Melting Stones (Circle Reforged)

by Tamora Pierce

Hardcover, 2008

Call number



Scholastic Press (2008), Edition: First Edition, 320 pages


Residents of the island of Starns send for help from Winding Circle temple, and when prickly green mage Rosethorn and young stone mage trainee Evvy respond, Evvy finds that the problem is with a long-dormant volcano and tries to use her talents to avert the looming destruction.

User reviews

LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
The latest book set in the Circle universe. I tend to prefer the Tortall books as a rule, but Melting Stones doesn't have the issues that annoy me about most of the Circle books. There is only one main character in this book and one important setting, and there is one main event/disaster happening.
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Therefore the story doesn't keep jumping from place to place and person to person like most of the Circle books do, and Evvy's story gets more of the depth it deserves and requires.

Evvy, the young stone mage that Briar found in a previous book, got in trouble back in Winding Circle and is forced to travel with their teacher Rosethorn to try and figure out what is causing plants on a distant island to die inexplicably. Not surprisingly (because otherwise what would the point of the book be?) it turns out that Evvy's special talents are required to save the day.

Evvy is one of the most human characters that Pierce has ever written. She's self-centered and rude. She's damaged and yet cares deeply about some things - but because she's a stone mage, most of the things she cares about are stone. She recognizes (some of) her faults and, when she thinks it's necessary, tries to overcome them. She makes some huge mistakes and has to deal with the consequences.
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LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
Evvy gets her day out, and what a day it is - travelling with Rosethorn to find out why plants are dying on one of the Battle Islands.

I wish that we knew more about what exactly happened to Briar. Rosethorn's and Evvy before the events of this book, although it does not sound like a fun story. But
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Evvy's character is much changed from when she first appeared in Street Magic. This story is as much about Evvy's learning to care for humans and animals again, as it is about saving the island.

Evvy's bad grammar really grated on me, and I was not sure if it was intended as part of her character, or a lack of editing.

I enjoyed this Full Cast version, which used special effects sparingly and effectively.
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LibraryThing member spunnsugarz
Melting Stones was originally released as an audio book. A year after its release, it was released in print version. According to the Audio Publisher’s Association, it is the first time a manuscript was written to be heard first and read later.

This is the first work from the author I've read. It
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seems this is a stand alone book, but I think I would have felt more comfortable as a reader if I had read any of the Circle of Magic series. Melting Stones is a story about a girl who must decide in which world she will live.

Evvy is an appretince stone mage travelling with her mentor, Rosethor, and the powerful Luvo. Luvo is the living stone heart of a mountain. They are travelling to one of the Battle Islands, where the trees and animals are all dying, so that Rosethor can find what is causing all the death.

Evvy is supposed to be quiet , listen and learn. However, she cannot and before long she and Luvo discover 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 wanted to like Evvy, but found it very hard with her attitude and treatment of other characters. I sympathized for her because she was an orphan and found it hard to trust others. After all, when you think like a stone, it makes it very difficult to act as a human does.

However, I found it very interesting how her magic sprang from the stones and the volcanoes. The world created, and the characters were well-rounded. I just found it not up to par as there was no twists, turns, or suspense. I felt I knew what was going to happen before it happened.

Since this was written for the young adult genre, they may find pleasure within the pages of this magical story. Unfortunately, I did not.
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LibraryThing member JenneB
Kind of predictable.
LibraryThing member safowlie
I hadn't read the Circle of Magic series, but was able to follow the story. Evvy is a tough, but likeable character with amazing powers. She travels to Battle Islands with her mentor Rosethorn to discover why all the plants are dying. She comes into her power with the help of Luvo, and helps save
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an island from a volcano.Grades 8 and up
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LibraryThing member Nikkles
This was a good story and a fun read. My only complaint is that the story was a little predictable. The characters were great as they always are in Tamora Pierce. I imagine we will eventually get the end end to this story.
LibraryThing member kayceel
This was good, though nowhere near other books - Evvy's a *really* unsympathetic character, and it was hard to root for her. The full cast recording drove me nuts. The actors were most often way too over dramatic in their readings...
LibraryThing member readinggeek451
Briar's protege Evvy accompanies Rosethorn on a journey to discover why the plants are dying on a neighboring island. Turns out that the island, volcanic in origin, is building up to another blast. Evvy looks for a way to stop or rechannel it, learning at the same time the importance of not being a
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An okay read, but one of the weakest in the series. This started life as an audiobook, so people who like audiobooks might prefer that version.
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LibraryThing member hailelib
Another of Pierce's books dealing with the mages of Winding Circle. Here Evvy is accompanying Rosethorn on a mission to the Battle Islands. There she finds that a volcano is about to be born that will devastate the island of Starns. When Evvy and Luvo try to help they only make things worse.
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Although compelling while I was reading the story, as I think back I'm less convinced by the resolution of the problem. Flame and Carnelian were amusing characters however and Evvy did grow as a person and in her understanding of her stone magic. Even Luvo learned a thing or two.

