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The Will of the Empress
 
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Tamora Pierce
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The Will of the Empress (Emelan #9)

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  13,003 ratings  ·  323 reviews
For years the Empress of Namorn has pressed her young cousin, Lady Sandrilene fa Toren, to visit her vast lands within the Empire's borders. Sandry has avoided the invitation for as long as it was possible. Now Sandry has agreed to pay that overdue visit. Sandry's uncle promises guards to accompany her. But they're hardly a group of warriors! They're her old friends from W...more
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Published October 1st 2006 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ali
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liz
I had to really think about what rating to give this. On one hand the book is very flawed but on the other, I didn't want to put it down.

Just as a bit of a disclaimer, I do know that this particular series by Tamora Pierce is not geared towards my age group, and that's likely part of the problem. But as with her continuing _Lioness_ series, this latter book is much more readable to the older audience.

So, the adventures of Sandry, Tris, Daja and Briar continue as the latter three return from thei...more
Juliana
I really enjoyed seeing the characters come back together and learn to work together as adults-- while they already had many adult responsibilities, they still had the inevitable painful lessons to learn about becoming adults (an ongoing process, I find). This, and the inventive magic, make it another enjoyable read by Pierce. That being said, I wasn't entirely convinced by the empress character-- while it's certainly believable that a short-sighted and self-centered ruler could hang onto power...more
Leah
Tamora Pierce has tackled some pretty tough subjects in this story such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, madness, homosexuality, professional jealousy and ostracism, heartbreak, as well as the quieter trouble of growing apart from close childhood friends. The novel is written with vivid details and natural, realistic dialogue. The use of magic fits well into the story, so that the reader doesn’t even have to think about the fact that many of the things described should be physically impossible...more
Denae
I am heavily against sexual immorality in books and can't condone it. Briar is distracted, Daja goes weird, and Sandry tries to find love, but at least Tris stays sane. Nothing like a book for company.
Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Noxi
Mar 16, 2009 Noxi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who read the other eight
As far as I am concerned, this book was my favorite. I really enjoyed The Circle Quartet books, even though I'm 19 (I was 17 when I read The Will of the Empress) years old. And I did like the Circle Opens but I much prefer to see them all together. Not saying the books weren't amazing in themselves I just missed all the things they did and said together. I've read all nine books more than I can count, making them tattered. I pride myself on keeping my books in top condition no matter I do. But t...more
Korynn
Obviously going into this book afresh without any prior history of the characters is troublesome. For those who have read prior volumes, you will be thrown off by allusions to events in our Circle's lives that we are not familiar with (that have not been written yet but will be) but this book is wonderful without. Essentially four young people have separated and become adults with new secrets and come together again with the intention of remaining friends and must feel their way through their ow...more
Christine Ricci
Well written, although the jump in ages between the last ""Circle"" books was a bit difficult to get my head around. I'm glad Pierce acknowledged this and tried to keep the characters young. I also enjoyed that Sandry, Briar, Tris, and Daja, reunited. In the last novel of the Circle Opens, I was definitely disappointed to find that the four mages did not reunite. I think this novel added closure, which came full circle. However, it was not quite consistant with those circle of magic novels. I un...more
Kendra
This book is 500 pages of hurtling towards a stunningly abrupt end. The book is a slow build -- there isn't a terrible lot happening, and you find yourself switching between POVs too much to really engage with any one character. There are no heavily plotted moments to provide momentum and development to the story; Daja's storyline is especially static; she's essentially written out of the book towards the end because her queer romance wasn't good enough for any real screentime? Which I suppose c...more
Lucy
This book still makes me so mad. I realize it was likely written to show the breakdown of the circle's relationships, but even years later it still makes no sense to me given the first and second quartets. And the way they interact and treat one another in this book is a far cry from the other ones, when they were actually friends, and close enough to call one another family.

What I hate about Will of the Empress is how it just makes a mockery of their relationships with one another, and for no a...more
Rachel
Jul 31, 2012 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone older than thirteen who enjoyed the Circle of Magic books
Shelves: fantasy
I wasn't sure I would like this one, so I didn't read it for a long time after finishing the first two sets of books starring Sandry, Daja, Briar, and Tris. I finally decided to try it, and I'm glad I did. The story itself is interesting but, as usual, it's Briar who really makes the book for me. He's my favorite character. I especially loved the part in the middle where he has to take off all his knives. I think the end count was ten, not including the ones he left in his boots.

Sandry's cousin...more
Cayleigh
First, let me say that unless you have at least read the Circle of Magic Quartet you shouldn’t read this book. This book has Briar, Daja, Sandry and Tris from the Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens Quartets as its main characters. Without having read the previous books you’d be lost in this world and in the intricate connections of all the characters. If you are familiar with these characters then the rest of this review is for you. So finally all four of our travelling mages have found their...more
Katie
I'm probably too old for YA (these books keep leaving me dissatisfied, so I think the problem is me), but I really do think this novel suffered for trying to tell an adult story in a YA format. The basic plot points of the characters' developments made sense in theory, but they were presented in such an obvious and rushed manner (she might as well have written BRIAR HAS PTSD!!!!! over and over again) that they felt un-believable. The Empress character is hinted to have complexity, but in the end...more
An Odd1
***** (the best so far of a favored author) "The Will of the Empress" by Tamora Pierce might be called "Stitch Witch", because set against royal whim is the featured character of four chilhood progidies from mage school Sandry, who transforms threads. How she undoes bullies is hilarious. Her pals have adventured for 2 years in previous books, and now, 16, must leave their teacher's cottage, and she, the rich stay-at-home, welcomes them back to her uncle's place. Scarred by war and violence, they...more
Kari Chapman
I've been disappointed in the more recent Tamora Pierce books that I've read - Mastiff, Battle Magic and now this book. It's not because they're YA books, as I still enjoy re-reading many of Pierce's older books.

