The Emperor Mage

The Emperor MageThis is the third instalment in the Wild Magic series, and, like the previous two books, the reader follows Daine as she traverses the rocky political terrain of Tortall and continues to learn and to hone her wild magic skill.What differs in this book, however, is the setting Daine ventures further afield to bordering Carthak, on a mission to end the disquiet between the two kingdoms But what she finds when she gets there is an enemy she never thought she would ever encounter.Whilst not my favourite in the series probably due to the lesser quantity of animals present this still remained a thrilling instalment to an entirely unique and unforgettable fantasy series I find myself often reaching for complex and grimdark fantasies This, however, provides me with some lighter inbetween relief The political intrigue remains but the element of fun has been heightened and I can almost guarantee Pierce will deliver her readers a happy ever after neither sickeningly sweet nor heartbreaking She, as ever, closed this book on the perfect intermediary note and ensured I will always long to return to the comparative safety of her worlds I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Thank you to the author, Tamora Pierce, and the publisher, Harper Voyager, for this opportunity. Maybe I m giving this four stars because this stands in stark contrast to the previous two books, but all the same I really did enjoy this, and it definitely holds up as my favorite of the Daine books POLITICS I LOVE THE POLITICS That said, I have notes.1 Who sends Alanna, she of the infamous temper, to a notoriously volatile empire as a diplomat Doesn t that sound stupid I love Alanna, but I don t think Carthak is the right place for her Which is seen, by the way, when the emperor decides to have things his own way and they re forced to leave Carthak under guard and Alanna can t do anything about it Which is to say if she was sent as a threat or a reminder of Tortall s military might, she s not a particularly effective threat And she s not a diplomat So again what s she doing there 2 However, Alanna knowing it was a trap and that Daine is really in trouble and not being able to do something is a really good character moment.3 I m a little confused about the logistics of the palace The emperor asks for a robe for Daine and the slaves bring one in all of three seconds later HOW Do they have endless wardrobes near all the places the emperor eats Is there a mage slave who summons things as needed I need details 4 The ending feels very familiar It s almost exactly like the ending of Street Magic, where Briar uses the always underestimated plant magic to destroy Lady Zenadia s home there s the same idea of less widespread powers not being addressed by traditional magical barriers But it s successful when done with plant magic there s something much obviously tame about plants, as opposed to animals, and plants are also much prevalent the idea of literally using someone s garden to bring down their home is much chilling than using a god granted power to wake up dinosaur fossils and destroy a palace That could ve been done by anyone, not just a Wild mage, and so this feels less like Daine s victory than the Graveyard Hag s Which it s supposed to, it s the Graveyard Hag s country, blah blah I d like a better character arc for Daine anyway 5 One thing I like about the Daine being kidnapped plot is that it demonstrates the emperor s absolute power He calls her and she can t refuse he gives her food she can t refuse and he just casually drugs her while they re sitting there CRAZY And I really liked the hammered home strongly mentions of the emperor caring about his birds but totally cavalier about his citizens, to the point that he was willing to make greater concessions after Daine healed his birds Well Greater concessions just means he pretended to concede stuff while plotting eeeeeeeeevil plots and pretend squashing Numair PS How do you make a simulacrum that knows how to fake die by hanging, not just fake read behind a magical barrier Inquiring minds want to know Overall, I still think Daine doesn t have much of a character arc, which bothers me, but this was fun to read anyway I m actually excited about Kaddar becoming emperor Jonathan gets his treaty, so mission successful, right Though Gary and his papers probably would have liked less excitement Just imagine his face at all those destroyed palace records PRICELESS. I ve been doing some thinking and have come to a conclusion that, I suppose, should have been obvious a long time ago I connect to Tamora Pierce s characters better than I connect to pretty much any other characters They get under my skin, in my blood, into my heart I see through their eyes so easily it astounds me I ve read this series times than I can remember, but I still feel the same intensity that I recall from the first time and the last few chapters of this book still have a horrible kick in the gut in store for me, even if I know it s coming I almost cried, and I hardly ever cry at books.That, I think, is Pierce s true mastery It s not her fantastic plotting, or her pacing, or the way she uses magic and integrates it into the societies she builds It s not the vividity of different cultures It s not even the sharp, wry dialogue that I adore What makes her one of my favorite authors is the way her