Wild Magic (The Immortals #1)

by Tamora Pierce

Paperback, 1997



Local notes

PB Pie




Random House Books for Young Readers (1997), 299 pages


The mage Numair, the knight Alanna, and Queen Thayet enlist thirteen-year-old Daine's help to battle the dreadful immortal creatures that have recently begun to attack the kingdom of Tortall.


Iowa Teen Award (Nominee — 1996)

Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

299 p.; 4.19 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member MyopicBookworm
The setting is a comfortable mock-medieval world of small towns and feudal holdings, familiar to those who have read the preceding four-novel set (which I have not), and not markedly distinct from any other such fantasy world. As the central character, a recently-orphaned teenager called Daine,
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encounters a woman horse-merchant, the scene is rather transparently set for a book designed to appeal especially to horse-loving girls. (I was a little irritated by a heroine who must not only have a preternatural knack with animals but also be a phenomenal archer: one special power seems enough!) As the journey commences, there is more than enough of the domestic minutiae of camping to answer the charge that questing fantasy heroes never seem to go to the toilet or wash the dishes.

Daine has a secret "bad thing" about which hints are dropped. When we find out what it is, it seems a little odd that she was so reluctant to tell her new friends, though she had curiously failed to spot that Numair the mage was a shape-shifter. It also clashes rather with her polite and well-groomed persona. Pierce has deprived herself of a cracking novel by dealing with the preceding part of Daine's life (running wild with wolves) entirely in flashback; but perhaps the different tone required would have stretched either the author's skill or (less likely) the reading skills of her target audience.

The older characters are fairly enough drawn, if a little same-ish. Daine's repeatedly exressed surprise at the informality displayed by Tortallan nobility does make me sneakily wonder whether the author can actually do formal dialogue: easier to follow Terry Brooks and have all your folk talk as though they lived in the 20th-century. (There were hints of the faults of David Eddings, too: I do not think that adult queens should ever giggle!) But Daine's perception of her wild magic is beautifully described, and the insertion of meditation into the regime of a mage was an interesting notion. The story builds to a magical siege, and there are some basic but thoughtful issues about whether animals should be persuaded to assist in human conflict or discouraged. Daine expends some effort in trying to dissuade small, vulnerable creatures from getting involved, and is suitably nonplussed when the whales from whom she does seek help turn out to be pacifists and refuse to intervene! The help that does come is from a being so powerful that it takes some effort to dismiss -- an old trope (remember The Worm Ouroboros?) but a good one.

All in all, a pleasant read, if a bit girly in places.

MB 11-ii-2011
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LibraryThing member thelorelei
Tamora Pierce wrote "Wild Magic" as the first installment of her second set of books in the Tortall universe. It offers a perspective on Alanna's world from the other side, that of an illegitimate foreign peasant, who has a completely different magic about her which does not follow the formal rules
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of the "Gift" of Alanna and her type. Where Alanna was stubborn and brash, Daine is shy and...also stubborn, but with her own quiet way about it. The book also opens up the world of Tortall and its neighbors into a much more lush, diverse landscape. Whereas the Tortall of "Song of the Lioness" served as sort of a medieval stand-in (with magic), in "The Immortals" series, Pierce broadened her scope to other countries, while introducing truly original magical what-nots. By what-nots I refer to the cascade of immortal creatures flooding into the human world due to some sort of rip in the division between their world and that of the gods and chaos.
This book is a marvelous follow up to her first quartet of books in that it firmly establishes Tortall as a complex, fascinating fantasy setting that can indeed evolve and show many different colors, with plenty of room to encompass all different kinds of characters and stories.
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LibraryThing member MoonLibrary
Oh my Goddess.

Tamora Pierce has always been one of those authors who whenever her name came up I felt a vague tugging like I was missing out on something that would be a Really, Really Big Deal to me, so to have that confirmed in such an immediate, overpowering way upon reading my first book by her
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is stirring feelings I don't quite have words for.

I have always wanted more fantasy (especially magic-focused fantasy) in my library, but the few times I've tried to get into fantasy I've been recommended epics with thick plots and paper-thin characters, and like... there's a REASON I think Lord of the Rings makes much better movies than it does books, y'all! So to have something THIS exactly what I'm looking for fall into my lap is really something else.

The way this book approaches magic is perfect, both in terms of how it mechanically works/feels AND in the way the ethics around it are presented. I would not be even slightly surprised if Pierce were a practicing Witch or some other kind of magic-user. Daine is a wonderful protagonist who is realistically struggling with some trauma and who isn't always perfect, but is surrounded by people who grow very quickly to care very much about her and very much want her to be okay and will go to great effort to help make sure she's in a space where that can happen, while ALSO recognizing her own value and not patronizing her, letting HER help THEM when she's able to, and it's just... it's just...! It's just SO. GOOD. It's just everything I want to see in the world in the form of a really good story and I love it so much.

