The Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
Series: The Immortals #4
Published: January 1, 1996
During a dire battle against the fearsome Skinners, Daine and her mage teacher Numair are swept into the Divine Realms. Though happy to be alive, they are not where they want to be. They are desperately needed back home, where their old enemy, Ozorne, and his army of strange creatures are waging war against Tortall.
Trapped in the mystical realms Daine discovers her mysterious parentage. And as these secrets of her past are revealed so is the treacherous way back to Tortall. So they embark on an extraordinary journey home, where the fate of all Tortall rests with Daine and her wild magic.
Overall a great conclusion to the series! There was a lot more adventuring and action in this one than in its predecessors. Even though the last half was action-packed, I did find the first half a bit slow which is the main reason for docking half a star.
One of my favorite mythical creatures are dragons, so seeing them interact with the world of Tortall was amazing. Along with more dragons, the origin story of Darkings which were characters I found out about in the Daughter of the Lioness series, was amazing. They are some of the cutest creatures ever (even if how they were made is a little disgusting).
Although I enjoyed all of the many mythical creatures, the Trickster’s (Daughter of the Lioness) series is still by far my favorite by Tamora Pierce. In fact, one of my favorite things in The Immortals series was learning more about the backstory for characters in the aforementioned series,.
Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
Series: The Immortals Quartet #3
Published: November 17, 1994
Sent to Carthak as part of the Tortallan peace delegation, Daine finds herself in the middle of a sticky political situation. She doesn’t like the Carthaki practice of keeping slaves, but it’s not her place to say anything — she’s just there to heal the emperor’s birds. It’s extremely frustrating! What’s more, her power has grown in a mysterious way.
As the peace talks stall, Daine puzzles over Carthak’s two-faced Emperor Ozorne. How can he be so caring with his birds and so cruel to his people? Daine is sure he’s planning something. Daine must fight the powerful Emperor Mage, knowing that the safety and peace of the realm depend on stopping Ozorne’s power-hungry schemes.
I love continuing the story of Daine, but this one didn’t seem as enchanting to me as the last two installments in The Immortals series. Daine continues to grow as a young woman, and I love the lessons that the author attempts to put out there in this book (and which are wonderful to teach younger young adults).
The world of Carthage felt a little underdeveloped to me, maybe because there was so much world building for the Copper Isles in the Trickster’s series that I knew Pierce was capable of more. I’m looking forward to reading Numair’s series to see more development on the country and some of the background characters in this book. The main reason that I docked a whole star was because there was a whole dinosaur debacle seemed a little out there, even for a fantasy series. That being said, I totally would have loved those scenes as a young girl.
I’m still hopeful that the last book in the series will pick up, even though I feel like the first one is still the strongest right now. Although I love Daine as a character, I currently feel that The Immortals is my least favorite out of three Pierce series I’ve read. We’ll see if the fourth book can raise it up!
P. S. The fact that this book was published two years before I was born makes me feel old.
Wolf-Speaker by Tamora Pierce
Series: Immortals #2
Published: January 1, 1993
Rating:★★★★ (4 Stars)
When Daine is summoned by the wolf pack that saved her life a year earlier, she knows she has to go. She and Numair travel to Dunlath Valley to answer the call. But when they arrive, Daine realizes with a shock that it’s not just the animals whose lives are threatened; people are in danger too. Dunlath’s rulers have discovered black opals in their valley and are dead set on mining the magic these stones embody. Daine learns that Dunlath’s lord and lady plan to use this power to overthrow King Jonathan — even if it means irreversibly damaging the land and killing their workers.
On a mission to save both her animal friends and her human ones, Daine has to master her wild magic in order to fight for the kingdom and triumph over the would-be usurpers.
I didn’t enjoy Book 2 in the Immortals series as much as I enjoyed Book 1, although in general Pierce’s writing is un-put-downable. There was a lot less action in Wolf-Speaker than in Wild Magic (review HERE), with more of the focus being on family structure and Daine discovering more about her powers.
I missed having Numair around interacting with Daine; however, his absence meant there was more focus on Daine’s personal growth. She was able to learn more about her animal control powers as well as shape shifting, which are things her mentor likely couldn’t have taught her much about anyway. These powers open up so much opportunity for what she can do in the future!
Wolves are some of my favorite animals, so exploring the pack structure from a “wolf’s” point of view was intriguing. With the level of detail, it was obvious that Pierce did her research on the topic. Even though Daine entering the minds of different animals was interesting, I’m excited for her to return to human civilization and use her powers to influence Tortallan history! I’ll definitely be picking up Book 3, The Emperor Mage, very soon.
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Series: Immortals #1
Published: December 1, 1992
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 Stars)
Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.
I was so excited to return to the magical world of Tortall that Pierce has built. I’m reading all of the series out of order, but I felt it was finally time to learn Daine’s whole story because I wanted to learn more about Numair before starting his new series.
Daine was such a wonderful, strong, and independent female character, especially for her age young of 13! I love how much Daine developed and grew throughout the story. Being able to observe her learning to trust others as well as grow into her own power was an amazing experience. Numair was a witty mentor to Daine, and I felt his influence helped her on her journey.
I’ve already read the Trickster’s series so I know a bit more about the pair then I should at this point, but that makes me even more excited to see how they both develop. The enthralling storyline and strong characters reminded me exactly why I was drawn to Pierce’s writing as a young adult, and I’m so happy to be able to enjoy these still in my 20’s!