Book Reviews – The Immortals
by Tamora Pierce
So. I’m a bit obsessed with Tamora Pierce. I think I’ve probably already made this very clear.
I’m rereading her series The Immortals, and decided I
needed wanted to be consistent with my post about Song of the Lioness. So I’m going to review them all as one (probably very long) post.
This series takes place ten or fifteen years after Song of the Lioness, and it focuses on a different character, although it does have many characters from the first series. Because it focuses on a different character, it can be read without having read Song of the Lioness. Although I would definitely suggest reading those first.
Warning – There will be spoilers for Song of the Lioness, and possibly mild ones for this series.
Rating: 5 stars
This book is about Veralidaine Sarrasri* (Daine). She has a “knack” with animals, so she gets hired by a woman named Onua, to help with her ponies. They head to Tortall,** where Onua works for The Queens Riders.***
They run in to trouble (both on the road and in Tortall****) however, because someone has released the immortal creatures from the realms of the gods. There’s some cool creatures, like dragons, and griffins. But there’s also some not so cool ones… like stormwings, the creepy half human, half metal bird things that feed on corpses.
*I love that name. I can’t pronounce it, but I love it.
**The country where Song of the Lioness takes place.
***A group of… fighters? Soldiers? Something like that, who work for the queen.
****That just spell corrected itself into tortilla…
I love this world. I loved being back in a place I know so well, and these books only develop it more.
However, I’m not sure if the world building stands on it’s own. I think it does, but when I read these I’d already read Alanna,* so I can’t say for sure.
Having read Alanna though, it’s wonderful. It gives a completely different perspective on the world, and explores some of the other countries.
*I refer to Song of the Lioness as Alanna, because I’m too lazy to say the whole title.
I love the characters in this. It’s great because it’s a nice mix of new characters, and characters I already know and love.
I quite like Daine, she isn’t the best character in these books, but I like her, and she’s well developed.
My favourite character is Numair. He is wonderful, very, very wonderful. Tamora Pierce is coming out with a book about him, which I babbled about in another post.
I also very much like Cloud. Cloud is Daine’s horse (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Daine’s “knack” is magic, and because of that, she can talk to animals.), and he’s quite funny.
All the old characters. You get to see Alanna when she’s an adult! And her kids, who are adorable! And George! Who really hasn’t changed. At all.
And Jon, and Thayet! And their adorable kids! Also, my favourite scene EVER is when Daine’s talking to this woman, and everybody* who has read Alanna knows it’s Thayet (Who’s the queen!), and Daine has no idea who she’s talking to. And she shakes her hand, and is relieved to feel calluses, because for a moment she was worried she was talking to a noble or something. And I’m just cracking up, because I knew who it was the entire time.
Anyways, back to the characters.
I also like Onua, the woman who hires Daine. There wasn’t anything specific about her,** I just liked her.
*Or possibly just me. And my friend. That’s everybody, right?
**Or more precisely, there was, but I forget what it is.
I LOVE this book!* I could talk about it for ages, but I probably shouldn’t. I’d rather this post isn’t too long.** I just love this book SO much. Read it. Now.
*How many times have I said that now?
**I think it’s already too late for that honestly.
Rating: 5 stars
This is probably my favourite book in the series. Or maybe it’s the first book. Or the third. Okay fine, I don’t really have a favourite. But this is one of them.
In this book, Daine gets called to help some wolves. When she arrives, she finds the whole valley* in trouble. The nobles who rule the valley are mining opals, with little care for the welfare of the locals. Not to mention plotting treason.
*Or possibly it’s not a valley. I may have just made that up. The whole area.
It just occurred to me that I didn’t describe wild magic* very well. Or, you know, at all.
As I already said, Daine’s magic allows her to communicate with animals (And immortals). It allows her to heal them as well. Also she can make them do things, but she very rarely does. When animals spend a lot of time around her, their intelligence becomes more human-like, and she considers them** her friends.
In Wolf-Speaker, she discovers that she can enter into an animals mind, and see through their eyes, hear through their ears, smell through their noses, etc.
