At first glance, Battle Magic seems really involved with a glossary, maps, and a table explaining a different system for months. It may feel a bit overwhelming, but while those extra tools are provided to help add a little extra information, they aren’t necessary for you to understand the plot. Tamora Pierce’s writing is incredibly creative and her attention to detail is unmatched. The magic within the story was especially inventive and so fun to imagine. Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy are faced with challenges right away when they are forced, out of obligation, to visit the not-so-nice emperor. Upon leaving the emperor’s palace and discovering war is inevitable, they find themselves on a journey to warn those being attacked rather than return home as originally intended. The fierce devotion and loyalty among the three characters was inspiring as they join forces to overcome an egotistical and selfish adversary. Battle Magic reminds me a lot of a Sharon Shinn book–full of travel, battles and magic. Appealing to both male and female fantasy fans, this book is highly entertaining.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic
Profanity/Language: 2 scatological words.
Violence/Gore: Many (37) brief incidents including but not limited to battles in war; thinking about and discussing death and war; dreaming about death and torture; verbal threats; insinuated torture; dead bodies discovered; character being tortured; character has scars from fighting; violent story about ghosts; vultures eating dead bodies; characters burned alive; attempted murder. Few (6) extended incidents including torture; battling and death during war.
Sex/Nudity: Many (17) brief incidents including character’s arm around another; character touching another character’s shoulder; holding hands; kissing; thinking about giving another character a hug and kiss; character stripped of clothing before getting tortured (non-sexual); characters removing clothing for baths; implied sexual activity.
Mature Subject Matter:
Slavery (mentioned); thievery; torture; kidnapping; war.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Opium mentioned and used for medicinal purposes; insinuation that beggar will spend money given on wine.