those whom she has been in one sort of battle or another for the series thus far.She arrives, immediately judges everything she sees as something strange and/or barbaric (mostly 'and') then becomes the talk of the town (as usual). She isn't happy to confine her miracles to talking with three or four gods, but also effeminating a group of trained soldiers, for which she is greatly

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