by Tamora Pierce
Syracuse, NY : Full Cast Audio, p2002.
Sandry, Tris, Briar, and Daja all don't fit in, for some reason or another. Sandry's parents are dead, and she was magically hidden in a room, alone. Funny things happen to the weather when Tris gets angry, and it makes her an outcast even among orphans. Briar was called Roach until he took a chance at a new life. And Daja is the lone survivor of a shipwreck, deemed bad luck to her people. None of the four think they have any particular gifts, but all four encounter a mage, Nico, who offers them a new life at Winding Circle.
I've read a few of Tamora Pierce's books, but this is the first I've read outside of Tortall. I was surprised to find that the narrative jumped between all four characters, rather expecting that each one - Sandry's Book, Tris's Book, etc. - would focus on one of them. Instead, the story jumps between the four, while keeping a third person narrative. I found the beginning very jumpy for this reason, but once they all go to Winding Circle it flows more smoothly for me. I listened to the Full Cast Audio, with the author as the narrator and various actors as different characters, and found it well done. The cast helped me keep the characters straight, and since I never read the book before, I didn't have any preformed ideas of how they should sound. Though I don't like this one quite as well as Alanna: The First Adventure or Beka Cooper: Terrier, it was a quick read and I'll continue listening to the series on my commute this week.