*Its the type of magic Daine has, NOT the book.
**All animals, not just the ones who’ve spent a lot of time around her.
This book introduces quite a few new characters, some of whom I absolutely love!
Maura is a ten year old girl, the sister of the treasonous nobles, is an awesome character. She’s brave (most of the time) and witty, and I just really enjoy reading about her.
Tkaa* is a basilisk.** He’s very polite and gentlemanly. And eats rocks.
And thats all I can think of to describe him…
Kitten! Kitten is a baby dragon! Who technically came in at the end of Wild Magic, but didn’t really do anything. Also her name is actually Skysong, but everybody calls her Kitten. She’s adorable and mischievous, and she can’t even talk, but I love her so, so, SO much!!! Because, Cute! Baby! Dragon!
Okay, I’ll stop now.
She’s just so, so CUTE!
Also Daine develops so much as a character in this one, and I really like that.
*HOW do you pronounce that?!?!
**Which, because of Harry Potter, in my mind means evil snake… but no apparently not.
This book is just as good as the first one, so basically really, really, really good!
I love it!* I can’t really put my feelings for this book into words. I can try, but I’m sort of failing.
*I really don’t know how many times I’ve said that, but I’ll probably say it at least another ten times…
Rating: 5 stars
In Emperor Mage, the emperor of Carthak (who I just realized I forgot to mention in my earlier reviews… Oops. Well, I’m mentioning him now then. Ozorne, the emperor of Carthak has been behind almost everything bad that’s happened so far. Everybody knows that he’s behind it, but there’s no actual proof.)
Anyways, Ozorne has invited Tortallan ambassadors to Carthak to make peace. Daine comes with them so that she can heal the emperor’s sick birds.
This book takes place entirely in Carthak, which is a country that we haven’t learned much about in the earlier books.
Tamora Pierce does a wonderful job at developing Carthak. I had a pretty good sense for the landscape, the history, and the customs quite quickly.
It also really showed the contrast to Tortall, they were so different. And even though there was a lot I didn’t like about Carthak, the differences weren’t all bad. A lot of them were, but there was good differences too.
The one thing I didn’t love about the setting was that it felt a bit too modern, and a bit too much like the real world. None of her other books feel at all modern, or much like our world, so it annoyed me. I think it was mostly all the dinosaur skeletons that did it for me… it just gave it a different feeling than the other books, and it didn’t quite fit…
Still, I LOVE the setting in this book. I just really enjoy reading about Carthak, and I’m not quite sure why.
YAY! I get to talk about the characters in this!
Normally I talk mostly about the characters I like, but I really want to talk about Ozorne.
I do NOT like Ozorne, he’s the bad guy, at some point or another in the series he tries to kill a lot of my favourite characters. I really dislike him. But I LOVE the way he was developed. He’s not just black and white, he’s sort of evil, but he still has a good side. It’s just a whole lot smaller than his bad side.
Kaddar is Ozorne’s nephew, and heir. Unlike Ozorne, I quite like Kaddar.
When he first came in, I really didn’t like him. I thought he was an arrogant brat. Honestly, he sort of was. As I got to see more of him though, he became quite a likeable character.
I also quite like Rikash. He’s a stormwing, and he was in Wolf-Speaker as well, but this is the book I really grow to like him. He’s sort of rude, but he’s also sort of great.
For parts of this book, Daine is… not very pleasant… or likeable… and just very angry, but it helps her grow as a character, and doesn’t annoy me the way it would in a lot of books. Because even when she’s mad, and sort of… destroying everything… with… living dinosaur skeletons… she still has morals, and is very careful not to kill anyone. And that just made it sound waaaayyyy worse than it really was.
Also after she doesn’t like the person she’s been. At all.
I love this book. So much. So, So, SO much. Also I love rereading books, and laughing at all the parts that are NOT supposed to be funny, because I know what happens.
Also, I really don’t like this cover. I love the first two covers but this one… ugh. I’m pretty sure that that’s supposed to be Daine, but Daine is fifteen… the person on that cover is… not fifteen.
Actually, I can’t find a single cover for Emperor Mage that I do like… Why?!
