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Sandry's Book

(Circle of Magic #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  42,422 ratings  ·  1,233 reviews
With her gift of weaving silk thread and creating light, Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief who has a way with plants; Daja, an outcast gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. At Winding Circle, the four misfits are taught how to use their magic - and to t ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 252 pages
Published June 24th 2006 by Scholastic (first published September 1st 1997)
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Mary Haynes There is one brief mention of sex (a character literally says the word "sex" and that's it), a couple of street fights (no gore), and no language that…moreThere is one brief mention of sex (a character literally says the word "sex" and that's it), a couple of street fights (no gore), and no language that I can recall (usually they just say "by the gods!" or something like that). One character's parents have died from smallpox and at one point she dreams of their corpses - though the images described here are not graphic, they could be disturbing for an eight-year-old. Some of the other things the author describes (e.g. how to use a spinning wheel) can be confusing to follow, but a quick skim through these passages does not keep the reader from understanding the overall plot. Hope this helps.(less)
Asteropê It's listed as #10 of the overall Emelan series and #2 in The Circle Reforged series. See: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...…moreIt's listed as #10 of the overall Emelan series and #2 in The Circle Reforged series. See: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...(less)

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  42,422 ratings  ·  1,233 reviews

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Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books, favorites
I've gone back to this book so many times over the years that my copy is actually starting to fall apart. This is the book that got me started with fantasy, and I still follow Tamora Pierce's blog and watch out for any new books by her over ten years later.

This is one of those books that definitely changed my life, it's also one of those books I go back to when I need to read something easy, to forget the world around me for a bit. These books have gotten me through everything from trouble at sc
So, I love this series. LOVE it.

I like everything Pierce has written to some extent (haven't read the white tiger stuff yet), but it's always been this series (the Emelan universe) above all others. If I ever had to choose what one series to take to a desert island, with nothing else to read for the rest of my life, this would be the series. Over Harry Potter, Hunger Games, whatever.

This book especially is the one I've read the most over the years (probably in part because the rest of the exten
Sandry’s Book is the first book of Tamora Pierce’s I’ve read that wasn’t set in Tortall, and I enjoyed it very much. It was a compact, precise little book all about people coming together. And, you know, magic and stuff.

Fair warning, though. My reading of the book probably suffered because it was my second book in the 24 Hour Readathon a couple of weeks ago. I was highly buzzed on coffee for the first half of the book, and during the second I was so hungry I thought I was going to fall over, di
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, magic, ya, childrns
A lovely story. I would have loved this as a child and it was still endearing as a well seasoned adult!
Sebastien Castell
Feb 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Like so many readers, I adored Tamora Pierce's Alanna books. Strangely, I've never been able to get into her other series, of which there are many that are beloved by readers everywhere. The first Circle of Magic book was, alas, no exception.

The book opens with us meeting the four different kids who find themselves rejected by their respective societies and will ultimately be brought together by the enigmatic mage Niko. It's an engaging opening and there's lots to appreciate about these characte
Sandry was never my favourite of the four young mages in this series - thread magic simply never seemed that interesting to a ten-year-old surrounded constantly by craft and textiles. Metal and plants seemed far more intriuguing, perhaps because I respectively didn't have much experience of/had no skill with either. Plus, there was the whole blond wealthy noble thing: I just didn't relate to her.

Well, the irony is that I now have a largely textile based practice, and am obsessed with fibres and
Ai Miller
This book is SUCH a good book for our current pandemic times; I said somewhere that Tamora Pierce books are 50% learning meditation, 50% crafting, and I stand by that but it's clearly deliberate with this series in particular. Just so soft and soothing to read, even the dramatic parts. And the character are fun even if they don't really feel super fleshed out in this space, and the relationships with mentors are so good. I'll definitely be rereading the rest of the series, but this was so good i ...more
The Celestial Archive
Mar 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Some things remain constant in life. It happens to me occasionally and my dislike for this series is one such occasion.

May contain spoilers! Read at your own risk!
Wait a minute, I don't think this review even has spoilers, because there is NOTHING TO SPOIL!

