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.
The last few weeks have been rather stressful; the type of stress that leaves one absolutely drained. I found myself putting aside all my currents reads and pulling a childhood favorite off of the shelf in the wake of this exhaustion. I first read Wild Magic, and the rest of Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals series, as a pre-teen. I instantly connected to the main character because I could relate to her social awkwardness and passionate love for animals. Wild Magic is the first book I remember actively picking out by myself, and the cover is worn and faded because I have read it at least 15 times. So, I was a tad hesitant to read it with the intentions of reviewing it.
I still absolutely love this book!
Wild Magic provides the origin story of Daine, a young girl with an amazing knack with animals. She is escaping a violent past when she, and her trusty pony Cloud, land a job with the horsemistress of Tortall. Daine soon establishes a happy life in her new kingdom, and even makes some lasting friendships. Readers follow Daine throughout the start of her new life and are drawn in to the action when she must use her talents to fight immortal creatures and protect Tortall from invasion.
Adventure, immortal creatures, and magic?! My pre-teen heart just ate this book up! I would definitely recommend Wild Magic for pre-teens, or teenagers, looking for something different. I feel that the plot, which is well developed, is even complex enough for adults looking for a light read. Pierce provides well-developed characters with each remaining unique and separate from the others. Wild Magic, and the rest of The Immortals books, are set in the same world as Pierce’s other youth series, but it is considered a side-series and is often over shadowed by Pierce’s main book sets.
Now this novel is geared for younger audiences, so some of the ‘teaching’ moments can resemble the end credits of many 1980s cartoon episodes (my favorite example would be Thundercats). Daine is supposed to be 14 years old but I always felt like she read older and this discrepancy can get confusing at times. Many characters lack the flawed personalities one comes to expect in YA and adult fiction, but this doesn’t make the characters any less effective. Wild Magic provides examples of tolerant relationships and friendships, promotes social equality, pushes girls to think outside the box, and doesn’t spend 300 pages describing a tortured crush/lust/love relationship. All of these are positive traits that make this book worth sharing.
Reading Wild Magic was like being visited by old friends I haven’t seen for years. My husband noted my giggles and smiles as I read and expressed his pleasure at my uplifted spirit. Wild Magic definitely holds an honored place on my shelves.
Has anyone else read Pierce’s Immortals series? Do you have a favorite book that has stuck with you for decades? If so, what is it?