May 18, 2018 8:58 PM - by Tamora Pierce - Subscribe

"When Daine is summoned by the wolf pack that saved her life a year earlier, she knows she has to go. She and Numair travel to Dunlath Valley to answer the call. But when they arrive, Daine realizes with a shock that it's not just the animals whose lives are threatened; people are in danger too. Dunlath's rulers have discovered black opals in their valley and are dead set on mining the magic these stones embody. Daine learns that Dunlath's lord and lady plan to use this power to overthrow King Jonathan -- even if it means irreversibly damaging the land and killing their workers. On a mission to save both her animal friends and her human ones, Daine has to master her wild magic in order to fight for the kingdom and triumph over the would-be usurpers."
posted by Eyebrows McGee (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I always think of this one as the environmentalist after-school special. And I'm always somewhat surprised when I enjoy reading it after all. I like the wolf pack and how we get to know them individually. Daine's new abilities are interesting and I like how this book she just jumps right into learning it.

I also adore Maura, in all her ten-year-old glory. She knows what's right and will stubbornly stick to it, whether she can plan and manage to feed herself or not.

It was also fascinating to learn that Emporer Ozorne has a private gem mine that's location is so secret, it's not his at all. I wonder if that's been part of his motivation to take Tortall.

I'm also struggling to remember if we know Gissa and if Tristan is one of the older students who was bullying (and stopped?) I can't remember baby Numair well enough.
posted by Margalo Epps at 6:18 PM on May 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

This one took me a while to get into because it's mostly new characters and a new setting and I have to learn why I should care about them. It is pretty great that she doesn't have any reason to ignore the badger's request that she learn new things this time, so she gets on with it.

Good transition into the full-on shape-changing, too, with a reason to do something that seems risky without any real planning. Non-metaphorical jumping into a cold lake!

The two-legger former tree is covered in a short story somewhere, right?
posted by asperity at 9:34 AM on June 1, 2018

The two-legger former tree is covered in a short story somewhere, right?

Yes, it's in Tortall and Other Lands, a short story collection.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:28 PM on June 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

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