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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  20,907 Ratings  ·  297 Reviews
It's been four years since Briar Moss began his training as a plant mage, but he still hasn't put his past behind him. Wandering through a Chammuri market, Briar comes across a street girl using powerful magic to polish stones for a merchant. He resolves to find her a teacher. But Briar understands the city's gangs as well as he understands Evvy, the young mage. When gang ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 300 pages
Published November 15th 2006 by Scholastic (first published April 1st 2001)
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Kayla Edwards
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
I guess I just really like Briar? Because both books that focus on him have been the ones I've rated five stars so far in my journey through the Emelan universe.

Actually, I think what makes Briar's books so good is that they tend to focus on classism and this dichotomy Briar has of growing up on the streets and then abruptly joining this part of society that is respected and sometimes feared. He's always reconciling his past with his present and it always impacts how he sees the world.

Also his r
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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.
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE THIS BOOK. First of all, Briar is the original Steve from Stranger Things season 2 (he's 14 and he has a 9-year-old student). And no spoilers but the scene at the end is EPIC. I listened to the audiobook of this and I'd highly recommend it. It's Full Cast Audio and the actors are great. (The first book in this series is Sandry's Book. The 4 main characters are 10 in that one and they're 18 by the last book in the series.)
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, fantasy
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.
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Audiobook: liked the story and hope to continue with the series once playaway records the next two books!
Continuing my re-read of the books from the Circle of Magic universe - definitely interesting seeing Briar as a teacher, and his further development as a character.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
The Circle Opens quartet continues with Briar and his new apprentice, Evvy.

Briar and Rosethorn make a stop in exciting Chamur, an east-Asian-esque city brimming with people and trouble. While Briar is an accomplished mage in his own right, his roots as an orphaned gang member come back to haunt him in this new city. Evvy, a young stone mage, is resistant to his offers of help, and even more wary when a local gang starts trying to recruit her when Briar reveals her powers. Wealthy patrons, poor c
Leah Markum
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
✨ Jessica
Continuing with the Circle as they branch out, this time we follow Briar. I always really liked Briar. He stands out as the only boy in the Circle and he has the most type of magic that fantasy often decides is feminine (plant magic with knowledge of healing and medicines), and that's always something that really made me like him.

Briar's older now than he was before, and he's really matured over the years. It really shows that his time with Rosethorn has really changed him (for the better). It
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
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.
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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.

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Though I would love to join gro
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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…