In the final volume of Tamora Pierce's critically acclaimed quartet, Briar discovers a strange disease impervious to every spell and remedy. Briar, Sandry, Tris, and Daja must combine magical powers one last time to save the person Briar loves best.
"Briar's Book", the last book in the "Circle of Magic" quartet (also published as "The Healing in the Vine") is perhaps one of Tamora Pierce's best novels. Unlike her other series, which deal with battles, magic, fantasy creatures, revolution and politics, "Briar's Book" centres something very mundane by comparison: a plague. Yet Pierce incorporates within the story all her powerful themes of love and friendship, pain and suffering, grief and hope, and humanity's capabilities for both good and evil that make her one of the best YA fantasy writers out there. Briar Moss (who is unique among the cannon of Pierce's books considering he is her only male protagonist thus far) has spent almost a year at Discipline Cottage, Winding Circle and out of all of the young mages gathered there, he has changed the most. Once a street rat that picked pockets for a living, he is now happily installed in the temple community, under the tutelage of Rosethorn in the art of growing and maintaining plants. He loves Sandry, Tris and Daja as if they were his sisters, and enjoys the material benefits that the community provides him with. One afternoon, when accompanying Rosethorn into Summersea to restock supplies at Urda's House (a hospital for the poor), Briar is called away by his old street friends. Following them down into the sewers he discovers his particular friend Flic is seriously ill. After informing Rosethorn the situation escalates, and soon Briar finds himself in quarantine at Urda's house as more and more patients of the Blue Pox are brought in. Whilst Briar and Rosethorn tend the sick in the city with minimal supplies and little help, the Winding Circle community are doing their best to find a cure and replenish the medicines available. But the death toll keeps rising and no one seems to be any closer in discovering a cure. When a way of identifying the disease is finally discovered, Briar is finally allowed to return home - only for one of his nearest and dearest to get the Pox... Pierce is excellent in creating the growing despair and panic of the city, the claustrophobia of Briar in quarantine, and the frantic efforts of Winding Circle's healers. As well as this is Briar's inner struggles; both with the patients and with his growing reluctance to spend time in the grime and muck of his former life. Pierce is always good at capturing human emotion and thought, and here she is at her peak. Throughout the course of the story there are many moments of insight into the human mind during this crisis - but for me to describe them here wouldn't be doing them justice. Some readers may be frustrated at the slow pace and lack of magical components that usually make up Pierce's books, but the patient reader will be justly rewarded. The bond between the four children and their teachers is palatable, and you can really feel their pain at their separation, and the joy of their reunion. Things as small as a hug, a smile or a hand holding up a bowl for their lo
Briar's book/The healing in the vine
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 17 years ago
First off, for those who are confuse, (I know I was), The healing in the Vine is, indeed, the re-titled version of Briar's book. And, as it happens, is possibly my favorite book on Earth. It tells about how Briar must dive into the sea of sick in order to save his friends, not to mention the hundreds of other dying, and then, at the far end of the book, Rosethorn comes down with the illness! Briar dives into death to save her, but does she survive? Now, you'll just have to read it, won't you?
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
This is a strange name for one of my favorite Tamora Pierce Books. Unless I am mistaken, it is really the book in the Circle of Magic series known as Briar's Book, and is truly an excellent fantasy story. I love all of Tamora Pierce's books, from the Lioness and Immortals Quartets, to Protector of the Small and the Circle of magic stories. I love fantasy... don't get confused by the strange name of this book!!! It is a very excellent story, and one that every fantasy lover should read.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
Briar rocks and so does this book by my favorite author in the world! In the fourth and last book of the Circle of Magic quartet a deadly plaugue sets over the land. I thought it was a scary book not because I am scared of disease and stuff but I hate being helpless and I felt all the characters helplessness as they attempted to battle something they couldn't control. I am VERY sad that the quartet ended because I think the furute series is only going to focas on one character at a time and I REALLY LOVE the bond all four kids have. Plus I want Sandry and Briar to hook up and if they're all seperated I will be so sad. So all in all this is an excellent way to end the series
Another Pleasing Book by Tamora Pierce
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
I think this is one of the best Circle of Magic books! Briar is my 2nd favorite character (Sandry being my first) and I couldn't wait for this book to come out! Its great, it has enough excitement in it, and although I thought some of the medicine parts were a little slow, it was great! I hope that Sandry and Briar get together! Call me a hopeless romantic, but a little romance would make these books more interesting. This is a great book, all Tamora fans should read it.
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