Magic Steps (The Circle Opens, Book 1)

by Tamora Pierce

Paperback, 2001



Local notes

PB Pie




Scholastic Paperbacks (2001), Edition: Reissue, 264 pages


When drawn into the investigation of murders perpetrated on a powerful family in Summersea, Sandy and her student Pasco undertake the dangerous mission of entrapping the invisible killers.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

264 p.; 4.1 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
I like Pasco - he's a little limp at the beginning, but given (what we learn about) how his family regards him, it's not so surprising. And here both his magic and Sandry's are vitally necessary to deal with the problem. Hmmm, harriers vs Dogs...Pierce does like animal images for her lawkeepers.
LibraryThing member chibimajo
Sandry has been taking care of her uncle after a heartattack for some months now. He is well on the road to recovery when a mysterious murder spree comes to his attention. In addition, Sandry has found a boy with the unusual talent for dance magic. Now she must devise teaching methods for him, for
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there are no other dance mages around. These two storylines eventually come together as Sandry is tested as an adult mage might be. Very strong book for Sandry, like the messages it sends.
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LibraryThing member maita
Lady Sandilene, now living with her uncle the duke, discovers a magical lad who thinks he has no gift. It is quite a specialized power. It is the magic of dance. No teacher could be found but something must be done to contain the magic oozing out of Pasco. Sandry teaches him meditation and the
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control of power. She also hires him a dance teacher. Each movement is a word or language thus it is a spell for Pasco.
Pasco is not her only concern. With the duke's health precarious, she must help him find certain killers lurking in the city. They use dark magic that literally eats them from inside out. It is the worse kind of magic and the most deadly too.
I like this book and its concepts. The writing seems to evolve from Tamora Peirce's previous quartet. I enjoyed this book more.
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LibraryThing member mizchvz
Sandry takes on her first student. Murder, magic and a nice touch of humor at just the right times.
LibraryThing member mattsya
This is the first of a four book series, which is itself a sequel to a previous four book series. This novel works as a stand-alone tale, however it resides in very rich fantasy world, and knowledge of the other books will add to its depth. As it is, it is a fast paced, almost slight tale. The hero
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faces little challenge and the antagonist is dealt with swiftly and predictably. The notion of magic cast by dancing is an interesting and fresh one, but ultimately the story may be a little too slight for all but the most dedicated Pierce fans.
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LibraryThing member hoosgracie
The beginning of a new Circle of Magic series. In this first book, Sandray - the thread mage - finds a boy who dances magic. Because she is the mage to discover his talent, she must teach him. Together, they must find a way to stop killers who murder with nothing magic. A decent addition to the
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Circle world.
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LibraryThing member Saieeda
An excellent novel and series. The characters are vibrant with clear motivations. The plot is detailed and multi-layered. The writing style is perfect for young adults, not to challenging yet never dull or simple. The magic of the series will enchant readers into falling in love with Tamora Pierce.
LibraryThing member librisissimo
Applies to Series: Treats real-world problems without pandering to Political Correctness (too much) and presents engaging protagonists.
I still don't understand why Magic and Indoor Plumbing are considered incompatible.
LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
I wouldn't start with this book--it's not a standalone. There is a prior quartet, Circle of Magic that introduces four young people who become friends and train together in magic, Daja, Tris, Briar, and the protagonist of this book, Sandry. In The Circle Opens books the four friends part, Daja,
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Tris and Briar going off into the world, with Sandry staying behind. This novel is part coming of age tale for Sandry, part mystery, and part high fantasy, and I like the mixture, the world, and the characters, not just Sandry, but her uncle, and her protege Pasco. Fun book even read as an adult, even if I prefer Pierce's Tortall books to her Circle books.
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LibraryThing member JenJ.
At this point listening to a Full Cast recording of a Tamora Pierce book feels like attending a reunion with old friends. I love the Circle universe system of magic and how it interacts with the creative arts for some mages. The last audio book I listened to felt like it went on forever while this
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one just flew by. The Full Cast team did a great job as usual with Pierce herself narrating. I hope they get to produce the last two books in this quartet.
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LibraryThing member alwright1
Sandry is helping her uncle through a time of bad health when a terrible series of murders begin to occur. Around the same time, she discovers a young mage who doesn't know of his own talent.

I was a little sad to learn that the four are separated in this series. But we do get to spend more time
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with each individually as well as other adult characters, which I ended up enjoying.
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LibraryThing member ashooles
It was fantastic to be drawn back into this wonderful world of Tamora Pierce. This whole Circle series I have read out of order as I was first unaware when I picked up The Will of the Empress that there was in fact 8 books before that. I then managed to get my hands open on the first quartet, and
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finally the second.

I read this, keeping in mind that it was aimed at a younger audience than myself. Tamora Pierce has such a way of captivating the reader, and I really love the world she has created. I confess, I was a bit sad to see the other three protagonists non-existent in this book, but am comforted to know they each get their own, so I look forward to reading it.

I was happy with this book, and I wanted it to go longer. It was such a nice read for the young adults this was aimed at. I eagerly await to read the next 3.
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LibraryThing member okjlsaz
Sandry is a young mage who has an unusual type of magic in which she spins and weaves her spells as if they were different colored threads. She can also detect other people's magic as if they are threads that remain visible to her eyes well after the spells have been used.

After Sandry witnesses a
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young boy named Paco dancing a spell without even knowing what he was doing, she is excited to recommend him for magical training. Sandry soon learns that, as the mage who discovered the power of the young dancer, she must become his teacher. Feeling totally unqualified to be a teacher, Sandry confers with her former teacher before agreeing to teach Paco. His family thinks that training in dance isn't a worthy profession for a young man's future, but they reluctantly agree to his tutoring by Sandry.

Before lessons can even begin, Sandry bumps into the scene of an horrific murder of a local merchant & his family. The killer managed to enter & exit the murder scene without being seen, so the police suspect that a new magic must have been involved. The police allow Sandry to examine the murder scene & fortunately she is able to trap the traces of this new magic into special cloths that she has woven for further study.

As the murders mount and the killer grows bolder, it becomes clear to everyone that the killings can only be stopped by the combined workings of two people: Sandry and young Paco. Now Paco's training is intensified with serious risks involved for both of them. Will they be able to stop the murderer without getting injured or killed? You'll have to read the book to find out. The story really kept my attention the entire time, so I heartily recommend it to fans of young adult fantasy.
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LibraryThing member Linyarai
I love this series, it's not quite as good as Circle of Magic, but it's close and I still love the character's journey.
LibraryThing member GlenRH
I love to meet new characters in Tamora Pierce's universe. They always have something new to add in the way of magic, or an aspect of the character. I will want to see how the little dancer develops in further books!

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