Probably better read after reading The Circle Opens quartet.
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LibraryThing member DF1A_TravishaR
This was a great book! This book was about a girl named Evvy. Her, Rosethorn, and Myrrthtide go to battle island to see why plants and animals are dying. The book has a lot of action and magic. Like many of her books it teaches people a lesson. This book very discripitve so some scenes paint a
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picture in your head.
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LibraryThing member kljoh
When Evvy, a stone mage in training, is required to travel to the Battle Islands with Rosethorn, her mentor, she is not pleased. She is unexcited by the mission’s purpose of discovering why the island's plants are dying, and by her role of mere observation. However, once they arrive she becomes
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intrigued by the many earth tremors. She soon becomes an important part of the mission and in preventing a major natural disaster. Although Evvy’s long descriptions of rocks can get tiresome, the plot as a whole is exciting. Evvy is a strong female character that girls can relate to. Fans of Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic and Circle Opens books will enjoy another story with familiar characters. Others may be slightly confused by certain allusions, but will still enjoy it. Different from most books, Melting Stones was written for Full Cast Audio and originally released as an audio book. Overall the characters’ voices work well together. The reading of Evvy’s thoughts can be overly dramatic, but listeners will quickly get used to it. Melting Stones will appeal to children in sixth through tenth grade. It is recommended for the young adult section of public libraries and for middle school libraries.
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LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
I did enjoy this book, even if not as much as the others in the Circle series. I can't agree with the reviewer that this is because Pierce's books show a decline of late. I think actually she's definitely one of those authors who got better over the years, and her last series featuring Beka Cooper
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I'd rank up there with my favorites of her stories, and that one was first person too. This was originally written for audiobook and only afterwards put into print. Maybe that accounts for the rushed, rather flat, feeling of this one?
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LibraryThing member wealhtheowwylfing
Briar's student Evvy has an adventure of her own. She follows Rosethorn to investigate mysterious happenings on an island, only to find that the island is actually a volcano that is about to erupt.

Aimed at a much younger audience than the last few Circle/Emelan books, despite being next in the
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series. Although Pierce gives Evvy plenty of characterization, I didn't feel like I really knew her or cared about her. This book gave me an enjoyable afternoon, but it doesn't add anything to the series.
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LibraryThing member _Zoe_
This completes my summer read of all of Pierce's Winding Circle books. I knew from the rating that this wasn't one of the best, and it pretty much lived up (or down) to my expectations. There was some fun stuff, but I didn't find the overall plot very interesting: Evvy accompanies Rosethorn to an
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island where plants are mysteriously dying off; the cause turns out to be natural, and then it's just a matter of getting everyone off the island before things get even worse. I think I prefer it when Pierce writes about human conflicts; I would have liked to have a good villain here, but the "bad guys" (such as they were) were actually intriguing and pretty likeable. Maybe more importantly, I found that I barely recognized Evvy from the previous book; I had really enjoyed reading about her in the past, but it seemed like she had turned into someone else entirely. Maybe it was the shift from third person to first person, but there was also another factor at play: this story takes place after Briar, Evvy, and Rosethorn's journey to the east, where they got caught up in a war and experienced all sorts of horrors. The story of that journey hasn't actually been published yet, so there was just a lot of reference to these terrible experiences of the past, and I felt like I was missing something. I sometimes also felt that the book was more about that past experience than about the actual events that were occurring in the present. I would have liked to read about Evvy's initial encounter with Luvo when it happened, rather than in a summary after the fact, and similarly for other experiences. It was interesting to contrast this with the quick summaries of events that really had been played out in earlier books: there's just a sentence or two about Rosethorn's near-death experience leading to slow speech, or about Evvy's experiences with potential teachers, and we don't need more because we already know about the events from previous reading. They add depth to our understanding of the characters, but don't take away from the current story. So, all this is to say that I wish Pierce had just written her books in chronological order, rather than jumping around. I was looking forward to the upcoming Yanjing journey book much more before I read this one.
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LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
Not a favorite. The plot is a little dull - they don't catch what should be obvious, especially with Evvy and Luvo there. Evvy is annoying anyway - I didn't like her in Street Magic (too...what? self-contained? Cold? I really don't know, but she doesn't catch my interest). Rosethorn is OK, but
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she's playing the martinet too often here (thanks to her companions). And the other mage is just a pain, for 90% of the story. He does improve towards the end - passes Evvy in interest, for me. It's weird with Luvo showing up, and Evvy and Rosethorn knowing lots about him and we-the-readers knowing nothing. More dribbles and bits about the bad time in the war. It's not terrible - probably worth rereading - but not a favorite. On reread - same feeling. Glad I read it, but not much interested in rereading - I probably will, much later.
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LibraryThing member SandyAMcPherson
In this novel, Tamora Pierce developed a wonderful tale of Evvy, a girl who has an affinity with rock formations. Since I was a rock hound from very young, this theme really appealed to me. I haven’t read anything else in this Circle of Magic series, but Pierce’s world-building is generally
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marvellous and I wasn’t disappointed.