(... shameful personal aside: I was definitely a lot more horny for Zhaneh Bitterclaws than I was supposed to be. I'm sorry! Her taunts are just so choice, and so dommy.)

So, yeah. This is something of a beginning for me because I just KNOW I'm going to devour the rest of her bibliography and love every second of it, and instead of being irritated that I missed the boat for so long I'll instead choose to be excited that A) I HAVE SO MUCH OF HER STUFF TO READ I'm like never gonna run out, and B) I have someone to gush about it to along the way!!
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LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
Even in a world filled with magic, Daine Sarrasi's gift with animals stands out, and between her unusual gift and having to hide the secrets from her past, it's easier for her to connect with animals than people. It takes time (and some gentle and not-so-gentle coaxing from friends and mentors) for
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Daine to come to trust her new acquaintances.

I really enjoy these books and always like the strong women characters that Pierce writes, though she does have a tendency to pound the reader over the head with the idea that something bad had happened in Daine's past, long before we find out what it is. A few fewer - or more subtle - mentions of how she can't trust these new people with her secret because they'd surely hate her would have been just as effective, if not more so. But things like that aside, it's a good story and a fun, easy read.

I love Full Cast Audio. They do wonderful recordings, with just enough sound effects and fantastic voice actors.
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LibraryThing member dalmador95
I really like Tamora Pierce's books. Her characters are real people and they hold up well as they grow up and move into new roles (and new books). I think her best is the Trickster's Queen duo, but they're all fun reads.
LibraryThing member Stevil2003
"Oh joy. Another Tamora Pierce novel with a female protagonist who's good at everything ever yet annoyingly modest." Or so I thought going into this-- about halfway through the book, Pierce pulled out a revelation that stopped me in my tracks and caused me to reevaluate everything that had gone
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before. Obviously Daine had had a secret, but I hadn't expected it to be that. The book doesn't capitalize on it much, unfortunately, but I'm only a fourth of the way into the story, so I'm willing to give it time. Add in unknowable powerful forces breaking into our reality-- one of my favorite sf&f tropes-- and this quartet is already shaping up to be much stronger than Song of the Lioness.
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LibraryThing member Saieeda
I read this one a long time ago, so I don't remember all the details, but I do know this series was one of my favorites for a long time. This particular book was an amazing read. The type of natural magic the characters possess is fascinating as are the characters themselves.
LibraryThing member elissa_kay
This was the first Tamora Pierce book I ever read, and I was hooked from then on.

Wild Magic brings us back to Tortall and introduces the character of Daine, who is looking to find work and to escape her past. Her skill with animals gets her a job as an assistant to Onua, a horse buyer for the
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Queen's Riders. They journey together to the capital and meet a couple old friends on the way. This starts Daine on the way to mastering her wild magic and integrating into palace life. Adventures await and soon only Daine's magic can help when enemies of Tortall attack the royal family.

I loved this book for it's characters, and for the continued world building. I would love to visit Tortall! Daine is pragmatic and smart, Numair is fun and caring, and the whole cast seem REAL, which can be hard in YA fantasy.

Definitely a must read, especially for young/teen girls. Pierce's "sheroes" are great for boys too.
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LibraryThing member RebeccaAnn
Wild Magic is the first book in Tamora Pierce's Immortals Quartet and I must say, it sets the bar high. Here we meet Daine, a young orphan with a dark past who is taken in by Onua, the horse keeper for the Queen's Riders. Though Daine does not possess the Gift, it is quickly apparent to Onua and
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the warrior-mage Numair that she has more Wild Magic than either one of them has seen in a single person before. This gift manifests is self most clearly in her ability to speak to animals and it comes in handy when the beastly Immortals, previously sealed into the Divine Realms, break out and begin preying on humans. With her Wild Magic, Daine is an asset to Tortall, but will her and her magic be enough to save them all?

Based on only the first of four books, I like this series even more than the Song of the Lioness Quartet. Perhaps I'm just a bit jealous of her magic, though :) Being a lover of animals, actually speaking with them is something I can only dream of. I think it's great to include this in youth fiction. It shows a younger audience that an animal, though it may not think like a human, does indeed feel things and for me, a vegan, it resonated strongly with my own morals.

I love the relationships between characters and the emotions in this book as well. There was just the right amount of character angst, heartfelt pain, fear, silliness, and joy. I laughed out loud more times than I remember and I got teary-eyed at the end. I love being touched by books like this and I can't wait to read the rest of this series.

