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Street Magic (The Circle Opens, #2)
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Street Magic (The Circle Opens #2)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,783 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
Briar and Rosethorn are in ancient Chammur, where Briar gets involved in a war between street gangs at that same time as he ends up trying to train a young stone mage that he has discovered. Intrigue, adventure, humor, nastiness, all set against a fascinating culture, this is classic Tamora Pierce.

Length 07:19:48
Audiobook, 7 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Full Cast Audio (first published April 1st 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 02, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LOOOOOOOVED this book! 4 stars rather than 5 as I felt the pace slowed almost too much from MAGIC STEPS, but it was still such a wonderful read. I adore Evvy. I ADORE HER. And Briar is awesomeness personified in so many ways. I loved Pierce's look at gang culture, I love how much she makes certain, always, to recognize the poor and impoverished as HUMAN, and her ability to write mounting tension.... well. It's good, y'all. Real good. :-p

I still miss all four kids being together, and I'm putting
Okay, so firstly, if I would have read this book first in the series, my reaction would have been something like YEAHHHHHHHHHH. But since it was second and made clear the fact that this series is Pierce's most formulaic yet, it sort of soured it for me. Individually this book was rock solid.

Briar was such a badass. He's fourteen now and officially a plant mage. He and Rosethorn are traveling the world seeking out new plants and such. In the city of Chammur, they happen upon a street urchin name
After becoming a council-recognized mage in his own right (at only 13!), Briar and his crotchety teacher Rosethorn start traveling their world, seeking new magics and spreading knowledge of their own. Briar has taken to cultivating the magical equivalent of bonsai trees, and while selling them in the bazaar he discovers a young street kid has magic. Convincing her to listen to him takes a great deal of effort--Evvy's as skittish as her bevy of cats--but eventually she agrees to be taught. The on ...more
Fantasy Literature
Sep 04, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rebecca
It's ironic that feminist writer Tamora Pierce's only male character, the self-named Briar Moss, is one of her best characters. Amongst the rest of the mainly female cast, his charisma, street smarts and ongoing inner conflict between his younger, wilder instincts, and his older, more civilized self, makes him one of the most lovable and well-rounded characters in the Circle of Magic series.

The first four books gathered together four magical protégées: aristocratic Sandry, moody bookworm Tris, s
Jun 09, 2015 Ajax rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an OK read, certainly good enough to pass the time, but not my favorite of Pierce's books. It felt underdeveloped and unsatisfying in parts. I appreciated Evvy and Briar's and Briar and Rosethorn's rapport, and the social commentary on growing up destitute and becoming vulnerable to gangs. Pierce's worldbuilding was, as always, extensive and interesting. I admire her ability to include such a wide range of cultures in Emelan. She also excels at action scenes, and the big one here is pre ...more
Kathy Davie
Jul 28, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, fantasy
Second in The Circle Opens and sixth in the overall Emelan fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around Briar Rose and his discovery, Evvy. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Emelan books on my website.

My Take
The idea of the tattoos Briar gave himself may have backfired a bit, but they suit him.

I like that Pierce has the kids finding apprentices whose magic is not the same as their own. It provides the storyline more independence as the apprentices requ
Mar 28, 2016 Bookbuyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stone magic, eh. I like Evy's pluck and Briar's protectiveness of her. When he tore down the lady's house to get to her. O.O

Edit: Added detail

I still can't believe lady Zenadia doa Atteneh could be so evil and that Ikrum WORSHIPED her! Like she was a Goddess!!!

I really hope that Evvy continues her education in both stone magic and general education. And that Briar survives having another prickly female mage around. lol :P
Aug 21, 2015 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE the kids as teachers and being retrospective on their own experiences and growing up and especially with BRIAR oh gosh this has been so much. Also can we talk more about how we've had two excellent and unapologetic lady villains now?? I was worried this would be really contrived re: Briar as the "reformed street rat" but I think it came together really nicely showing his growth but especially his affection for his former life and I'm pleased.
Apr 04, 2009 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2014 Tindle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook: liked the story and hope to continue with the series once playaway records the next two books!
I think this is my favourite of the Circle Opens trilogy (and I am so looking forward to when Mark Reads gets to this book - that site is the reason I am re-reading the books at the moment) - it helps that Briar is one of my favourite characters and Evvy is my favourite 'student'.

