Not really a review, more a memory:
I can pinpoint the origin of these books with the most clarity. I remember being handed the first one by a librarian, and begging my parents to buy it for me when I had to turn it back in. I remember then begging the librarian to tell me the date the next one was expected to release (that was the only way to find out, in those days). I remember the look and location of each new book, in the bookstore, when I went to pick it up. I still have all my first editions. Tamora Pierce is the only author I have ever expressly tried to meet, and she is the only author who's book I stood in line to have signed. This series actually did change my life.