Mark Reads ‘Wild Magic’: Chapter 9

In the ninth chapter of Wild Magic, YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Wild Magic.

Chapter Nine: Siege


God, Tamora Pierce is SO GOOD at writing action sequences. I eagerly await them now because they’re so satisfying to experience. The siege on Pirate’s Swoop is no exception. Y’all, this is some scary shit, a truly agonizing chapter that not only acts as a fantastic story, but further develops the importance of Daine as a character. Plus, it’s just chaotic, you know?

The dread was already there at the start of chapter nine. Revealing that the group was surrounded help to set up EVERYTHING HURTING, and this just became an ongoing theme. Of course, what’s Wild Magic without Daine oppressing us with her animal friendships?

With the bats gone, she went to the limits of her range, contacting owls and explaining her problem.

Let me spell this out to you: Daine hangs out with bats, comforts them, respects their social anxieties with other species, and then communicates with owls. My life feels so empty compared to hers.

Every new detail I learned about the siege on Pirate’s Swoop made things worse. Oh, six hundred men camping until daybreak? Oh, mages have created magical fog that leaves behind magic-dampening spells on everything it touches? Stormclaws and god-knows-what-else hiding in the fog? No one knows what the fuck is going on? Yeah, I feel great about this. It’s upsetting because on virtually every front, our protagonists are at a disadvantage. I don’t like this. Someone’s gonna die, and then I’ll feel worse. Even worse, the people around say they agree with Daine, that the animals shouldn’t fight on their behalf, but I would be surprised if they were secretly wishing she’d just let them.

That’s truly what’s unreal about this battle. Daine not only has to fight, but she’s got to use her wild magic to keep the animals at bay. Simultaneously. She is physically, emotionally, and mentally drained at all times. She’s thirteen, by the way. I was still reading Jane Austen in my room while I air guitar’d to Metallica solos and Gorilla Biscuits breakdowns. I’m pretty sure Daine is better than I am.

She had human friends here too – friends who might be hurt, or die. With Ma and Grandda gone, she’d thought she was free of that kind of pain, but she was less free than ever. She’d never love anyone as she had her family, but others had come to be important to her: Evin and Miri, who gave her acceptance; Onua, an elder sister; the Rider officers, respect for her judgment. Each of those people now was a potential wound.

I’ll just echo my sentiments from the video for this chapter: THIS BETTER NOT BE FORESHADOWING. Ugh, I just can’t believe that everyone will make it out of this unscathed. It’s too big. It’s too intense. This suddenly feels bigger than anything that Alanna faced, and that scares me. Numair knows that this is fucked up, and he barely hides it. Even though he’s excited that Daine’s wild magic will be unaffected by the dampening spells, he later comes to the realization just how terrible this is for Daine. The worst part is Daine doesn’t have a choice in the matter. It’s not like she can just shut off her brain or her wild magic! And then the Stormwing shows up and I HATE THE FREE CORSAIRS FOREVER AND EVER. Well, the ones doing all this shit, because my GOD. That letter the Stormwing brings is INFURIATING. It made me sick. I hate it, I HATE THEM, I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS. Oh my god, I don’t know who Mahil Eddace is, but I want his skin sheared off by ice knives that fall from the sky. Can we just establish that it is canon that Mahil Eddace is no better than a bully on the playground? Alanna and George are playing in the sandbox, and Mahil wants it to himself, so when he doesn’t get it, he decides to DESTROY IT AND BEAT EVERYONE UP.

I hate him. I hate him.

I love that George simply tears up the demands, despite that it ignites THE WORST BATTLE YET. It’s seriously the worst, and I have a pit in my stomach again just reading it a second time. For real, y’all:

The gold fire in the square exploded, knocking everyone down. Like a nightmare, a horde of Stormwings blasted through, led by Zhaneh Bitterclaws. They filled the air with a degree of stench and evil that had not been felt in the world in four centuries. To that they added pure fear in a weight that crushed the humans before them. Something – something huge and red in color – almost seemed to shove the gigantic flock through the gate, but it vanished.

This is my official notice that I am checking out of the Chapter Nine Hotel, never to stay here again. What the fuck just happened? Did a portal to the Divine Realms just open or something???

Tears rolled down Daine’s cheecks. Mechanically she fired as birds fought and died, cut by steel wings or torn to pieces by steel claws and teeth.

I can’t. I can’t. It hurts so much, especially since I know what these creatures mean to Daine. Honestly, that’s what this chapter feels like: an extended experience in empathizing with the endless pain that Daine feels. IT HURTS MY HEART. Yet amidst this, there are a couple of bright moments. I was so touched that Pierce wrote about Kally’s feelings about the battle. She herself was named in the demands from Eddace, and she feels guilty, as if her very existence is the cause of all this. Numair and Daine are both quick to tell her that none of this is her fault.

“The person who commits an action is the one responsible for it, not the people he commits the action upon.”

I love you, Tamora Pierce.

“Evil people say evil things to make good people cry and doubt. Don’t let them get that hold on you.”

SERIOUSLY, I LOVE THAT THESE MESSAGES ARE IN YOUR BOOKS. Is there hope that my heart might heal?

The air was singing to her. “What?” She got to her feet. Where was it coming from? “Numair, do you hear it?”


It was like the griffins, only different, a singing coming from the north, low and close. It filled her eyes and ears and beat against he sore palms of her hands.

What is this and what is happening?

The dragon

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. I couldn’t even deal with the word. A dragon. THERE IS A DRAGON IN WILD MAGIC. Oh, but this fact alone is not good enough for Tamora Pierce. No, the mere appearance of a dragon is but child’s play to Tamora Pierce. She must continue to frighten and terrify me with this:

She struggled to force the notes into a form she could understand, until she heard: – Kidnappers! Filthy kidnappers! Rend them, take the raven-haired one to a cage on the ships! –

Daine shook her aching head. What was she hearing?

The dragon came in low and almost seized Thayet before having to reverse her flight. – Bring me here? You will send me home with your human tricks? –

What the sweet babies is going on??? I was so confused. Clearly, that was a reference to Numair, but then I thought that perhaps Daine had accidentally summoned a dragon because of the wild magic she had sent out. This majestic, unreal beast was before her, and she was clearly pissed off about being summoned away from home. But how? How could this happen? I then came to understand that the enemies were the ones who were responsible for this. Still HOW. And then, of course, Pierce drops the line about the dragon having a child and being in labor, and I felt like my soul had just drifted into another universe. This book seriously exists on a different level than Song of the Lioness, and I’m just having the best time having my brain turned to mush over and over again. Like, how could I have ever known that a pregnant dragon from another dimension would be mistakenly dragged into this world and then tricked to work against the heroes? WHO EVEN THINKS OF SOMETHING LIKE THIS?

And Daine healed the dragon, possibly saving the dragon’s child. I can’t. Remember when I predicted that Daine’s magic being sapped from her would be an important plot point? I couldn’t have ever guessed this is how it would come back.

What have I just read, y’all?

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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