The books opens with our four characters being reunited after being apart for close to two years. However, instead of the happy reunion that was expected, the whole lot of them had turned incredibly bitter, close-minded (literally and figuratively) and distrustful of each other, more so...more
Abraham
May I say, OH MY GOODNESS!!! It was the bombdiggity. I not only bought the book, I read it over and over and over again. I am very surprised by Briar's and Daja's character development. I don't clearly remember the story from Cold Fire, but I do remember the slight admiration/gentle love (not sure if love is the right word to use here) portrayed between Daja and Bennat. That part of the storyline in Cold Fire showed me how Daja wasn't as rigid as I thought she was and in this series, The Will of...more
Elaine Wong
No longer children, but accomplished mages in their late teens, Sandry and her foster siblings travel to Namorn and encounter a world they certainly weren't prepared for - especially since their circle was broken. Travel and separate experiences have distanced them emotionally from each other, and they don't always learn to work together before a threat strikes...

The series assumes that you've been kept up-to-date on the siblings' histories. Pierce doesn't spend a lot of time explaining what's b...more
Rachel Towns
Just was re-reading this during a quiet reading session yesterday. I love this book as a way to see all the characters meeting up again as adults, but I feel that this book builds up to being good, rather than necessarily starting powerfully. The conflicts at the beginning although good in that they created a different ambience and relationship with the characters, at first seem a little contrived. I think it was only later as we started to gather some of the reasons they no longer wished to sha...more
Wealhtheow
When they were just children, Sandry, Briar, Tris and Daja linked their magics and became a nigh-unstoppable force. They became mages at the unprecedentedly early age of 13, and split up to explore the world. Now 18, they are finally together once more. But their old intimacy is gone: years apart have made them reticent to join their minds as they once did, and old wounds and insecurities have damaged their friendship. This is a particularly dangerous time to be unlinked, however, because they a...more
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret
The Will of the Empress is a standalone sequel to Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens series, which follow the adventures of a group of four young mages. Here, the mages (Sandry, Briar, Daja, and Tris) reunite after several years of separate travels, when they accompany Sandry on a visit to the Empress of Namorn and to Sandry's own lands in Namorn, which need her attention. Soon the friends discover that the Empress will do anything to keep Sandry in Namorn, and though their for...more
Kimikimi
I decided to reread this after reading Battle Magic and I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed seeing Briar on his way to healing and a return of a really minor side character. I also found Daja's part of the story both sweet and really practical. Instead of it being a big coming out arc it's more like "oh, so that's why kissing boys never worked" followed by "yay, love!" I guess what I'm saying is that Daja being gay isn't the only part of her character, and it's not the most important story she h...more
Hayley
Been rereading the Circle series by Tamora Pierce lately since it's summer and after graduating from college my brain needs a rest.

One main thing constantly bothers me throughout the series. These characters are all way too young. In the Circle of Magic, they're around 10 years old, in the Circle Opens, they're around 14, in the Circle Reforged, they're 18. IMO, it would be much, much more believable if these ages were bumped up with CoM being set at 14 years, CO set at 18 years and CR set at 21...more
Liz
Jul 14, 2009 Liz rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want their childhood favourites crushed into tiny pieces of exposition.
Recommended to Liz by: Suzy. Mental note: Never Trust Suzy.
Shelves: ya
Where do I begin?

- the characters were fighting each other all the time. Their very actions were unlikeable, and I found myself wondering: where did the old characters go? I hated the very plot of this book. It was pointless and unengaging.

- huge retcon involved in making *a certain person* gay-- it was obvious this was a mouthpiece for Tamora's views. She even said that she wanted to make one of the characters gay. Now, I'm definitely not a fan of unnatural relationships, but what made it even...more
Ruthannhroberts
I like her stuff, the story line and plot and characters were all good. I felt a little dissatisfied with it overall though. The 4 main characters are all known from 2 seperate series. The circle of magic, and the circle opens. So after 8 books involving these characters, I felt like they regressed as human beings. I realize that part of my dislike is that I didn't like where they went morally. One character slept with everyone and another decided she was homosexual. I don't know if the author f...more
Loren Weaver
Will of the Empress is the first book in The Circle Reforged series by Tamora Pierce, which brings our favorite four mages back together after years of traveling abroad.

Coming back to Emelan after years of travel, the four young mages can't move back into Discipline and just pick up where they left off. Too much has changed, and they aren't allowed to move back into their old home. So, buying a house in the city, they try to mesh their lives back together after so many years apart. Unsuccessfull...more
Eileen
As always, this book is very readable, and even though I have lots of issues with how Pierce handled some things, I still find myself rereading it regularly.

However, I thought the way Sandry was treated was quite unfair. It seemed like any time she expressed an emotion, the other three were quick to slap her down, as though the prospect of losing an eight-year friendship and being treated like a walking sack of cash were stupid things to ever be upset over. Meanwhile, they could be as unreasonab...more
Sheralyn
Sep 10, 2008 Sheralyn rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Sorry, but any book that thinks that relations with your same sex is acceptable and intriguing is off my list with no further thought. I will not touch her other books.
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AfterEllen.com Bo...: The Will of the Empress. 11 69 Sep 01, 2013 06:07PM  
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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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“Ishabal: "If you may correct your vision as you like, why do you wear spectacles?"
Tris: "Because I like them. Because I have better things to do with my magic than fixing my vision when ordinary glass will do.”
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“You can tell all Namorn this is what happens when I am vexed," she informed him softly.

"Little *bitch*," he snapped.

Sandry looked him over soberly. "If you had understood that earlier, we could have avoided this unpleasantness," she replied.”
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