Cover image for Magic steps
Magic steps
Pierce, Tamora.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
264 pages ; 22 cm.
When drawn into the investigation of murders perpetrated on a powerful family in Summersea, Sandy and her student Pasco undertake the dangerous mission of entrapping the invisible killers.
General Note:
Book one of The Circle Opens quartet.
Reading Level:
760 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.7 9.0 41470.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.1 14 Quiz: 20973 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Lady Sandrilene fa Toren is a noble girl whose thread magic wove together the power - and the personal bonds - of four young magicians. Now, Lady Sandrilene is on her own and saddled with teaching magic to a restless boy, safeguarding her uncle's health, and tracking down a brutal murderer.

Author Notes

Author Tamora Pierce was born in South Connellsville, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1954. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her first book, Alanna: The First Adventure, was published in 1983 and she became a full-time author in 1992. She writes fantasy books, mainly involving young heroines, for young adults. She is the author of numerous series including Song of the Lioness; The Immortals; Circle of Magic; Protector of the Small; The Circle Opens; Daughter of the Lioness; The Circle Reforged; Beka Cooper; and The Numair Chronicles. Her novel Battle Magic was a New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-9. In the first book in the Circle Opens series, 14-year-old Sandry is no stranger to magic; she spins and weaves it in wondrous ways. Then she meets Pasco, a boy who somehow dances spells, and reluctantly becomes his mentor. When mysterious killers target local merchants, the two interweave their magic to stop the murderers. Using descriptive, personable prose, Pierce combines dimensional characters, intricate details, plot twists, and alternating story lines for a gripping read, while introducing issues of modern relevance symbolized by the heroin-like Dragonsalt and the evil Unmagic, which has all the hazards of nuclear waste. Independent, brave Sandry is an appealing protagonist, sometimes prone to nervous giggling; there is some vivid violence, and though the romantic cover art indicates otherwise, the emphasis is on suspense. Fans of the Circle of Magic series will recognize some familiar characters, but this book stands well on its own as a fast-paced, engrossing read, sure to satisfy fantasy fans. --Shelle Rosenfeld

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Lady Sandrilene fa Toren, known to readers of the "Circle of Magic" quartet(Scholastic) as Sandry, comes fully into her powers here. Now 14, Sandry is caring for her great-uncle, Duke Vedris of Emelan, after his near-fatal heart attack, when her attention is suddenly seized by two very different events. After witnessing a younger boy, Pasco, unwittingly perform a dance of magical power, she realizes reluctantly that she must take on his magical training before he becomes a danger to himself and others. At the same time, members of a powerful merchant family are being killed one by one by assassins cloaking themselves in "unmagic," or "the absence of all things." Sandry must use all her skill to weave her magic and Pasco's into a force that can overcome the assassins. Readers are immediately plunged into the rich and vibrant atmosphere of Sandry's world, with its merchants, miscreants, and mages. Though the pace of the plot is heart quickening, the admirable heroine remains calm, capable, and always ready to giggle. Violent acts are horrifying but are not graphically described. Fans of the previous quartet and new readers alike will immerse themselves in this thrilling tale of magical intrigue.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.