Mark Reads ‘Daja’s Book’: Chapter 5

In the fifth chapter of Daja’s Book, I DON’T UNDERSTAND. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Circle of Magic.

Okay, let me try to figure this out. This was such an interesting turn to me, especially since we got a chance to Daja and Briar to interact more. I don’t feel like there have been many scenes between just the two of them. But…????? WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE. Let’s go over the facts I learned here:


It’s important that Pierce establish why Duke Vedris is in Northern Emelan, so I appreciated that we learned more about the drought that Gold Ridge and the other northern valleys that are in trouble. California has recently been in a vicious drought, so I’m familiar with many of the problems that come with it, though I’m certainly not privy to the kind of experiences we see here concerning food and water. The drought itself cannot be solved through pure magic alone, since it involves elements of nature that are out of magical control. So: drought + dry conditions + grassfires + poor saffron crops + failing mines = RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

Bizarre Magic

I know it’s probably funny to call any manifestation of magic between the four young mages “bizarre” because they’re so unique. But even for them, these sudden spurts of magic that don’t belong to them are disturbing. Briar should not have torched the crocuses, and here, Daja should not have been able to call steaming hot water out of the ground. That’s more of Tris’s magic. While it’s no surprise that the Circle of Friendship has created a bond between them all that allows them to share magical abilities, these incidents are not ones that they’re intentionally causing. They’re just happening. WHY??? WHAT’S GOING ON?

Hidden Heat

OKAY I DON’T UNDERSTAND. In terms of geology, okay, I grasp this concept, but I feel like there’s a reason why the heat underneath the earth grabs on to Daja and refuses to let go. Pierce describes it in a way that analogous to the draw Daja felt when making the fire weaving earlier in the day. Why is she drawn to this kind of heat, and why is it drawn to her? Is that just a normal side effect of her type of magic?

The Ice Valley

This chapter goes in such a weird direction, and I’M TOTALLY INTO IT. It’s unexpected. Daja, afraid for her magical self below the earth, finds a series of cracks in the Earth that help her escape the heat. However, this deposits her miles and miles away from Gold Ridge in a part of Emelan she’s never seen or heard of before. She comes across animals that are a mystery to her, but more importantly, she observes an “immense, jagged ribbon of ice.” It’s through this that Pierce reveals that ice is actually a draining agent for Daja’s magic. The close she gets to it, the more sluggish and tired she feels. It makes sense that the opposite of fire would do this to her, but why take us here? Why spend so much time in this valley of ice? Why is it important that animals here “weren’t used to being hunted”?

Okay, so no humans came to this area, at least not with any regularity. That means that no one knows that there’s a source of water relatively close to Gold Ridge. However, why all the short-growth? Why wouldn’t the greenery be out of control? I suspect this is somehow connected to the story at hand, but I can’t figure out why. I also still don’t know why Daja was able to call up water unintentionally or why there was a crack in the stone surrounding the spring. Is someone intentionally doing this? My guess is that Briar and Daja will keep this a secret from the adults, at least for the time being. They weren’t supposed to be using magic all on their own. BUT THE PIECES ARE CLEARLY HERE FOR A REASON AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT IS. Arrgh!

The original text contains the use of the word “crazily.”

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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