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Cold Fire (The Circle Opens #3)

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  14,354 ratings  ·  141 reviews
Daja is a metal mage - iron speaks to her senses and fire is her friend. She is incredibly powerful - more powerful than a student should be, some think. Staying the winter in snow-locked Namorn, Daja is determined to enjoy herself, and her host's twin daughters are good company. But there's more to the pretty pair than meets the eye - the twins may be destined for more th ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published August 16th 2002 by Scholastic Point (first published April 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kendra
I love Daja, and I was hoping I'd love this book, but it was almost like Pierce just couldn't be bothered to write something engaging. This book is more about Ben than it is about Daja -- she's strangely absent from her own story, despite the fact that we spend so much time with her. The strong point about Street Magic was the relationship between Briar and Evvy; similarly, the weak point of this book was the lack of relationship between Daja and Jory, or Daja and Nia. None of the ancillary char ...more
Wealhtheow
Hell. Yes.

Daja's book in the original Circle books was probably my favorite of the series, and her book in the second series is equally excellent. Just to give you some idea: I started this book when I got on the elliptical, and didn't get off until I was finished. Even for me, reading an entire novel takes awhile, but I was too wrapt to notice the time going by. That's how enthralling this book is.

Daja Kisubu and her teacher Frostpine have come to a series of islands to learn more metal magic.
...more
Ralph
Jul 28, 2009 Ralph rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ralph by: Moonreader
Another excellent novel by Tamora Pierce!

Daja and Frostpine have been travelling around so that Daja can learn from other forges. While in the far north, Daja discovers twins with magic. One has cooking magic while the other has carpentry magic.

Though it was a good novel, I didn't like this one as much as I did the first two in the series. The twins kind of blended together and after reading this novel, I have no clue which twin is which. Daja's relationship with Ben was also kind of weird. All
...more
Genevieve
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle
Again the unbeatable humour I always associate with Ms Pierce's books never disappoints. Haha Frostpine is my most favourite character - always so innocuously humorous.

Okay that Ben guy is crazy, absolutely nuts. Things I don't get about his personality:
- His mother's cold treatment and constant nagging upsets and makes him angry. Yet the way he wants to deal with this situation is not to confront her about it, or at least hash out his anger with some shouting but he wants to end her life? Huh?
...more
Kimberly
A general comment about this whole series - I enjoyed having books that were really about each of the four characters, but I felt like something was missing from all the books from having them apart. The books all felt like they were missing characters and there weren't enough new characters and character development of the new characters to satisfy me. Also, the four books didn't seem like a series, but four stand-along books, because nothing linked them together.

My biggest complaint here was t
...more
Fantasy Literature
The Circle Opens quartet deals with the ongoing adventures of the four Winding Circle students as they themselves become the teachers to new (and even younger) apprentices. Sadly, one of the prerequisites of this teaching experience is that the four friends are separated, as became clear in Magic Steps, in which we learn from Sandry that Briar, Tris and Daja have left on far-flung journeys with their respective teachers in order to improve their own magical crafts. As such, the wonderful friends ...more
Claire Smith
I loved the contrast between Daja's solid, strong personality and the volatile fires that she deals with in this book. Reading from her perspective, she felt far more comfortable with who she is, which I was glad of. Her teaching style was interesting too, compared to the usual sit-and-meditate technique of Sandry and Briar in the previous two books. I really liked that the living metal played a part in the novel, as well as touching on the fact that like the others Daja is learning to work magi ...more
Loren Weaver
Cold Fire is book three in The Circle Opens series and follows Daja to Namoran in search of new ways of smithing.

Continuing in the tradition, Daja also finds new, ambient mages in her travel. A pair of twin girls, each with their own magic, and she must teach them. Not that it will be easy, since patience with chatterboxes isn't Daja's strong suit.

