Evvy and Rosethorn have come from across the sea to a small island with a desperate problem—dying trees and plants, ponds and lakes turned to acid. They must find the cause and cure the island.
The mages of the Winding Circle and their students are back, and keeping the temple stirred up. Evvy has lived there for four years, ever since she and Rosethorn returned from the war. She’s fourteen, and in training to be a stone mage, when she sees some rich boys bothering some of her friends. Without a second thought, she threatens them with her staff, and when they pull their swords on her, she fights back. When the dust settles, Rosethorn and Lark, Evvy’s guardians and mentors, decide it would be better if Evvy isn’t around the temple for a while, so the rich parents of the boys can calm down.
That’s how Evvy ends up on a ship, an ocean voyage taking her far, far from the earth and stones she draws her power from. Rosethorn has been asked to go to the Battle Islands, because there are pockets of sickness all over them, where the trees are dying and the water has turned to acid. Myrrtide, a water mage, has come with them. The final member of their group is neither mage nor human. He is Luvo, the living stone heart of a mountain, and he goes everywhere with Evvy. He is about a foot and a half tall, shaped like a bear, and made up of deep green and purple crystal that’s been rounded and smoothed by water.
Their problems start before they even reach the island. Massive quakes rock the ocean floor, as the earth shifts uneasily. The quakes continue even after they arrive at Starns, the island most badly affected, and their destination. When they begin to explore, they soon realize that there is more wrong than they had expected. The island is dying, and neither Rosethorn nor Myrrtide can stop it. And if a great mage like Rosethorn can’t stop it, does anyone stand a chance?
Evvy is connected to the earth and her power is strengthened by Luvo, but what can a mage in training do that a great mage cannot?
This booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, librarian, and consultant, and internationally known booktalking expert.