This is the second series that Tamora Pierce wrote about the world of Tortall, the first being The Song of the Lioness. Once again, we are introduced to a female protagonist who is exceptional, this time because of her wild magic, which allows her to communicate with animals. Daine is 13, an orphan with a past she is extremely unwilling to speak of, but with amazing abilities even she is unaware she has. In true Pierce fashion, Daine is stubborn, intelligent, and competent, but also untrusting and vulnerable. Soon after her arrival in Tortall, she is noticed by Numair, a mage of incredible power, who takes her under his wing as his student. As we go through the series, Daine's powers grow, as does her relationship with the extraordinary people who become her friends. Once again, high literature though it may not be, the books are extremely enjoyable, quick reads. I read each book in the series in about two days, and though it was my third or fourth time reading them, I loved them all the same.