"Battle Magic" is a long awaited companion book, answering numerous questions posed in Tamora Pierce's award winning fantasy, "The Will of the Empress." Pierce’s newest offers wonderful insights into Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy's characters, showing the reader what they felt and how they acted during the war between Gyongxe and Yanjing.
It is a war far away from Briar and Rosethorn's home, but close to their hearts. The First Temple of the Living Circle is found in Gyongxe, and it is Rosethorn's sworn duty to protect it as a “dedicate”of the Living Circle.
Briar, who could never be persuaded to leave Rosethorn, fights by her side, but he also faces some hard decisions about being her unconditional ally. Even worse, troops from Evvy's homeland attack the peaceful empire of Gyongxe, reinforcing the belief, from "Street Magic," that Yanjing is a despicable empire with horrible regard for its citizens and surrounding countries.
"Battle Magic" is written in the third person like most of Pierce's other books. However, the novel encompasses multiple viewpoints allowing the reader to see each of the main characters’ feelings and experience their anguish and triumphs.
Pierce gives us all another magnificent book in "Battle Magic." While it seemed a little slow-moving in comparison to some of her other books, the novel was still a great read. I think readers who enjoyed Pierce’s first books will appreciate the insight and depth offered in “Battle Magic.” It would be best to read the companion series before this book if you’re not familiar with Tamora Pierce's work. The first is "Sandry's Book" which is part of “The Circle of Magic Quartet.”