Chammur is an interesting change of locale - the preceding series is set in Emelan and this is our first proper look at places outside that country - Pierce does this very well, all of the countries visited by Briar, Da
Ted Forrest
Oct 04, 2014 Ted Forrest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this has to be my favourite book by Tamora Pierce, though to be clear I've only read the Emelan books. The reason for that, I think, is that I'm a communist, sort of. The result of the book (I hesitate to say message because that is open to interpretation) is that all the rich people have failed in their plans and all the poor people are successful and get away with it.

The other thing, and probably more important, is that I think this book, out of this particular series, has the best dyn
May 10, 2015 C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm becoming more and more of a fan of Tamora Pierce with each title. In the acknowledgements section, she talks about starting as a writer - she read fantasy and sci-fi as a 7th grader in the 60s, and then started to rework the stories on her own, except with female protagonists. The main character of this story is male, Briar Moss the green mage, but the females around him are strong, lively, complex characters. Moss is also such a compelling character, split between his world of being a mage ...more
Shalise V.
Street Magic is the second book The Circle Opens series, but could easily have been read without knowing any of the background, as the book explains along the way the details necessary to build character history and plot information. The book details the adventure of a green mage named Briar Moss, who is traveling with his mentor Rosethorn, when they happen upon a stone mage named Evvy who is relatively unaware of her abilities. When gang conflicts start heating up around the city, Briar's seeks ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If anybody ever tells you that these books are for children, punch them in the face. This one was intense! I'm quite fond of Briar and Rosethorn, and Pierce does an excellent job of making you fond of Evie as well, ridiculously quickly (I have enough fictional people to adore STOP ADDING THEM) as well as all of her cats. But seriously? A gang war, rampant death, secretive murder and an oppressive government and you're telling me this book is for children??? This book is not for the weak of heart ...more
Tony Hisgett
Apr 20, 2016 Tony Hisgett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I started to get irritated with this book quite quickly and this continued for at least two thirds of the book. Rosethorn has always been a bit insular but she is not stupid and should have understood early on that Briar would need help with Evvy and the danger they might be in, instead she was so blasé about the probable problems she might as well have not been there.

Briar is now 14 years old but he seems to have regressed. He spends half the book whingeing and seems to be unable to recognise
Loren Weaver
Jul 21, 2014 Loren Weaver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Street Magic is book two of The Circle Opens series by Tamora Pierce and follows Briar's traveling adventures.

Briar and Rosethorn have traveled to the north, doing work as plant mages. As a former street rat, Briar makes friends with the local gang and finds a young girl polishing rocks with magic. As a street kid herself, Evvy runs from Briar's polite advances. But she soon finds out that she needs his help, and all the gangs in the city are now after her and her new magical ability.

Briar, wise
Dec 28, 2014 Jenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
Quick, engrossing, and entertaining. Like the previous volume, I'm enjoying this series more than when we met the original group at the Winding Circle, with its four rotating POVs. The plot didn't seem as convoluted and was rather straightforward. But seeing Briar show off his magic was rather awesome.
Aug 03, 2014 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

This was my favorite of the fou
Claire Smith
Jul 19, 2014 Claire Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Briar's magic might be my favourite (currently, anyway), and I loved that he really let it loose in this novel. Between that and the detail that he now trains miniature trees, I found it fascinating how his power has developed from the earlier books. Indeed, compared to The Healing in the Vine, he's almost a different person; he's far more clear-headed, less likely to snap at people, and much calmer in his skin. That said, the street kid is still somewhere inside, which means reading from his pe ...more
Apr 03, 2014 Synopthis! rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Briar and his teacher Rosethorn left the Winding Circle to explore and have stopped briefly in the city of Chammur. While Rosethorn tends to the concerns of the farmers, Briar is free to explore and in doing so discovers a young mage named Evvy who has no idea she possesses magic. But in bringing this to her attention it is also brought to the attention of an ambitious new gang who would like to use Evvy to rise in the ranks. Will Briar's street smarts help him keep her safe or will his past clo ...more
Reread. Briars book in Emelan 2nd series. Possibly my favourite of this quartet.