But what's more, there's a firebug loose in a city of wooden houses. This firebug has set alight several houses and shops, killing a lot of people. Da
...more
Christine Treasure
As always an enjoyable read by Tamora Pierce. However, not as great a read as the rest of the books in the series I thought. I love Daja, but admittedly she isn't my favourite character out of the Circle Universe, although that wasn't the problem. The problem was the lack of input and character development of her students, who I felt should have been a bigger part of the story similar to her previous books in The Circle Opens series. I also found Daja's relationship with Ben a bit odd and unsett ...more
Synopthis!
Daja is accompanying Frostpine while he visits old friends of his in Kugisko and working with all the smithies along the way. But Kugisko proves to be more interesting than they could have dreamed. Frostpine's friends, whom they are staying with, have among their children two twin girls. Although they have been tested in the past and found to have no magic ability, Daja discovers that they do in fact have ambient magic, Nia for carpentry and Jory for cooking. Not interesting enough? Well there i ...more
Stephanie Jobe
Daja has gone North to the land of the cold. It doesn’t bother her much but Frostpine does not enjoy it much, in contrast to his name. They are the guests of his ex roommate and his ex girlfriend that became his friends wife. They have a sweet little family with two young women, Daja spots magic in one of them and as twins that means they must both have it. Once she has identified the type of magic she has to find them teachers. You have a feeling that the choices they make will be interesting. ...more
Meredith
As much as I love/adore/obsess over Tamora Pierce's works, I would be lying if I said that the Circle of Magic series was my favorite. Tortall will always hold a special place in my heart, and it may be because I read Alanna: The First Adventure before the Circle of Magic quartet. It seems to be that those who read the Circle of Magic first like those better, and vice versa. This has to be my favorite of all seven books so far in the Circle of Magic and Circle Opens quartets. I must say that I w ...more
Shoshana
Daja might be my favorite, even though I'm not really like her. (Although I am sort of like Frostpine. But he's not my favorite teacher - Niko is - although I would probably prefer to have Frostpine as a teacher in real life.) The point is, she is a joy to spend a book with. She is brave without rank going for her; hardworking without complaining; smart without being boastful; confident without being arrogant. And I think her magic is just the coolest. (Although objectively Tris's is obviously t ...more
Elley Murray


This quartet follows the four young mages from the Circle of Magic quartet as they go their separate ways and take on first students on their own. Briar, Daja, and Tris all go to distant lands and Tamora Pierce has some pretty interesting world building going on in these novels, which was really fun to read.

In the Circle of Magic quartet, Daja's Book and Briar's Book were by far and away my favorites, and I was pleased that this time I loved Daja's, Briar's, AND Tris's stories. My favorite new
...more
Kari Chapman
This book is the third book in The Circle Opens quartet. In it we follow Daja as she and her teacher travel to visit other smiths around their world.

For just seeing more of Daja, this is an interesting book. Like the other books in the series, it also shows us an aspect of the darker sides of people - in this book we follow an arsonist. (view spoiler)
...more
Rebecca
2.5. This book is not nearly as strong as the first two of the series. I really liked the world presented, and thought a lot of things had potential, but...

But I really disliked Pierce's choice to narrate the story from just two perspectives: Daja's and--well, you'll find out--leaving out narration from the young mages Daja discovers. While we've had narration from the "bad guys" before, they were always secondary to the narration of Sandry and Pasco, then Briar and Evvy. In Cold Fire we don't g
...more
Terri
Daja’s book started out very interesting, with our young smith-mage finding twin girls with ambient powers. Jory (whose name is Jorality, which cracks me up because it sounds funny and I like it) is a cook mage and Nia is a wood/carpentry mage. Daja teaches them how to meditate, but Jory is hyperactive and distracts Nia, so Daja eventually has to separate them. Nia learns the more traditional quiet, breathing meditation and Jory learns a form of staff meditation wherein she repeats physical patt ...more
Julie
It took me forever to read this but that isn't a reflection on Tamora Pierce's writing or this book. The four young mage's seem to be learning that they are teachers as well as masters in this series. Daja has always been my favorite character in this foursome and she is just as strong on her own in this book. She discovers magic in a pair of twins while traveling North with Frostpine during the winter. While trying to find teachers and guiding her new students, Daja also must find who is starti ...more
Rosemarie Herbert
I originally reviewed this book on my blog - The Cosy Dragon. For more recent reviews by me, please hop over there.

Daja and her teacher Frostpine have gone far into the wintery cold so that Daja can learnt from other metal mages. Like the other 2 books in this quartet, she unexpectedly finds herself teaching meditation and finding the gifted children the teachers they need. To complicate things there is an arsonist afoot, and Daja doesn't know which of her feelings to trust.

