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Briar's Book (Circle of Magic #4)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  22,719 Ratings  ·  314 Reviews
Former "street rat" Briar leads a comfortable life at Winding Circle Temple, learning plan magic from Rosethorn. But street kids are still his friends, and when one of them gets sick, she turns to Briar for help. When her disease proves beyond even Rosethorn's power, Briar realizes that all of Summersea is in danger.

As the mysterious illness spreads, Sandry, Daja, and Tris
Mass Market Paperback, 258 pages
Published June 24th 2006 by Scholastic (first published April 1st 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rasmus Skovdal
Feb 11, 2014 Rasmus Skovdal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is for the first four books, ’Circle of Magic.’

An overall four stars, with the individual ratings as follows:

Sandry’s Book: 4

Tris’s Book: 4

Daja’s Book: 3

Briar’s Book: 4

This is, shortly, an excellent YA/children’s series. The books are short, but never feel rushed. They are simple, but never simplistic. Each book has a strong moral core, and they each contain messages, but this is never pushed (at least not strongly) on the reader. They are essentially very good examples of how to sp
Briar's Book is the final book in Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic quartet, which of course is ending just as I'm getting used to the format Pierce wrote them in. Naturally, it focuses on Briar, the former thief and street rat, now plant-mage of Winding Circle Temple. He and the three girls are now a year older than they were in the first book, but still quite young. They've adjusted to their new lives and are learning in heaps and loads. For Briar, a large part of this book involves him interact ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Freya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
review to come :)
Jul 08, 2008 Jace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, old and young.
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
This is probably my favourite of all of Pierce's fine books for young adults. It's touching, heart-wrenching (yes, Rosethorn is my favourite character) and pretty darn meaningful. I've always loved the books that take place in this world more than those from Tortall because this world had (has) so much more room for innovations beyond the safe formula of your standard fantasy novel. And the series does live up to expectations - it develops and fleshes out these four young people in four eventful ...more
Apr 30, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Laurie K Marks and Sherwood Smith
Briar escaped life as a homeless young thief when his magic was discovered. Since then, he has renamed himself and, to a certain extent, reinvented himself. He realizes how much he's changed in skills, outlook and assumptions (like trusting authorities, or actually *wanting* to be clean) when one of his street-rat friends falls ill. And as the illness spreads, and plague envelops the city, Briar is forced to come to terms with his new destiny.

This book is basically everything I have ever wanted
Fuchsia Rascal
What a great finish to this series! Instead of having a human enemy to fight against, our young mages have to deal with a plague that's spreading rapidly through Summersea. For most of the book, Briar and Rosethorn are separated from the rest of their housemates, nursing the sick in quarantine because they were exposed to the disease. It's a huge change from the previous books, where the four young mages and their teachers were always together. I love how they work together, but separating them ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Marina rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, own
Gosh darn it this pulled on my heart-strings and I think I spent the later half of it in tears.

I think overall this series is great, but I would have liked there to be a little more character development. While each of the leading characters of the book did face a personal struggle that they overcome, it didn't necessarily make them a better person. Granted the entire series takes place over just one year and these kids have faced an earthquake, pirate attack/battle, forest fires, and a freaken
Kathy Davie
Mar 02, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, fantasy
Fourth in the Circle of Magic fantasy series for young middle-grade readers and revolving around four very supportive friends. It's also fourth in the overall Emelan series.

Visit KD Did It Takes on Books for a chronological listing of the books in the Circle of Magic series.

My Take
It's a fun combination of magic, science, and medicine. Pierce has blended this so well, that it feels perfectly normal.

I like how Pierce uses the concept of birthdays to provide this back history about Briar, the form
Dec 09, 2015 Kimikimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mark-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Briar and his mentor Rosethorn are caught at the epicenter of a plague outbreak in the Capital. As with Daja's Book, this is another character-focused story. The dynamic between the four students falls to the background, a dependable foundation; the relationship between Briar and Rosethorn takes precedence, and the fact that these characters are prickly means that their dynamic can be poignant without being saccharine. The plot is obvious, as per series's standard, which strips away tension but ...more
Kelsey Hanson
I am one step closer to my personal goal of finishing up the many Tamora Pierce series that I never wrapped up before. I will say that even though Alanna is the one that everyone seems to love, I like this series considerably more. I found the characters more believable, the relationships more heartfelt and the world more interesting. This book had a good first half, but I have to admit that it dragged a bit towards the end. I think it could have spent a bit less time on the actual "medical rese ...more
May 07, 2014 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was very disappointed with this final installment in Pierce's Circle of Magic quartet. While her heroines are consistent in their characterization, I don't find Briar to be so in this novel (more so in the first three, actually), but my biggest complaint is that he doesn't follow the arc that the girls do. Each book is focused on one of the four main characters, and that protagonist's story is about learning to control, and then use, her/his magical power. That happens for the three girls, but ...more
Bex Godfrey
May 30, 2016 Bex Godfrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And so it comes full circle with their power growing so strong when they are together that the impossible becomes possible. I'm always surprised when this ends and says it's only been a year as the characters have grown so much and seem so much older.
Jan 29, 2009 Sharee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 18, 2012 Liza rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: can-t-finish
Every book in this series became less and less exciting as I became a master of predicting what-will-happen-next. How can I predict the plot? Easy, because it's the same plot in every book. The only thing that changes is the central character whose name appears on the cover. So reading all four in a row was like eating four pints of ice cream in different flavors. By the time you get to the last pint you want to barf no matter how much you like ice cream. That being said I've decided I'm not goi ...more
Aug 10, 2016 KEYCbooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of Tamora Pierce's work. Her writing style is so sensual, you're immediately transported inside the story. The dialogue is among the best I've ever read. This book is my favorite out of the series, because it centers around Briar as an epidemic over Summersea breaks out and he assists his teacher, Rosethorn, in helping the sick. Briar is such an amazing character, and he's my favorite of the four. I would definitely recommend this book, this series, and Tamora Pierce's work if you ...more
Julie Decker
Briar has always had a connection with plants, and ever since he's been part of the Circle of Magic, it's been a magical connection. But he has a past of petty crime that he's had to grow beyond, and one of the people from that past is thrown back into his life when he finds out a plague is spreading in his old home. And furthermore, his beloved teacher comes down with the illness. He and his partners Sandry, Tris, and Daja have to combine their efforts and their minds once again to do the impos ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Mallori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, I think Briar is my favorite out of the four characters in the circle quadrology, so it's nice to read his book. I love the relationship he has developed with his mentor Rosethorn and with the 3 other girls in Discipline Cottage. I also appreciated his developing understanding of Crane and Crane's relationship with Rosethorn over the course of this book.

