Title: Street Magic
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Circle Opens #2
Briar is traveling with Rosethorn through the market when he spots a girl polishing magic into a stone. But his inadvertent discovery puts both himself and Evie in the middle of a gang war. Everyone wants a good stone mage, in this city within ancient cliffs, and some of them are willing to go to any lengths to get one . . .
It’s fun seeing the contrast between who Briar was and who he’s become. He’s still much less polished than his friends Sandry, Tris, and Daja, but as he interacts with the gang members here he’s realizing he cleaned up a lot more than he expected. And his defenses of his way of life—even in the face of evidence and Evie’s skepticism—show that he’s still got a number of cherished illusions about the good of who he used to be.
Evie is amusing, too. She’s not really interested in being anyone’s pawn. Briar is required to either train her or provide a teacher for her, though, and he’s got to work around her distrust. I like that both of them are street-smart, but it means different things.
Rosethorn has much less of a role in this book, sadly, but she also doesn’t really fit into the gang war type of story this becomes. Still, when she does show up she’s as ornery as ever.
Overall this is a quick read. I rate this book Recommended.