When it comes to the Circle of Magic series, I thought I would give it another shot and read it in English this time since I was not at all impressed by how it was in Romanian. Turns out I was not impressed with the English Version either. A
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Sandry hides from a smallpox epidemic in a cupboard--only to find that she's trapped inside. When her candle runs out, she is comforted by a glow in her embroidery.
Daja survives a shipwreck by willing a supply box toward her.
A petty thief, Briar is thrown in jail and tends to the moss he finds there.
Tris is tormented at school, but her bullies find themselves threatened by wild winds.

None of them have traditional forms of magic, but Niko Goldeneye believes they might have hidden powers. He hopes
Kayla Edwards
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sandry, Briar, Tris, and Daja meet one another and find out about their unique abilities in this first installment of the wonderful Emelan universe. They don't exactly get along. But when their very lives are threatened, can they learn to work together to save themselves?

This is probably my fifth or sixth reread of the entire series. I cannot express my love for these books enough. Sandry is a spunky little noble with great big ideas about honor and protecting others. She wants nothing more tha
This was not my first encounter with this particular Circle of Magi book. I had originally read it when I was 14 or so, and wanted more Tamora Pierce novels (I had read The Song of the Lioness Quartet and Trickster's Choice by this point). My mom, I believe, picked up this. It still contains my sketchy signature at the top of the inside cover.

I didn't like it. Not at 14, when I wanted more romance, more maturity, and didn't want to read about a bunch of kids playing around with magic and having
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Tamora Pierce was one of my favorite authors growing up and still remains one of my favorites today. However this series does not seem to be for me. Tamora Pierce has had books with different POVs before but not to the extent it is here. There are four main characters with four different POVs, each changing within a couple of pages. If you've read enough reviews from me you may have noticed that constantly changing POVs are on my list of things I do not like in a book. The world seemed interesti ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
I don't think this is good, exactly - but I love the ideas. That magic can be overlooked because it's part of something mundane is a great idea, and to take that a step further and show how magic can itself be treated like those mundane things is innovative and exciting, to the point where I actually don't mind that the entire novel is setup. ...more
SANDRY'S BOOK isn't just a story about young thread-mage-in-training Sandrilene fa Toren. It's about her as well as her foster siblings - Daja (metals), Briar (plants), and Tris (weather) - as they come to the Winding Circle Temple to learn how to use their unique powers. All of them are outcasts in some way; and while they struggle to fit in and stay out of trouble at Winding Circle, they manage to find common ground together. But when disaster threatens their new home, the quartet must find a ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read, own
I enjoyed learning about these four kids who are thrown together at a school. Each of these kids had a past that wasn't sunshine and flowers. They had to learn how to be okay with the past and how to learn to move forward.

One thing I didn't understand is why this book is Sandry's book as she doesn't seem to be a majority. The book was pretty evenly split between Sandry, Tris, Briar and Daja. But I enjoyed all four of them and the friendship that bloomed between them. I love that they have uniqu
M.L. Means
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A wonderful opening to a series I adored in middle school. I love this book, and it is just as unique and interesting as I remembered it. It definitely held up under my adult sensibilities. The magic system is really unique and I enjoyed every minute of my read.
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is an AWESOME book. A tale of bravery, loyalty, friendship,sorrow, and magic. ( And mystery,too) I can't stop reading!! Try this book if you like mystery and magic. ...more
Ceillie Simkiss
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcs-of-color, fantasy
I'd had a hankering to re-read this for like a week, and I'm glad I did. I always forget how much I love this group of kids. ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book left me in such a happy mood. Loving the series ❤️
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
2020 Review: A nice revisit. It seemed even more unevenly plotted to me this time, but I also paid more attention to different interactions between the children (and their teachers) and have some new favorites. There are just a lot of really sweet moments in this book! Each kid's personality is defined really clearly and play with each other really well. Also, wow, this explored each kid's different trauma more than I remembered. Sandry has a full on panic attack when they're trapped in the dark ...more
Emery Giiwenh
Feb 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
It should be noted that I didn't realize this was a middle grade book when I started. Still, I found some aspects troubling on the behalf of young readers.

