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Street Magic (The Circle Opens #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  20,567 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews
Best-selling fantasy author Tammy Pierce has written over twenty novels for young readers, including the well-loved Protector of the Small and Circle of Magic quartets. A former radio actress, Tammy has a special affinity for audiobooks, and loves being back in front of the microphone to work with Full Cast Audio. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, (spouse-creature) ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Full Cast Audio (first published April 1st 2001)
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Kayla Edwards
Briar and his teacher, Rosethorn, have taken up temporary residence in Chammur while Rosethorn works with the local farmers to restore the land. While in the market, Briar spots Evvy,a young street rat, cleaning stones and passing some of her magic to them. He soon finds out that as the discovering mage he is required to find her a teacher or do it himself. All the while, a war is brewing between the local gangs and Briar is staying far away to avoid slipping back in to his former ways. But when ...more
Fantasy Literature
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
Aug 31, 2014 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
I adore this series! You can see my series review on the blog.
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ot, to-read-2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
review to come :)
Kathy Davie
Jul 25, 2015 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
Jun 09, 2015 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
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a great look into teenage Briar and just how much mischief he was able to get into after leaving the Winding Circle. I love that he’s a mother hen over Rosethorn (as much as she tolerates it) yet still finds away to be himself. As he begins to get to know Evvy, he finds someone who is just as stubborn, perhaps even more so. As the two of them find themselves thrust into a turf war, each of them quickly have to develop into a stronger version of themselves.

This book and Sandry’s are
Apr 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2015 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.
Sep 07, 2014 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.
Justice is always so unflinching in Briar's books. It's refreshing, in a bracing, terrifying sort of way.

Dec 29, 2014 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!
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Briar’s past as a gang member and what that truly means is so beautifully illustrated when he is forced to take on his first student. Evvy is a street kid (as Briar was) but she refuses to join a gang. Her constant, stubborn refusal and her clear-sighted insight into the dangers and perils of this life are kind of dark, but in a great way, they force Briar (and myself as a reader) to look further into what this truly entails for a street kid. The added complexities of stone magic, and a city tha ...more
Leah Markum
Ancient Arab-like city, gangs, plant magic, stone magic, wealthy elitists, and interestingly lots of shopping define Street Magic.

Briar is 14 and discovers a ten-year-old girl that lives on the streets, avoiding gangs and the slave trade after her impoverished parents sold her so they could continue their long journey west. Technically the girl, Evvy, needs a stone mage to teach her stone magic, and Briar needs to find her such a mage. Technically, stone mages like Evvy are known to have stony
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Briar is definitely my favorite of the kids, and I think that's a big reason why I enjoyed this as much as I did: I find his voice the most engaging, and I love watching how he responds to different things. I adored Evvy; she's everything I love in female child characters, and I can't wait to see where she goes next. Tamora Pierce's worldbuilding never fails to impress me, and this was no exception: like all of her books, the setting is a character, and Chammur seemed like a living, breathing be ...more
It's possible I read Street Magic before Magic Steps. I certainly read it before Circle of Magic. I got both of them out of my school library – looking back, I assume I picked them up because I'd been given a Tamora Pierce as a birthday gift and wanted to read more.

It's certainly the book that really piqued my interest in the world and its characters – I came away with a love and affection for Briar Moss that lasted all through my teen years.

The world building here is really stellar. Re-reading
Jack Murphy
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
What can I say? Once again I was drawn to this Circle Audio book even though I know I'm reading this story out of sequence. Street Magic's a quick, engrossing, and entertaining story . Like the previous volumes, I'm enjoying this series more than when we met the original group at the Winding Circle, with its four rotating POVs. I thought the plot was fairly straightforward . As Tamora Pierce's only male character, Briar Moss, is one of her best characters. Amongst the rest of the mainly female c ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Although the plot was good, I didn't feel as immersed in the world as in some other books. It didn't feel very rich, almost dry, and it made my want to find some more books in middle grade fiction and lower, because they are usually shorter and funner(which may or may not be a word), and have more "bang for your buck," as they say. To be fair though, those books would go by quite fast, as my copy looked rather thick, and it's 293 pages sped by quickly.

Other than that, I think the back summery m
Jameyanne Fuller
I really enjoyed this book. Like really enjoyed it. It was fast, the characters were vivid and had greeat arcs, and the villains were delightfully terrifying. I particularly enjoyed it because we got to go to a different part of the world and throw Briar and Rosethorn into a completely new culture. And I loved Evvy. I thought the parallels between Evvy's story and Briar's past worked really well, and on the whole this book was much more cohesive than Magic Steps--Briar teaching Evvy was integral ...more
Deale Hutton
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had a book on my shelf for YEARS that is the 3rd series in the Circle series. So, I decided to read the previous books (I think there are 8?) to get to it. I am quite happy I am reading all the previous books. Street Magic is part of Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magi, second series. These are YA books, but are truly fun reads. The series is not fluff and ,while the characters are young adults, the path is complicated, dangerous, involving relationships and ethics. I like fantasy. The series is ...more
From Magnolia Reviews: Two Petals

This was definitely the weakest story in the entire series. The plot was predictable and everything I loved about Briar in the past was subsumed by his unlikable student. I do still recommend it because the overall series is good, but I wish there was more to like in this one book.

Read the full review on Maggie's website:
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little disappointed! Briar’s Book was my favourite of the initial four, so I was really excited about this one. It was still very good, but I guess my expectations were just too high. I found Evvy a little hard to identify with or get to know, but I did appreciate all the badassery Briar got to show off. And I always appreciate Rosethorn.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent continuation of Briar's story and introduction to a fascinating new character. Tamora Pierce does an excellent job of presenting and telling stories within worlds that are as complex and intriguing as our own (but with magic!).
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Street Magic is Briar's book in this second Circle series. I enjoyed it, though it did start slow. I absolutely loved Evvy! It would be awesome seeing her in future books. I also loved Briar's big final attack - it was pretty badass.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The Circle of Magic Series but I think this series, The Circle Opens, is better. The chracters are more fleshed out and I find the stories more engaging. I always love the writing style of Tamora Pierce and this is no exception. As always these are a must read for me.
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far, this has been my favorite of this quartet. I loved seeing Briar as a strong, compassionate young man who has grown greatly from his days in a street gang. Evvy was an interesting new character as well and I hope to see more from her in future books.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plants and Stones

Five stars. Why? Quick read. Some challenging vocabulary, just enough to grow, but not so much as to bog the reading enjoyment. A perfect story to build my kids love of and ability to read!
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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
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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…