One more book brining me one step closer to reading all of Tamora Pierce’s books! This is the last installment in The Circle Opens quartet, and it focuses on Tris’s journey with her teacher Niko. You might know from a previous review that I’m not the biggest fan of Tris (she was a bit too whiny and stubborn for me in her Circle of Magic book) but I didn’t mind her so much in Shatterglass.
Like her foster-sisters and brother in the past books, Tris finds herself the teacher of a mage. There is a different dynamic to this paring though because her student is a grown man. Tension and a butting of heads ensues of course. But I enjoyed this particular pairing because it serves as a reminder that kids are not always to be dismissed. They have a wisdom and insight of their own that adults tend to forget or overlook.
Class structure is a big theme in this book. The city of Tharios, where the novel takes place, is strictly divided by its different classes of people, the lowest being those who clean up rubbish and dispose of the dead. The rulers of the city of course insist this division is what allows the city to thrive, but Tris and her friends don’t agree, and it causes many frustrations for them. It begs the question, is a society really perfect if some of it citizens are treated so poorly?
I’ve said before that I appreciate Pierce for not shying away from big topics like the one mentioned above. Often we give young people much less credit than they deserve, so it is nice to see an author who doesn’t talk down to her readers simply because they are young. I did feel this book dragged on a bit too long, but I was still sufficiently engaged to get to the end without any major griping. I was curious to understand more about why Keth’s globes showed images of the murder, but that’s a very minor complaint.