I can see that the author was attempting to promote a message of inclusivity and anti-racism (as well as shed light on classism and fat-phobia.) I can also see where she, being white, struggled with this. Perhaps she should have left this task to someone actually capable of experiencing racism.

Two of the protagonists are of color, one being a
Sandry's Book is the first in the Circle of Magic series. It begins with Lady Sandrilene who is alone and afraid after being hidden by magic in a small storeroom by her nurse, to keep her safe from a smallpox outbreak and rioting villagers. Her nurse is killed and Sandry is left for a very long time without light and only her needlework to keep her company. She is found by Niko, a mage, who was able to locate her and save her from the dark and lonely room where she was held safe. Her parents and ...more
Alex Black
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This is probably the third time I've decided to reread through the Circle of Magic quartet in the hopes that I'll enjoy it more, but I don't think I ever will. I quite enjoy the overall premise of the story, the kids with strange magical abilities become magically bonded and have to figure things out with their teachers, and I enjoy the characters themselves (both the four main characters and their teachers), but I always struggle through.

Particularly with this first book, it feels like there's
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tamora Pierce has captured me again! Oh my goodness, this was a lovely introduction to the world of Emelan. As much as I do and will miss Tortall and the characters that populate it, I am so pleased to be immersed in this new world. While this book lacks much of a central conflict, it is extremely rich in world-building and characters that I *immediately* related to (HI TRIS I LOVE YOU) and cheered for. Watching Pierce allow her characters to stand up to bullies, use privilege in all the best wa ...more
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-pre-12-07, own
I really liked this! This series, Circle of Magic, centers on four young people who are just discovering the powerful magic they were born with. All four are troublemakers in one way or another, misfits who haven't found someplace they really feel comfortable. They are brought together at Winding Circle, where they begin to learn to explore and control their talents -- and how to trust people, as well.
What I really admired, beyond Pierce's excellent characters, was how carefully she has created
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
Read by Tamora Pierce, Bruce Coville & Full Cast Audio
(click for cast names)
Length: 5.8 Hours
Listened at 1.8x Speed

Read my full review at The Wolf's Den

Also be sure to stay tuned after the end of the novel! Following the voice credits there is a short interview of Tamora Pierce about the inspiration behind the Circle of Magic series. Ever wonder where the idea for sewing magic came from? Wonder no more!

Click here for my review of the story itself.
You've never been silly or you'd know it just creeps up without any warning.

Loved this book, still love this book, honestly think I enjoy the Circle of Magic books more than the Tortall series. I love the four main characters and the focus on families of choice. Growing up I always related to Sandry - and I still do - with her adamant beliefs in what is right and wrong, and determination to stand up for those things.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my very favorite books that I continually reread.
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I've lost count of how many times I've re-read this series - and it continues to stay magical! Always a joy to reunite with my old friends. ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
So nice. Really excited to read the trouble/adventure the kids get into in the next book.
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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

Other books in the series

Circle of Magic (4 books)
  • Tris's Book (Circle of Magic, #2)
  • Daja's Book (Circle of Magic, #3)
  • Briar's Book (Circle of Magic, #4)

Articles featuring this book

Audiobooks are an incredible way to experience stories—a great narrator can use their voice bring the narrative to life in a way that the...
51 likes · 16 comments
“A girl nearby muttered,"If that's a lady, I'm a cat."
Reaching out, Sandry lifted the pitcher of milk from the table. Cradling it in both hands, she walked over to the mutterer.
I am Sandrilene fa Toren, daughter of Count Mattin fer Toren and his countess, Amiliane fa Landreg. I am the great-niece of his grace, Duke Vedris of this realm of Emelan, and cousin of her Imperial Highness, Empress Berenene of the Namorn Empire. You are Esmelle ei Pragin, daughter of Baron Witten en Pragin and his lady Colledia of House Wheelwright, a merchant house. If I tell you my friend is a lady, then you"- carefully she poured milk into Esmelle's plate-"you had best start lapping, kitty."
She set the pitcher down and returned to her chair.”
“Sandry: "I am silly, now and then. My mother said I was, anyway."
Daja: "If you know, you can stop it."
Sandry: "Then you've never been silly or you'd know it just creeps up without any warning.”
More quotes…