Title: The Fire in the Forging
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Circle of Magic #3, Emelan #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fantasy, Mages
Publisher: Omnibus Books
5th sentence, 74th page: For an area that big – rain to cover this whole valley?
Outcast Trader Daja, along with her fellow mages-in-training, journeys to the Gold Ridge Mountains, where drought threatens widespread famine. There, Daja creates an astonishing object: a living metal vine, and Daja’s dealings with her former people reawaken a longing for familiar ways. Daja must choose – should she return to the Traders or remain with the Winding Circle folk who have become her family?
Of all of the Circle of Magic books, it is The Fire in the Forging that I have always loved the most. There is something about Daja’s trials and choice throughout this story that have always hit a chord with me. We’re all faced with difficult choices about our futures at one point or another in our lives, and Daja’s is something that made it impossible to predict how the story was going to progress.
As someone who lives in Australia, I have a constant awareness (sometimes fear) of the dangers of bushfires. Especially after the last few years. Daja’s ability to face down such a ferocious aspect of mother nature, and the respect for fire that this story will give even the most ignorant of people is astonishing. As the trial to be overcome within this novel – fire is definitely one of the most fearsome and terrifying which must be faced down. At least, for me – I’ve never actually experienced severe flooding, cyclones and storms.
I love how throughout the Circle of Magic books, Pierce uses a number of different cultures to inform her characters. The use of the Traders and Daja’s people, and their prejudices and beliefs are an interesting way to approach a group of people. Yet, it is her ability to question the beliefs and traditions that she was raised to that I find truly interesting and inspiring – she is able to question what is completely unfair and unjust (her status as trangshi) and realise that just because it has always been doesn’t mean that it should be.