characters are so very human, developed and flawed so that I can live through them and almost breathe with them and I don t have to think about it When I am reading a Tamora Pierce book, Tortall is the real world and woe betide any interruptions.This particular book can be described in two words Fucking Epic The Immortals Quartet grows vastly in scale here As a veteran of the Lioness Quartet, I know that in Tortall the question is not whether or not the gods are real but how long it will take one of them to show up, and this is the book in which at least one of them becomes a driving force In a big way Okay, so sue me I really like the Graveyard Hag She s got spunk Also, old goddesses for the win There aren t nearly enough of them in mythology or fiction Off the top of my head all I can think of is Elli, the Norse goddess of old age who arm wrestled Thor and won Even Pierce s deities are human, something that becomes abundantly clear in the fourth book.But I digress There s really not much to say about this book without spoiling the ending because all that is wonderful about it ties directly into the ending So I m going to waste a little of your time analyzing one scene, one of my favorites in the book when Daine and Prince Kaddar go to the archery yard and Daine beats all the Carthaki nobles in archery.First of all, we get this Women aren t up to the discipline of military life You must tell Lady Alanna that sometime I d do it from a distance Knowing the sexism that Alanna had to fight to win her shield, that little exchange always makes me grin It might be easy to lose sight of the cultural revolution Tortall has undergone in a relatively short period of time, but Alanna is a distinct reminder of that And Kel, but she hasn t shown up yet The best thing about this scene is that instead of using it to show how stupid and sexist these young men are, Pierce makes it rather pleasant Daine impresses them all with her archery skills, and they immediately accept her, almost as one of their own They re not hopeless bigots, and they re not haughty and dismissive of her as an aberration It s very clear that these are young men raised to believe certain things, but still not so old they think what they were taught is the one and only truth It s not black and white.So yeah This book is awesome And I m going to go start Realms of the Gods now. Now, THAT S like it Major major redemption for the yawnfest that was book 2 In Emperor Mage, Daine gets to pretend she s actually a girl sent from a royal envoy as diplomats into a foreign land instead of a girl who wants to be an animal and surrounded by animals all the time Human interactions are awesome, and I m so glad Daine isn t just talking and plotting with animals all the time now, and that she s actually solving a decent mystery and dealing with major international intrigue It s everything I enjoy about this series all thrown together in one book I can find nary a fault with Emperor Mage.Daine, Numair is it terrible of me to admit I want to burst into the Numa Numa song every time I read his name , Alanna, and other emissaries from Tortall are sent to Carthak as a peace delegation They hope to avoid war, and Daine in particular is looking forward to helping emperor Orzorne save his menagerie of sick birds Daine gets mysterious messages from the badger gods, a hag witch god, and granted powers that can bring dead things to life, and man is she bad ass with her new powers.Daine meets the heir apparent to Carthak, Kaddar, and despite getting off on the wrong foot and their different views like Daine s inborn Northern hatred of slavery , the two become friends I never really liked Kaddar, though, he s just one of these characters who made a bad initial impression that never really redeems himself no matter what he did for the rest of the book Daine also gets conflicting messages from the Emperor Mage, Orzarne He s supposed to be this evil, powerful despot king, yet he clearly loves animalsbut still keeps his people enslaved and keeps a zoo of loved yet confined animals and immortals The jury is out on him for much of the book, so I wasn t sure of where he stood on the side of good or evil, and I liked that characterization of him.Dainewow, she really saves the day in this one My admiration for her grows The only complaint I have with this book are the gods My, they are annoying I m glad that at least in this world, I m not religious, and the gods do not see fit to play around with mortals The godly beings in this series are among the lines of Anansi or the Native American fox trickster god than the likes of Buddha. Daine Sails To Cathak As Part Of A Peace Treaty Delegation From Tortall There She Is Amazed By Strange And Wondrous Sights, Including Rooms Filled With Dinosaur Bones And The Emperor Mage S Zoo But She Also Senses A Darkness Beneath All The Gold And Glitter, A Darkness That Lies In Wait At The Same Time, Daine Is Discovering That Her Own Wild Magic Is Growing Again, This Time Giving Her Powers Both Great And Terrifying Emperor Mage Is The Third Book In The Immortals Series, Which Chronicles A Time When The World Is Invaded By Immortal Creatures And A Girl Is Born With A Magical Gift That Could Restore The Very Balance Of Nature UGGGGH YOU GUYSSSS whine This is actually both my favourite book in this series and the one that gives me the most problematic vibes I wish I could