Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Squee: The Circle of Magic Series

The Sunday Squee is when I can talk about things that make me happy and excited. The main focus will be on different things people created, from books to movies to television shows to podcasts, and my effort will be to highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me so I can enjoy what you love!

Blond woman looking up at the sun in front of some hollyhocks.

I have always been a fan of Tamora Pierce, but it didn't reach multiple re-read status until I picked up the first books of the Circle of Magic Quartet - one of two Quartets about four children coming into their own in a new world. It is an unexpectedly dark series, beginning with tragedy at the beginning of Sandry's Book (The Magic in the Weaving in the UK) and continues to be dark throughout the series, but the books are shorter than her other novels and deceptively simple. The first quartet covers the first year the children are together, when they are between ten and eleven. The second quartet covers the year after they spread out to explore the world, when they are around fourteen or fifteen, and begin to find their place within it. The third quartet covers when they are adults and trying to make their way through a world that often wants to use them; three have already been released with the final one due in 2015.

Blond woman in blue dress dancing in front of a fountain in a stone city square.

It's set in a fantasy realm with magic, but unlike the usual dark and dim forests with muttering mages Emlan is Mediterranean in climate and food and the magic is it's own thing, well layered and fascinating. It's a realm that depends on trade and is subsequently multi-cultural and prosperous - but Pierce doesn't forget that even in the most prosperous areas there are known and identifiable areas of want and pain. After the first quartet, which is set in Emlan for most of it, the locations become ever more widespread. What I like most is that they never fall into the usual fantasy tropes - each new location is interesting and unique, not a rehash of the same medieval tropes which haunt fantasy novels. Even when something European is the setting, the cultures it reflects are more interesting than rainy forests filled with elves and inns full of people about to go on quests.

Blond woman in a blue dress dancing up the stairs.

I also really recommend Mark Reads Emelan, which so far has reached Chapter 8 of the first book of the second quartet.

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Sparkles: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Gloria
Veil: Lassitude & Ennui, Virtue Crown and Veil
Ears: .:Soul:., High Elf
Eyes: .:Soul:., RooMee
Eyelashes: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Wings: Una, SteampunkWingFolded
Jewelry: League, Wanderer Set
Hands and Feet: SLink, Hands and Feet
Nails: The Wicked Peach, Sparkling Wine
Outfit: Spyralle, Altana
Shoes: House of Rain, Crysania Shoes

Pose: Grafica

Location: Isle of Riva
Light Settings: TOR, MIDDAY Baskaholic
Water Settings: Phototools, Breakwave Building Wave

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping

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