Briar is travelling with his teacher Rosethorn to Sotat, a Chammurian city. Again cool description of the culture, which has been influenced by south asian and middle eastern countries. Also interesting about the rooftops being used as a pathway by many, reminding me of the chase in Aladdin :P

His street rat background helps him again when he accidentally gets involved in gang warfare. He also discovers Evvy an untrai
Mar 05, 2016 cookiemonger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Much like the last book, the student found is whiny and chiefly argues with the established character. I just... This is distressingly realistic, and I just don't want to see it anymore. I know that to a fourteen-year-old, a twelve-year-old (or worse, a nine-year-old) is just a big pile of obnoxious--and they are not wrong. But shouldn't that be... well... not universal? Pierce has a lovely understanding of kids and writes them well, and she is relatively good at writing different cultures. And ...more
Stephanie Jobe
Mar 26, 2014 Stephanie Jobe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Briar and Rosethorn are both a little rough around the edges, so it isn't surprising that in a strange city on their own they would get into trouble, especially because Briar gets involved with the local street gangs. I found myself wanting to shake him several times, but that is why he has Evvy, the girl he saw doing stone magic in the market. She is stubborn and resists him at first, but she may actually be the easiest to like of anyone in the series. She is cautious and wise for her age. Even ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Briar is now no longer a student at winding circle and is a full blown mage. He and his teacher (Rosethorn) are traveling and working their way together across the country (world?) The country we see them in is very similar to China (the capital is called Yanjing, there is an emperor, and there is a reference to foot binding.) Briar is exploring the marketplace nearby his home and sees a young girl (Evvy) polishing rocks.He comes to realize that she has no knowledge of her magic with stones and ...more
Barbara ★
This magical fantasy is all mixed up. The people's names, place names, etc are all based on Chinese but the forms of address are all Indian in nature. Makes for really strange reading. I liked Briar in the previous books and here he is again causing trouble. As a former street rat (homeless thief), he really feels for Evumeimei Dingzai (Evvy). She's an unknown stone mage whom he sees unintentionally working magic. By the rules of The Winding Circles Initiate Council, the mage who finds an uninit ...more
Enter three of my favorite characters in the series (after Tris because she's so awesome): Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy, in one of my favorite books in the world of Emelan. Chammur is one of the msot fascinating cities I've read about. It is set in a more Asian culture in a city surrounded by rocks and where gangs run rampant on the streets. The people dress differently, they have multiple roads (down in the streets and up on roofs), and they have a strict social hierarchy (from slaves and the poo ...more
Elley Murray
Aug 27, 2012 Elley Murray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed

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
Terri (Reading By Starlight)
So far, Briar’s story is my favorite. He’s an interesting character, and he’s a mischievous but ultimately caring 14-year-old boy. As with Sandry, he reads “older” because of his life experiences living on the street, followed by his apprenticeship as a mage in the Circle of Magic quartet. He meets Evvy, who is obviously living alone on the streets much like he did before his crimes caught up to him, and senses her magical potential. Briar works to protect and teach Evvy, whose talents are valua ...more
Peep (Pop! Pop!)
Wow, I don't think I can fully express just how much I love Bruce Covill and the entire Full Cast Audio team. Those people know their stuff, and they know just how to make an audiobook a great listening experience! I found myself, days later, randomly yelling out, “Pahan Briar!” I loved the audio version of this book. I don't know if I would have liked it as much if I had read it, but listening was very enjoyable!

Normally I wouldn't be interested in any book about gangs, but this one was differ
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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

The Circle Opens (4 books)
  • Magic Steps (The Circle Opens, #1)
  • Cold Fire (The Circle Opens, #3)
  • Shatterglass (The Circle Opens, #4)

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“You're more trouble than you're worth."
"I'm a girl. That's my job.”
“Briar: "So I guess I was the last to know."
Rosethorn: "Of course you are. You're a man, aren't you?”
More quotes…