Reviews for Melting Stones

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Apprentice stone mage Evvy travels with mages Rosethorn and Myrrhtide to a remote island troubled by magical dead zones. There Evvy's magic uncovers volcanic spirits waiting to erupt. While dealing with the fiery island forces, Evvy makes human connections that help her recover from previous traumas. Pierce's accessible characters, vivid writing, and appealing emotional themes make this a winner. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 January #4

Almost as prolific as she is popular, Pierce bucks convention and brings this novel to audio a year in advance of its hardcover publication. Once a writer for radio theater, Pierce tailors the narrative to audio, which is evident in the enhanced use of dialogue to convey plot and the streamlined descriptions. The story itself is a continuation of adventures begun in Street Magic , part of the author's Circle of Magic cycle--fortunately, listeners can easily enter the fantasy world here without any previous acquaintance. Narrator Evvy, a young and battle-scarred mage whose words and thoughts are crisply, even commandingly read by Kelly, goes with her guardian Rosethorn to a "battle island" where the plants are dying off. With help from her friend Luvo, the living heart of a mountain (his voice sounds a bit robotic), she discovers that volcanic spirits plan to erupt. Production values are consistently high: carefully integrated original music raises the emotional stakes, and a skilled cast delivers full-bodied performances, even making good on lines like "his voice was as hard asdiamonds, and as soft as chalk." The novel is not one of Pierce's more surprising or innovative, but her typically strong characterizations and the superb acting camouflage its deficiencies. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)

[Page 66]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 December

Gr 8 Up--The council of mages, The Winding Circle, has received a request from the Battle Islands for assistance. Their plants are dying and their rivers are turning to acid, and the situation is getting worse. The Circle sends two mages, along with a student who has gotten herself into a bit of trouble. Evvy has a choice--either go on the mission or be confined to Discipline Cottage. Her mentor is one of the mages, so she chooses to accompany them. When they arrive at the island, they discover that Evvy might be useful after all. What follows is a riveting story that has many inventive and exciting plot twists and turns. The story was originally created as an audio book, with actors helping the author develop the characters as they recorded. It was a fabulous idea, and the story features excellent character development because of it. Evvy has depth, and readers get hints as to her motivations and desires. The whole book, the first in a series, is an amazing ride.--Jennifer-Lynn Draper, Children's Literature Consultant, Oshawa, Ontario

[Page 135]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2008 December
Pierce returns to the world of her Circle of Magic and Circle Opens quartets for a first-of-a-kind publishing event. She wrote this novel in audiobook format, which was beautifully recorded by Full Cast Audio (2007/AudioTalk, VOYA April 2008) a year before the print version became available. Central here is Evvy, the street urchin Briar rescued in Street Magic (Scholastic, 2001/VOYA April 2001), the second book of The Circle Opens. Four years have passed, and Evvy is in training as a stone mage at Winding Circle Temple. Now fourteen, she accompanies Rosethorn, with her plant magic, and Myrrhtide, a disapproving Water Mage, on their mission to Starns, an island where plants are dying and water is being poisoned. Evvy and her living rock companion, Luvo, the heart of a mountain, uncover the cause, a deadly threat to the continued existence of the island Evvy barely survives her meeting with volcano spirits who are determined to break free from their underground confinement and reach the surface, no matter how much death and destruction follows. She and the other mages have their hands full, trying to convince the stubborn inhabitants of the island to flee. And when time runs out, it is up to Evvy to save the day, a Pierce "sheroe" who does not sit around waiting to be saved but goes out and does the saving herself. Fans old and new are going to love Evvy's adventures-in both formats-whether or not they have read the other Circle books.-Bonnie Kunzel 5Q 5P M J Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.