Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Will of the Empress

The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce

A surprise addition to Pierce’s two magic circle series (The Magic Circle and The Circle Opens), this book rejoins Tris, Daja, Sandry, and Briar as they meet up once again. The four are now eighteen and have seen a lot in their short lives. Their magical connection has been closed, much to the dismay of Sandry, due to the others wanting to keep their now adult thoughts to themselves.
In a bit of a road trip book, the four travel to Namorn, Sandry’s mother’s homeland, to inspect Sandry’s lands there. As always, trouble follows the magical siblings. This time an evil empress named Berenene dor Ocmore wants to keep Sandry in Namorn in order to keep her money there, she also wants the four as powerful mages. Being strong willed the four will play by nobody’s rules but their own.
Now that the four are grown-up, the book is more grown-up too. Issues of love, rape, murder, and kidnapping are all prevalent throughout the book. Pierce also delivers on her promise to include more homosexual characters into her books as one of the main characters discovers their true sexuality.
Fans of Pierce’s work will not be disappointed as she weaves together (just like Sandry) magic, adventure, love, and friendship. This book has it all and will keep you wanting more. I only hope for another unexpected sequel about four of my favorite fantasy characters.
As a side note, this book is available in a full cast audio version. The audio version is narrated by the author herself and is done extremely well. The music and cast fit the story perfectly and add to this wonderful novel.

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