nut out this problem Basically what I love about it is the evocation of Carthak, a city country I wish Tamora Pierce would write about, because it s a fascinating amalgam of Carthage and Rome and probably a whole bunch of other classical civs I don t know about Wasn t Pierce meant to write that book about Numair s younger years at the university studying under Lindhall Reed and having weird conflicted relationships with Varice and Ozorne Why hasn t that happened I need it.Anyway yeah, the whole introduce a POC culture to Tortall only to have a white woman come in and talk about all of its social ills is kind of grating Even if the criticism is justified within the logic of the text slavery is bad obvs and I kind of like that a YA fantasy novel addresses it since a lot of fantasy worlds are predicated on just accepting rigid pre modern social hierarchies , and while we do get at least one sympathetic Cathakian in the form of Kaddar, it still kind of bugs that Pierce decides to set up this framework with this book and this culture The thing about having Tortall as essentially some sort of idealised progressive medieval fantasyland which is super fun, don t get me wrong is that it tends to come out looking peachy keen raised up on the moral high ground in comparison to any other society you introduce into that world, especially one based on a classical empire I suppose Pierce does do well to put most of that on the doings of one crazed emperor rather than some intrinsic fault in the Carthaki people Also Pierce finally addresses her weird bias against women who, she deems, under utilise their femininity by focusing on being decorative and eye pleasing She s written a lot of bad , ambitious, petty women who like to paint their face and wear beautiful gowns and contrasted with all the salt of the earth practical women she usually champions in her stories, it s kind of a telling imbalance At least in this one she finally has Varice speak up in defense of those pursuits, of liking pretty things and parties etc That said, there s still a general vibe of the overly aestheticised degenerative and decadent trope in the wealth on display in the Carthaki Empire which might not have bothered me if I hadn t felt those other concerns I detailed above spoiler alert Finally, the archival buff in me was like NO NOT THE IMPERIAL RECORDS THAT HAS VALUABLE HISTORICAL DATA Like, go for the treasury sure, but come on Also, did uh, all those dinosaur bones just disappear from the museum at the end Whole apatosaurus skeletons might be pretty hard to come by in the future I feel bad for the natural historians at the Imperial University. Aaaaand, we re back Everything that I felt was lacking in the second book eg, my interest was revived completely in this book Daine is back in the land of the two leggers and is facing the oft named but never before seen Emperor Mage Ozorne And it turns out that Ozorne really shouldn t have messed with our Daine There s a whole chapter called Daine loses her temper which I m still grinning about Daine may seem cute with her crunchy granola, tree hugging, save the whales exterior but if you mess with her friends, she will bring a world of pain.Daine, Numair, Alanna, and a whole crew of Tortallans are sent to Carthak in an attempt at diplomacy and peace, after the Carthaki Emperor has allegedly opened the walls between the immortal and mortal realms Daine is there in a very minor capacity, to heal the Emperor s prized pet birds Carthak is a very different place than Tortall human slavery, censorship, and violence are a way of life there The Emperor initially seems kind, even playful, but he has a hidden agenda Along the way, we get to learn about Numair s past and meet a few of his old friends If there s one thing I m sure about after reading this book, it s this Tamora Pierce has spent a significant amount of time in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History For anyone who s ever visited the dinosaur exhibit, Daine s new power will have a vividly frightening dimension It s just plain kismet that I happened to visit that very place only a weekend before starting this book shudders There is only very minor development on the romance front, which I am extremely happy about in one sense Why does Daine need a love interest at all She s wonderful all on her own Yay for strong, independent ladies On the other hand Numair Enough said Daine actually has a bit of a rival in this book, when Numair runs into an old flame who s obviously still interested And by rival I mean someone that Daine barely notices is there and then treats with kindness and respect later on I m pretty sure that I was about one hundred times peeved about the whole thing than Daine was I fail.And now I must cut this short, as I just happened to read this tantalizing passage this morningSuddenly heNumairlearned something that he d never considered before For a brief moment, that fresh knowledge erased even his sense of magical cataclysm And if I don t find out what that s all about, my head might explode.Perfect Musical PairingThe Cranberries LiarThis kick ass song is my little tribute to Emperor Ozorne There s nothing quite like the stench of fear in the afternoon My thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this book.Emperor Mage is the third of Tamora Pierce s Immortals Quartet It opens with Daine, Numair, Alanna, and