The Realms of the Gods
Rating: 4.5 stars
This is probably the lowest rating I will ever give a Tamora Pierce book, and one of the only two or three that will get even this low. I wish I could give this book 5 stars, but it is definitely my least favourite book in the series, and there is one part that really annoys me. It’s still a great book though, and the thing that annoys me is
absolutely horrid totally personal opinion.
Once again, this book explores more of their world. Or, not exactly their world. As the title implies, this book takes place largely in the ‘realms of the gods’, which are more commonly referred to as The Divine Realms.
Although it isn’t really my thing, it was very interesting to read about The Divine Realms.*
It was really well developed, and just plain fascinating. They had the first of everything, from the first wolf (All the first creatures are gods), to the first bridge. I was highly amused by the first bridge, it looked very rickety, and when Daine and Numair had to cross it… they were a bit freaked out. It was quite funny.
Another thing that I found slightly cool (and slightly… creepy? Odd? I’m not sure what word I want), was that the gods could like eat each other and stuff (the animal gods… not, like, human gods eating each other), and they would just instantly be reborn or something… I’m not really sure but it was sort of cool…
*Also this is why I know more about their religions/myths than the ones in the real world.
Leaf, Jelly, and Goldstreak. These guys are creatures called darkings, which are basically adorable talking back blobs. I love them so much, because they are just the cutest, sweetest things. I’m sort of obsessed with darkings, the way they talk is just so cute!
“But they don’t talk, do they?”
“Now talk. I go. Talk to darkings. Teach them. Freedom. Choosing.”
See, aren’t they adorable? Yes, yes they are. I just love them so so so much!
Broad Foot is the platypus (or ‘duckmole’) god. He’s great. He comes and stays with one of the goddess’s all summer, just because he likes her cooking. He’s also quite nice.
So, like I said, there’s one thing that annoys me in this book, and that is the romance. it wasn’t poorly done or anything, it just…
Made me very very mad! Annoyed me a little bit.
Reading it again I think the romance was pretty obviously going to happen, but it surprised me the first time I read it, so I’ll put it in spoiler tags. Also I just finally figured out how to do spoiler tags, so YAY!
[su_spoiler title=”Spoilers” icon=”chevron”]Numair and Daine. Bleh. I’m really not happy about this development. It isn’t even the fact that he’s twice her age, but simply that they had a great relationship as teacher and student, and then the romance sort of went and ruined that. Also, he IS twice her age… he seems a bit old for her…. I. Am. Not. Happy.[/su_spoiler]
So I’ve had my little rant about this, now I can
hopefully think about the stuff I like about the book.
While this book isn’t quite as good as the rest of the series, and is honestly one of my least favourite books by Tamora Pierce, it’s still amazing, and well worth a read.
And by well worth a read, I really mean ‘YOU NEED TO READ THIS SERIES, AS WELL AS EVERYTHING ELSE TAMORA PIERCE HAS EVER WRITTEN!!! RIGHT NOW!!!!’
Man, it’s been SO LONG since I read these books, I can barely remember anything and this is giving me such nostalgia! Protector of the Small was always my favorite series by her, but I reread her books as a kid like none other!! It’s nice to see someone else who appreciates them 🙂
Ooh, yes, Protector of the Small is one of my favourites too! I made myself reread these BEFORE Protector of the small, but it was very hard…
Was going to comment on something else. Saw this in related posts. Had to check it out.
The Emperor Mage was DEFINITELY my favorite here – I re-read this in 2014 for the 342897th time. Daine was my first exposure to Pierce’s work and I have SO MUCH LOVE for this series – I’m really glad you liked it.
(Trickster’s Choice/Trickster’s Queen are my favorites!)
I honestly can’t decide which one is my favourite, I love them all so much!
This was only my second read of these, but I definitely plan to read them many more times!
I think my favourite is either some of the Circle ones, (they were what introduced me to her), or Protector of the Small. I do love Tricksters, and I need to reread it. Also I’m very excited, because I found a copy of Tricksters Choice, in really good condition, for less than two dollars! So yay!