5 stars!
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LibraryThing member mybookshelf
Daine has always had “a knack with animals”. They talk to her, and help her out. Before signing on with Onua, horsemistress for the Queen’s Riders, Daine’s closest friend had been her pony, Cloud. Now she discovers human friendships, including the mysterious mage Numair, who claims Daine as
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his apprentice. But there is more developing in Tortall than just Daine’s wild magic: the kingdom is visited by griffins, dragons, and some less pleasant creatures: ogres, spidrens, and foul-smelling Stormwings.

Daine also has a past, but it takes Onua a while to unravel what Daine is determined to keep secret. Daine worries that her new friends would reject her, as her home town already did, if they really knew what she was like. Only the pony Cloud knows everything about Daine’s past, and fortunately Daine is the only one who can understand what Cloud says.

Daine is an orphan: she has never known her father, and her mother and grandfather have recently been murdered by bandits. Although not yet fifteen, she has developed many survival skills along the road, and is accomplished with a variety of weapons. She is desperately in need of human companionship, and the humans she meets are very grateful for her talents, both as a fighter and as a mage.

The title of the book relates to the special kind of magic that Daine has in abundance. Magic is common enough in the realm of Tortall, where it is usually called the Gift, but Daine does not have the Gift, she has “wild magic”. Wild magic is subject to different rules, and though it may achieve some of the same results as the Gift, the process by which it does so is quite different. And it is the wild magic which gives Daine her affinity with all kinds of animals.

The animals within this story are depicted as having various personalities and preoccupations: Daine does not sense or understand all species in the same way. Bats are fearful, seals always want to play, and whales are proud and aloof. But perhaps the most useful aspect of Daine’s magic is her ability to sense the presence of non-animal species: the creatures of mythology that are suddenly making appearances throughout the realm. Some are agreeable: a griffin and a dragon take the time to talk to Daine, but there are monsters, too, which Daine can sense only as something which feels very wrong. However, Daine’s straightforward response to this threat is typical: “If I see monsters, I see monsters. My family was killed and my home burned by human ones”.

In addition to all this, Daine is also periodically visited in her dreams by a grumbly badger, who claims to be acting on behalf of Daine’s unknown father. While Daine mostly thinks this must all be imaginary, she cannot deny the occasional physical evidence of her night-time visitor, or his uncanny knowledge of her past and, apparently, her future.

This author has a knack for creating heroines- young women who are eager to distinguish themselves among men: not as romantic interests but on equal footing as warriors and magicians. Daine is another memorable character who will appeal to many pre-teen female readers.
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LibraryThing member mizchvz
Meet Daine. Orphan, alone in the world and not sure what in the world is happening to herself. Her gift with animals is a wonderful addition to the facets of this world Tamora Pierce created.
LibraryThing member TeenBookReviews
Orphaned and with only her pony as companion, Dane finds employment as stable hand for the Queen’s Riders. Though Dane is happy in her new life, she is also uneasy because she has a secret no one can know, a secret that has already threatened her sanity once. Dane’s newfound happiness is
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threatened when creatures straight out of legend begin attacking the kingdom and her secret begins to show. As always Tamora Pierce is wonderful. Dane is the main character in the ’Immortals’ series, which happens to be one of my favorites. Dane’s character is creative, interesting and human. Supporting and secondary characters are given just as much consideration, which is part of what makes a Tamora Pierce books so great. Add to that talented writing, imaginative stories and vivid description and you can’t go wrong with Pierce.
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LibraryThing member butterflyfreak
I just LOVE this book! It's the one book i can say that I hve read 25 times and be honest! That's probably kinda sick and I should know it by heart by now, but oh well. I acctuly do know most of it by heart ( I can recite the first chapter for you if you want) but i still love it. This is a YA book
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but i believe that most people can read and enjoy it. If you haven't read it yet i hope you do, it's really worth it!
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LibraryThing member xicanti
A young girl with the ability to speak to animals comes to Tortall.

I can see why Tamora Pierce's books have gained such a strong readership. Daine, this book's central character, feels like an outsider. Throughout the course of the book, she comes to realize that she's found a home for herself,
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despite an unusual talent that has caused problems for her in the past. It's a solid scenario that a lot of readers, (especially young people), can really relate to.

Unfortunately, I found it impossible not to compare Pierce to Mercedes Lackey, an author who I feel has done a much better job with the whole outsider-finding-acceptance theme. It's all a matter of taste, I know, but I found Pierce's narrative just a little too simplistic for my tastes. Despite the strong themes she's working with, nothing goes very deep. I know this is a children's novel, but I don't think that's really an excuse. I wouldn't exactly say that Pierce has written down to her readers, but there's definitely room for more than she's giving.

I can see why others have really enjoyed the Tortall books, but this one just didn't click for me. I might try the rest of the series at a later date, but it's not a priority.
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LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
Even in a world filled with magic, Daine Sarrasi's gift with animals stands out, and between her unusual gift and having to hide the secrets from her past, it's easier for her to connect with animals than people. It takes time (and some gentle and not-so-gentle coaxing from friends and mentors) for
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Daine to come to trust her new acquaintances.