other nobles arriving in Carthak in their ship, where the older group, including Numair who has been given a pardon by his sworn enemy, Emperor Orzone of Carthak, and the titular Emperor Mage, for peace talks while Daine has been sent to cure Orzone s birds he is a bird lover who are suffering a mysterious illness Once there, they are welcomed with great pomp and ostentatious entertainments and feasts But all is not well in than one way The peace talks are not going as planned And the Badger god has warned Daine, just as they reach that the gods are displeased with Orzone and something bad is in store for Carthak When there, than one bad omen is observed Daine however, wants to stay on to help the birds, and she does so, also befriending Orzone s heir Kaddar who turns out very different from what Daine thought he would be They also meet Numair s old teacher and friend, Lindhall Reed Daine also begins to discover new and unexpected dimensions to her powers, which have some very interesting results, while also using what she learnt in the previous instalment, her shape shifting powers Not only that the patron goddess of Carthak seems to want something from her as well Daine also learns or at least gets a hint of the secrets of her own history.This was once again an enjoyable instalment, and very different from the previous one Carthak is a rich place where much is attached to ceremony and ostentation, and I enjoyed reading the descriptions of everything, especially the costumes of the King, Kaddar, and the nobles the feasts too but one wouldn t really want to eat any of what was served This book also, in addition to animals, has dinosaur fossils, with whom Daine ends up having some interesting adventures, but of course, it was Daine s connection with animals live ones which remained my favourite element of the story The adventure elements of the story were also fun, with Daine as always having to enlist the help of her friends to defeat the enemy The last part of the book where they actually have to take action, Daine s temper also having got the better of her, was pretty exciting to watch unfold As she had begun to discover in the last book, even the immortals she considered evil are not really so in fact she might even find a friend in them something that can as well hold true in the real world Another bit of our current world in fact, the world at any time that is in the book even if it may be fantasy, is the deception and betrayal that is often practiced against one another, at the individual level and even as units groups and of course that of people letting power get to their heads and its inevitable results This was another entry in the series that I enjoyed, though so far I think, the second book is my favourite With how this book ended though, I wonder what turn in terms of plot the next and last book in the series will take Four and a half stars.This review also appears on my blog I still absolutely adore this book Wild Magic is dear to me because it was my first book by Pierce, but Emperor Mage makes my heart soar every time Zek, Kitten, Bonedancer, the hyenas, the Graveyard Hag, the reanimated dinosaur bones , and hints of Numair s back story the sumptuous surroundings and rot underneath and finally some answers about Daine s father I received a free ebook version of this from Netgalley Thankyou to both the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read this My review is still honest.Faith restored in this series I had a pretty good time in book 1, a bad time in book 2, and a great time in this one I m impressed and excited to read book 4.Without spoiling this one, this series follows Daine, a young mage who has various cool, animal related powers The country she lives in is experiencing conflict with a neighbouring country.The plot in this one was so good There was always something interesting going on, very few filler scenes It just all tied together so well and I loved the direction this went in I liked the new creatures introduced and new characters, especially Zek and Kaddar I liked Daine s growth, and Kitten s newer intelligence I was so enthralled with this one, getting to see parts of Tortall that I hadn t seen before.However, I do have an issue that I knew was coming but that I didn t think was going to appear yet view spoiler So, Numair and Daine Nothing technically happens in this one, but it definitely shows Numair has feelings for her And I want to ship them because I think they go well together, but she is FIFTEEN And he s almost THIRTY She s a child, and I can t just let that go ignored I have been spoiled so I know their relationship doesn t really begin til she turns 16, but even then, I d like you to imagine a 16 year old you know and a 30 year old you know in a relationship It s wrong If Daine was just a few years older, I could get past an age gap, but he s already seeing her romantically when she s 15 I am going to read book 4 and just imagine that she s like 18, because those couple of years would make all the difference, but it does need to be acknowledged hide spoiler

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

[Read] ➪ The Emperor Mage By Tamora Pierce –
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 294 pages
  • The Emperor Mage
  • Tamora Pierce
  • English
  • 19 September 2019
  • 9780679882909

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