Title: Melting Stones
Author: Tamora Pierce
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Release Date: August 1, 2010
Four years have passed since Evvy left the streets of Chammur to begin her training as a stone mage. At fourteen, she’s unhappy to be on a new journey with her mentor, prickly green mage Rosethorn, who has been called to the Battle Islands to determine why the plants and animals there are dying. Evvy’s job is to listen and learn, but she can’t keep quiet and do nothing. With the help of Luvo, the living stone heart of a mountain, Evvy uncovers an important clue. Now, with the island on the brink of disaster, it’s up to Evvy to avert the destruction that looms ahead.
I’ve been reading this book for awhile, and other than the fact that I’m choosing where to go to college (finally) there’s really no excuse for it. It’s a really short book (although really good), and I haven’t been all that busy – other than the college thing. But anyway, the book was amazing. Tamora Pierce has never failed to give a good story, never failed to enrapture me with a tale that will make me laugh with and at the characters, while at the same time weaving a suspenseful, tense tone throughout, never allowing me to see the end. Despite its brevity, the book was very well written. I especially liked the personality, voice, and mannerisms that the characters have. I’ve noticed it in other books of hers, but especially in this one – since Evvy’s a stone mage, many of the similes in the book are comparisions of humans to stones, like “I’ve meet basalt that was more impatient than you.” (That’s not actually in the book, to my remembrance, just an example that I pulled out of thin air).
I also liked how I didn’t have to read the books from a previous series of hers to get into the story. Did I recognize characters’ names? Yes, but it only encouraged me to reread the stories to recall what adventures they got up to – I didn’t need to remember details, or really know anything, about them in order to enjoy this book.
Evvy was a fun character. As much as she is stubborn, she definitely has a personality, and the changes that come over her and the lessons she learns as she is one this adventure are applicable to both magic and life. However, and I know this is terrible, but I loved her relationship with Myrrhtide. The two of them cracked me up. Despite the fact that she was often rude to him, Evvy’s humor is very similar to my own, so even though it wasn’t the most polite thing she could have said to him or about him, I still laughed. I also enjoyed Rosethorn, though. She’s a little rough around the edges, but you can tell that everyone, including Evvy, respects her. Evvy even loves her, in her way, taking care of her. Rosethorn and Briar, Evvy’s previous teacher, are probably the only two humans Evvy likes that much. Rosethorn’s commanding presence was obvious even through the pages of a book, and I’m sure that if I ever met her I would cower in awe and fear. But she’s an amazing character – both stern and wise, but at the same time a patient and loving teacher. When she’s not losing her temper, that is.
This is a great book, and I definitely recommend it to people of all ages – even some kids might enjoy the story, if they are patient enough to read a book that’s 300 pages (it’s a big font and small page). Happy Reading – and don’t forget to check out other Tamora Pierce books if you like this one. Or even if you don’t – they’re all pretty different.