Title: Tempests and Slaughter
Author: Tamora Pierce
So, first thing you need to know about this is.. I’ve waited ages for this book to be released. It’s been on my Goodreads ‘Want to read’ for almost two years, but I’ve been stalking Tamora Pierce’s website for years where it was teased that an origin series of the great mage Numair Salmalín was being released. In fact, it’s been around 15 years in the making! And I was even “late” to the party and had to only wait 10 years for this book to be released… If you think waiting a year for a sequel is hard, try waiting a decade for a series about one of your favourite characters ever!
So can you imagine my joyous shrieks of excitement when this stunner of a book finally arrived at my door? I impatiently waited for myself to finish the current book I was reading, but I was also kind of scared to finally start this book. With this much build up, would my expectations be way too high?
The answer to that was sadly, yes. I think my expectations were a little too high, but also, I did not expect the book to start so far back.
We meet Arram Draper when he is 11 (almost 12) years old and is at the Imperial University of Carthak and on the fast track of becoming one of the most powerful mages in the realm. He is taking advanced classes and moving up through levels faster than anyone.
With him he has his two, slightly older, best friends: Ozorne, the “leftover” prince, who is mostly overlooked because he’s so far down the line of becoming Emperor. And Varice, a pretty girl with an often overlooked talent. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne (relatives just seem to die left and right) 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.
To give a little background as to why this is an interesting origin story:
When we first meet Arram in The Immortals quartet, his name is Numair and is around 30 or in his late 20’s, I believe and is one of the most, if not the most powerful mage in Tortall. And that’s all I’m going to say.
Which means this series will (hopefully) fill out the almost 20 year gap as to how Arram becomes Numair and I know it’ll be an interesting journey.
So my initial thought was that we’d see Arram much older, maybe finishing off his last year at the University, but instead we follow him throughout the whole thing. The first book does expand over several years, he is around 15 when the book ends, but to be honest, not a whole lot happens. We’re very focused on the learning of magic and Arram developing his Gift, which just keeps on growing. Sure, there’s some action, but it’s limited and sometimes I felt like it was dragging a little, but then again, moving too fast would unable the reader to really get to know Arram and come to care for him.
But. I still loved it. Being back in this realm was just so amazing and for those who have read the other books taking place in the future, you pick up on things that makes you smile and reminisce. And being reintroduced to characters, seeing how they started out and what got them on the path that leads them to the place where you first read about them. It’s so amazing. At one point, a character’s true name was revealed and I literally squealed out loud and almost started crying. Not that it was sad or anything, but knowing what this character ends up becoming, it was just so heartfelt. I’m kinda getting emotional just writing about it now *slaps myself* Alright, all good now.
With the book’s size I was hoping for a little more, but the fact alone that this book is finally here, was enough to make me a little more overbearing, I mean, I was ready to give this 5 stars from the get go. So 4 stars is me being tough here.
Do I recommend this book?
To those who love great world-building with fascinating history attached and those who like to learn about magic and the everyday life of a mage student.
Do you need to have read the previous books in the universe before reading Tempests and Slaughter?
No, not necessarily. In a way, you will spoil yourself if you for example read The Immortals quartet, which is where Arram Draper, the MC of ToS first appears. The third book in that series takes place in Carthak (where ToS is set) and characters from ToS will be there. So if you don’t want to know what happens to Prince Ozorne, Varice Kingsford and others, just read ToS.
It’s actually hard to decide whether or not you should read the other books first or go in blind with Tempests and Slaughter and not know the characters beforehand.
But I highly recommend ALL the books in this universe, which includes:
The Beka Cooper series
The Song of the Lioness
The Immortals Quartet
Protector of the Small
Daughter of the Lioness/Trickster duology
They can technically all be read individually, but for maximum understanding and world-building, read them in that order.
Also, you can see all the book I own from the Tortall universe – and all of them are different editions (it looks terrible), but I’m working on getting newer and way more gorgeous editions 🙂