I really enjoy these books and always like the strong women characters that Pierce writes, but she does have a tendency to do things like pound us over the head with the idea that something bad had happened in her past, long before we find out what it is. A few fewer - or more subtle - mentions of how she can't trust these new people with her secret because they'd surely hate her would have been just as effective, if not more so. But things like that aside, it's a good story and a fun, easy read.
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LibraryThing member legan
I listened to the audiobook and it ruined the book. The "full-cast audio" was done by what sounded like a junior high school English class. The main narrator's pace was set to a metronome - never wavering even during the fight scenes. Ms. Pierce really needs to respect her work and get a better
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production company.
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LibraryThing member boullion.iris1998
Wild Magic is the first in the Immortals series. The author is Tamora Peirce. Daine a girl whoes family was killed by raiders seeks employment as Onua's assistaint. She is to help her take a herd of mountain ponies to the queens riders.
LibraryThing member HopingforChange
While this is not an expertly crafted story, it is a pretty children's tale. I enjoyed its whimsical nature. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
I like Daine. She's a bit of an idiot, hiding her secret from her friends - but I can see why she does it, too. And it had a happy ending, too - that could have been a complete ending (orphan finds her place), but works well as a step along the way of her path. It's been a long time since I read
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these books for the first time - I know Daine's future - so it's hard to see only what goes on in _this_ book.
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LibraryThing member Goldengrove
A friend told me that she couldn't bear to re-read this as she was afraid of spoiling the memory of her enjoyment. It's certainly a book for a younger audience.
Daine, the heroine, is skilled with animals, brave, and friendless - an excellent basis for the main character of a fantasy novel. The
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world is well-evoked, even though the 'good' characters merge together rather in their excessive niceness. Following Daine and Onua on their journey with a herd of horses is exciting as they manage dangers of all kinds and find out more about Daine and her powers. We don't dicover why Daine is all alone, or how it is that the animals do all that she asks, until quite far into the book, and that keeps the interest going nicely. I want to read the next volume.
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LibraryThing member navelos
I probably would have loved this book if I'd read it as a kid, but as an adult I noticed that there was really no conflict at all in the whole book. Daine grows and learns but really things keep getting better and better for her without many surprises. I'll be interested to see if this continues in
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the rest of the series. Even so, I read it quickly and definitely enjoyed it. It's got all the right pieces, a tough spunky heroine who can talk to animals, a supportive cast of colorful friends, monsters and mythical creatures, even the badger god, and a big battle.
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LibraryThing member distractedmusician
I am very partial to Pierce's heroines. There's just something about them that I love. Alanna will always be my favourite (I think subconsciously I avoided this series because I worried I would be let down), Daine now holds another special place in my heart, probably because of her connection to
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animals. I know the writing isn't exactly deep, but the characters are beloved, as well as the realm of Tortall, and reading this book feels just like coming home. I love Numair & his cheekiness, and reading about Alanna again feels like being united with a dear old friend. I have the rest of the series coming in the mail quite soon ^^ I believe no young girl should be without Tamora Pierce's wonderful quartets.
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LibraryThing member KarenIrelandPhillips
Perfectly charming story of a 13 year-old, Daine, who discovers that the talent for which she's been excoriated is a kind of wild magic. True to fantasy tropes, we have a journey, a discovery of self, triumph over evil and a discovery of where Daine fits in the world. Yet it all seems quite fresh,
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and as a reader, I shared Daine's exhilaration and fear as she grows into an assured young woman. I recommend this.
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LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
Tamora Pierce was recommended to me by a friend when I need to get the bad taste of Twilight out of my mouth. I started with Alanna and The Lioness Quartet, which I greatly enjoyed. Like that series, The Immortals is set in Pierce's imaginary and magical land of Tortall, although this is focused on
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a completely different set of characters: in particular Daine, who raised by wolves has an ability to communicate with any animal. This isn't my favorite Pierce series or character: I find the environmentalist themes not just not to my liking, but heavy handed. But then I read these as an adult, not in the 12 to 16 age group recommended. But like all Pierce's books, the world-building is well-done and the storytelling strong enough I was completely sucked in. And I loved Numair, Daine's magical mentor. Lots in these books is fun and quotable, and had I read this as a young girl, I'm sure I would have eaten up the girl-who-can-speak-to-animals plot. I was less taken with the next book, but then the last two books I think were kicked up a notch.
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LibraryThing member melissarecords
The first of the Immortals quartet. I liked this quartet better than the earlier Song of the Lioness quartet, also set in Tortall. Daine, an orphan from Galla who has the ability to speak to animals, hires on as an assistant to the horsemistress of Tortall's Queen's Riders. In Tortall, she begins
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learning how to train her wild magic.
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