Once again, it is the
...more
JoLee
Cold Fire is the third in Tamora Pierce's The Circle Opens Series. It features Daja. As is the formula for this series, she discovers some unusual magic--this time in young twins--cooking magic and woodworking magic. While setting about to teach the twins and find them good teachers, Daja is also dealing with a series of devastating fires, and a supposed hero with a disturbing obsession.

Oh my, the world in this book! The city of Kugisko is so cool. It's a city built on a number of small islands
...more
Lauren Acton
I didn't enjoy Daja's story as much as Briar's, but that could be because I read it at the end of summer and all the descriptions of ice and snow made me shudder to think of the coming winter.
Daja is staying in a Nordic-inspired setting with her teacher Frostpine, learning from new smiths and meeting new mages. As her friends before her, she discovers ambient magic that the possessor didn't know they had - this time it's twin girls - and she has to find teachers for them. The parallel mystery st
...more
E.
Oooh, this one's creepy, and it gets creepier with time.

(view spoiler)
...more
Rowan
In the third "Circle Opens" book, fourteen-year-old smith-mage Daja has traveled far to the north with her teacher, Frostpine, and are enjoying the hospitality of two of his old friends and their children. Daja sees one of their twin daughters use magic, and realises the other must have it as well. Unlike in the previous two books, Daja is able to find appropriate teachers for the two girls, a cook-mage and a wood-mage respectively, and only trains them in meditation. This leaves Daja with a fai ...more
Kristin Easterling
The Circle Opens series by Tamora Pierce takes the kids from Circle of Magic and launches them into the world as full-blown ambient mages. They each have to take on a student and they discover that teaching isn't as easy as they thought. Pierce again weaves the universe of Emelan and the surrounding lands masterfully, creating fantastic backdrops for her characters to play in. A great series for any fan of fantasy.
Jill
Old review copied over from my Facebook:

-Yes, I read The Circle Opens quartet completely out of order. Luckily you can do that and it doesn't hurt much of anything.
-Interesting new type of villain for her. I'm pretty sure this is the first arsonist she had done. I liked it.
-I liked her brief inclusion of a mental ward in the city's hospital. After my abnormal psychology class, it was good to see that she remembered that these people do exist and the society would have needed to do something with
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 07, 2009 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Kandice
I wouldn't start with this book--it's not a standalone. There is a prior quartet, Circle of Magic that introduces four young people who become friends and train together in magic, Sandry, Tris, Briar, and the protagonist of this book, Daja. After that quartet of books, in The Circle Opens series, each goes off into their own, and the order you read those four becomes unimportant. I find not just Daja and her mentor in this novel appealing, but also the very milleu this story is set in. I had fun ...more
Marielle
A dynamic change to both the setting and story of the previous Circle Opens and Circle of Magic books, Daja's story is one of the most compelling. For the first time we get alternating narratives that do not include the students of the Circle mage. It felt fresh in the series, even if the town Pierce so vividly describes is locked in deep winter.
Barbara ★
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others in the series. I just couldn't connect with Daja and her plight. I also didn't like the whiney girls Niamara and Jorality who spent most of the book complaining about something or other.

In the second series concerning Sandry, Tris, Briar and Daja, each book features one of the four coming upon a non-discovered magical person and then having to train them or find them a teacher. These four are no more than 14 or 15 themselves, training 12-13 year ol
...more
Lauren
I was so glad to read this one at last. I LOVE Daja, of all the four Circle characters. I don't know exactly why she appeals to me--I'm much more like Sandry and a little bit like Tris, and not very much like Daja at all, but she's the one of the four (I like Briar too, and I admire him, but I don't relate at all personally--he kinda reminds me of my little brother, though) that I really enjoy reading about. The story was quite satisfying, and the ending was satisfying, though I wished there had ...more
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8596
Hey, folks! I just discovered that apparently I have given some very popular books single-star ratings--except I haven't. How do I know I haven't? Because I haven't read those books at all. So before you go getting all hacked off at me for trashing your favorites, know that I've written GoodReads to find out what's going on.

I return to my regularly scheduled profile:
Though I would love to join gro
...more
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“The bravest person I know is afraid of the dark. She sleeps with a night lamp always, but if her friends are threatened? She suddenly thinks she's a bear twelve feet tall and attacks whoever scared her friends.” 231 likes
“It's been interesting, "Frostpine said casually. "I wanted Daja to get some experience of other smiths'-and other mages'- ways of doing things, if only so she can see mine is best.” 49 likes
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