I had some minor frustrations reading this as an adult, but I think this can be explained by my realization that these were some
Jul 30, 2016 Bookbuyer rated it it was amazing
Ugh blue spot disease! Rosethorn and Briar worked hard. I love how Briar was willing to die for Rosethorn it really shows how close they've become.

Edit: Added detail

I really got to know Crane is this book. I still don't really like him but he's not as bad as the children think.

I'm sad that Flick died, but she's probably gone to a better place.

Amazed that the children were able to save Rosethorn. I don't know how but they did! O.O
EscaPe iNTo thE PaGEs
This book was the most emotionally charged of the whole series to me. I had liked Briar the least in the beginning because of his tough exterior but I really like how he was changed over the course of the small book. He also reminds me a lot of my young nephew William. Dealing with loss and potential loss is at such a young age is life changing. This is definitely a book I would recommend for him.
Apr 15, 2016 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TAMMY WHY? Prepare to have your heart ripped to pieces. I was very much looking forward to getting into Briar's book because he's one of my favourites (not that I really have favourites but on the scale of these adorable children I'm quite fond of this one) and I was met with... rampant death. Not that we haven't been met with rampant death before this point, but still. That's a lot of death. I was pleased that she separated the children (not pleased but you know what I mean) because it freshene ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jun 09, 2010 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might have actually been one of my favorite books written by Tamora Pierce... and it has a lot to do with Lark and Rosethorn. Because I was convinced when I read this book that they WERE a couple no matter what anyone said and thank you all, I was right. Not to mention it was well-written and it actually made me cry at parts. Wonderful book.
Sep 01, 2016 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-teen-ya
I continue to read The Circle of Magic/Circle Opens books in a very bizarre order, but I can at least tell any interested readers that it is not super duper necessary to read them in order. I would definitely say start with Sandry's Book/Magic in the Weaving because it sets everything up. But Pierce does a very good job of letting the stories stand on their own, and any mentions of things that have happened previously are explained enough that you can understand what's happening at the present. ...more
Fantasy Literature
Briar's Book, the last book in the Circle of Magic quartet (also published as The Healing in the Vine) is perhaps one of Tamora Pierce's best novels. Unlike her other series, which deal with battles, magic, fantasy creatures, revolution and politics, Briar's Book centers something very mundane by comparison: a plague. Yet Pierce incorporates within the story all her powerful themes of love and friendship, pain and suffering, grief and hope, and humanity's capabilities for both good and evil that ...more
Dec 26, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot how good this is. It is. Really. Particularly the parts where they're all working in Crane's workroom. The idea that you still need to research magic, and that diseases have to be distilled down to keys which then can be combined multiple ways for a cure - it's interesting and smart and cool to read about.
Mar 05, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woooooow this was super good- intense, sad, amazingly touching. Fantastic ending to THE CIRCLE OF MAGIC quartet and the last three chapters has me fully on the edge of my seat- and all the chapters before that weren't exactly calm! I will look forward to starting THE CIRCLE OPENS soon!!!
Loren Weaver
Jul 21, 2014 Loren Weaver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Briar's Book is the fourth and final book in the Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce.

Briar and his teacher, Rosethorn, go into the city for some work with a poor hospital and stumble onto an epidemic. The Blue Pox is a new, never before seen disease sweeping Emelan and must be stopped. But our favorite four mages have never been in the middle of an epidemic before. They all must learn new magics and new ways of dealing with the horrors if they're to survive and end this plague.

This book real
 Little "Dani" Blue
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 28, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I enjoyed this book and I liked the premise. It seemed a bit less of a "magical" book, though, because it was mostly dealing with plague, which I just found a bit less interesting. I did like that you got to learn more about a number of characters that were more minor before and that you got to see a lot more from Brier's point of view. My other main complaint is that Brier seemed to have formed too strong of an attachment to his teacher, which seemed a bit unhealthy (especially with the ending) ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect cover for edition data 7 21 May 03, 2013 03:21PM  
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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 about Tamora Pierce...

Other Books in the Series

Circle of Magic (4 books)
  • Sandry's Book (Circle of Magic, #1)
  • Tris's Book (Circle of Magic, #2)
  • Daja's Book (Circle of Magic, #3)

Share This Book

“Tris: "I was reading."
Sandry: "You're always reading. The only way people can ever talk to you is to interrupt."
Tris: "Then maybe they shouldn't talk to me.”
“Sometimes there's nothing you can do. [...] Sometimes they don't have enough to fight with.” 52 likes
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