TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Book One in The Numair Chronicles) by Tamora Pierce
Pierce is one of my favorite authors for young adult fantasy and this outing is one of her best. She has created a world that is fully populated and nuanced with peoples, animals, gods and Gods, as well as climate, flora, and laws of both nature and man.
Her main character this time is male, unusual for Pierce who is a creator of strong females. Arram is an eleven year old mage student when the book opens, and is joined by Ozorne, a Prince of the Realm, and Varice, a female kitchenwitch, both also mage students. There are plenty of fully realized supporting characters including teachers, gods and Gods, gladiators and other students.
This first book in the new series covers the lower and upper years of The Imperial University of Carthak (The School for Mages) and sets up the themes for the following books. Themes indicated are friendship, use of power, loyalty, the role of government, slavery and gladiators, justice and revenge, and kindness.
One item that shows Pierce’s attention to detail is the use of Arram’s class schedules to introduce each new season. Each schedule shows us the progress of Arram’s studies, introduces faculty members and details the breadth of Arram’s Gift. Each also reinforces the sense of reality Pierce creates in her Tortall World.
Several interweaving plots carry the reader quickly through the more than 400 pages. A glossary at the end is helpful for newcomers to the Tortall World. You will be sorry this book has ended and be anxious for the next to be published.
5 of 5 stars