Summersea faces terrible danger…
Plague has struck the city. A blue pox – like nothing the healers have ever seen. It spreads rapidly and its touch is deadly.
Time is running out…
Forced into quarantine by exposure to the outbreak, Briar and his teacher, Dedicate Rosethorn, fight to keep the victims alive. But their magic has limits – it offers comfort, but no cure. The Winding Circle mages must find the key to countering the disease, and fast, or Summersea will become a city of the dead.
My favourite character and favourite book in the Circle of Magic series, Briar’s Book is definitely a standout. It seems as if the four young protagonists have settled into life in Winding Circle. They each study their own disciplines, have their own interests and hobbies, and are still connected through their magic and shared experience. Less than one year since they all moved into Discipline, they’ve come to see it as home and are ready to protect it from anyone or anything that may try to take their new sense of family and safety away.
Briar’s Book almost feels like an instalment from a different series, it’s so different from the first three books. It feels more mature and serious. I know we’ve been working towards this the whole series but after Daja’s Book, this was a flying leap forward. It’s also been the most interesting premise so far and I couldn’t put it down. It was like a roller coaster of fear, worry, and relief. For less than 300 pages, it covered a lot of ground without feeling shallow or rushed.
I really don’t want to give anything away, because the story is too good to spoil any of it, but the ending is heartbreaking and sweet and perfect. Briar will always be my favourite because of his loyalty and his sense of right and wrong. He drives this story with his persistence to do the right thing and take care of the people he loves. I’m so used to the Tortall universe and how magic and healing works there, and even their mythology and gods. I really appreciated this entirely different approach in the Emelan universe, especially towards disease and healing and cures.