Author: Tamora Pierce
Pub. Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.
Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.
Act fast! The first printing of the hardcover includes a collector’s edition poster!
Two days later Arram stood at one of the many docks in Thak’s Gate, watching his father and grandfather board the small shipping vessel that would take them across the Inland Sea to Tyra. He barely remembered the place: Carthak was his home now. He never said so, of course. His family would be hurt. But the truth was, they hardly seemed like family. The things they liked to talk or write to him about held little interest: shipping, cloth, cloth markets. The only thing about their way of life that fascinated Arram was the magic that could be worked with weaving and thread. His family scorned it—there was no status in such spells. Thread magic was the work of hedgewitches and goodywives, not worth their attention. If Arram became a mage, then all the money they’d put into his education would be worth something, but only in terms of battle or healing magic. Those would bring the family status and fortune.
Arram sighed. They loved him. He knew that, from the gifts they sent—sweets, warm blankets and coats, coin for shoes—and their letters. He loved them, for their kindness, their letters, and their visits. But he didn’t understand them, or they him. The games were just the most recent example.
He saw them waving and waved back. The ship was easing back from the dock as sailors rushed up the masts and around the deck. A crowd gathered around Arram, waving and shouting to those who were sailing away.
Someone shoved him. Arram scowled at her, but she didn’t even look down. He was insignificant. His temper roiled inside him. He was always too small, too young, always being put aside. His mood was strange today, prickly and restless. He was itchy inside his skin.
“Safe journey!” people shouted, and “Swift journey!”
The thought sprouted up like it had been waiting. There was a way he could do something significant. They wouldn’t know it, but he would. It wasn’t much, but he’d feel better for it. He looked hurriedly at the inside of the hem of his tunic, searching for a loose thread. Only a couple of months ago, he had begun reading about weather magic. He had memorized a few spells from it to try when he had some time alone, out in the fields beyond the university, but surely this spell was safe enough. It was for hedgewitches, after all, a blessing for ships and voyages. It was a small thing.
He found a loose thread and tugged it free. It was red, even better! Red was for luck, hope, and strength. Holding it down in front of his belly so the people around him wouldn’t see, he wove the two scarlet ends of the thread in and out of one another, murmuring the words of the old spell. His fingers and the back of his neck were tingling. Small breezes played with his heavy black curls. Sweat trickled down his temples as he finished with the traditional blessing for his relatives and the ship. The breeze tugged at the thread. The nervous energy that had plagued his insides all morning surged and tore the thread from his fingers. He could swear it was strange, strong power from inside him that did it, and not the gusting air. Whichever it was, his spell-thread yanked from his fingers to fly high over the harbor.
Right in front of everyone, the vessel that bore Arram’s father and grandfather leaped into the air like an exuberant zebra, dropped lightly into the water, and zipped between the two lighthouses that guarded the opening to the Inland Sea.
For a moment there was only the slap of waves on the pilings. Then, nearby, someone who sounded very official yelled, “Who cast that spell? I want him caught and held for breaking harbor law! Find him right now!”
Correctly guessing that no one would be looking for a ten-year-old boy, or even an eleven-year-old one, Arram squirmed his way out of the crowd. Once clear, Arram trotted to the spot where a cart regularly waited to take passengers along the eastern side of the city wall, paid his fare, and took a seat. He had a great deal to think about.
Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of young adult fantasy books that break past the traditions of the fantasy genre to feature teenage girls as knights, wizards, and above all: heroes. A #1 New York Times bestseller and the recipient of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards award, Tamora has written over 30 books, including the upcoming TORTALL: A SPY’S GUIDE (Oct. 31, 2017) and TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Feb. 6, 2018).
Tamora was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a “long, proud line of hillbillies,” her family never had much. “We were poor, but I didn’t know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well,” she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.
A self-proclaimed “geek,” she devoured fantasy and science fiction novels, and by the age of 12 was mimicking her literary idols and writing her own action-packed stories. It was thanks to her father that Tamora began writing. “He heard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down,” Pierce says.
But Tamora’s novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. “I couldn’t understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be.”
Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work and some time spent writing for radio, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published ALANNA: THE FIST ADVENTURE, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, female warrior. Pierce’s heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.
Now, with over 30 critically-acclaimed books to her name, Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their menagerie of nine cats, two birds, a flock of pigeons, various raccoons and squirrels, and one opossum. “It’s a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it’s the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted.”
Giveaway Details: International
3 winners will receive a finished copy of TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER, US Only.
Ends on March 2nd at Midnight EST!
Tour Schedule (full schedule):
2/26/2018- A Backwards Story– Review
2/27/2018- The Book Shire– Review
2/28/2018- Falling Down The Book Hole– Excerpt