There was a certain amount of repetitive action where Evvy repeatedly sends her magical alter-ego into the earth to discover what state a sleeping volcano is in and whether she can avert disaster for the Islands. The final chapters felt a little frenetic and then fell flat in the conclusion. I also considered that the young girl, Meryem, wielded more influence in the dénouement than seemed plausible for this character.
I dithered between 3½ and 4★’s because the story lost its forward momentum about 2/3rds of the way in. I do recommend this book because it had an effective characterization of a teenaged girl that would be engaging for the mid-teen YA group.
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LibraryThing member Rosemarie.Herbert
I originally reviewed this book on my blog - The Cosy Dragon. For more recent reviews by me, please hop over there.

Melting Stones follows the story of Evvie, Briar's foundling from Stone Magic. Evvie has a tendency to be quicker than the average stone mage, but still not too lively. When she goes
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to the Battle Islands with Rosethorn however, she finds her self a bit like a volcano set to explode.

It's great to see another novel in the Circle Universe. It's officially labelled as 'Circle Reforged', although I'm not quite sure how that fits in. No doubt The Will of the Empress should also be under that title. Both of these books occur during the same time period.

This one is a bit different from the others because it is told from a different student's perspective. We also get some more insight into other dedicates at Winding Circle, not all of which are as 'friendly' as Rosethorn.

I can't say I like this book as much as the others. It's told from a first person perspective, which certainly works, but does feel a little forced compared to the seamless third person narration of the other books. As a stand alone however, it's just fine.

You could read this book without having read any of the other books by Pierce in this universe. There are hardly any spoilers in them, except of course, if you didn't know Briar was going to win Evvie over as a student.

I keep comparing this book to all the others! It's hard when I've just finished reading all of them in a row to be objective about each of them individually.

I'd recommend this book for teenagers and children. Evvie is highly aware that adults have sex, but she's very subtle about it, and there isn't anything I'd be particularly wary of. In this book, there isn't much blood shed at all, mostly human development.
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LibraryThing member DebbieMcCauley
Evvy is a stone mage who is part of a group sent to help Battle Islands. Okay, but not as good as the Alanna, Immortals and Protector of the Small series.
LibraryThing member Isana
I love the Circle of Magic so much. I haven't read them in a long time but I decided to pick up Melting Stones anyway to read about Evvy. I know people are complaining that she wasn't likeable but I actually liked her plenty. By the end she had changed and come to realise that she actually did care
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about people. Yeah she's rude and needs to work on it but she is only fourteen and is making strides. I also like that she's an East Asian based character. I love that the Circle of Magic has a diverse cast in all different ways.

The story was pretty interesting. I loved the way Evvy's stone magic worked and how she came to save everyone in fantastic style but with help because we all need help sometimes, don't we?

All in all a fun read. Not the absolute best of Tamora Pierce but solid enough to keep you interested.
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LibraryThing member Linyarai
I enjoyed all of the Geology references in this, it was really good even though it felt a bit rushed and unfinished compared to the others.
LibraryThing member JenJ.
Normally I love Tamora Pierce, but I think this story bogged down in repetitive action and there just wasn't enough of the other characters besides Evvy. I did think the ending was strong and was struck by the fact that I am more interested in hearing the story of how Evvy rebuilds with the people
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of Starnes than I was interested in the story I had just listened to. This was certainly an interesting experimental idea - to record the audio book first and then publish the print format later. I plan to read the print version when it arrives - we'll see if reading as opposed to listening gives me a different opinion.

Listened to Full Cast Audio CD edition.
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LibraryThing member hoosgracie
Good addition to the Circle universe. In this outing Evvy accompanies Rosethorn to help an island with their dying foliage. It turns out a volcano is about to blow and Evvy and her companion Luvo - the heart of a mountain - are the key to helping these people. This book was published in audio a
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year prior to book format. I thought the Full Cast audio was wonderful.
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LibraryThing member et.carole
Pierce has been one of my favorite authors since I was a child. There has been a lot of conversation about representation and strong female characters for young adults to look up for, but the whole time, Tamora Pierce has been writing those books. This book was written for a child's level, and the
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moral is simple; this does not mean it is useless.
I thoroughly enjoyed what Pierce did with connecting lines of power to tectonic plates/earth magics. It was very neatly woven, though her chapters full of nothing but Evvy's magical body and the spirits did feel like something of a conceit.
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