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Bonsai

A pine Shakkan similar to Briar's original.

The Shakkan (pronounced SHAK-ann) is a miniature tree of only little more than a foot of height[1]. The art of growing miniature trees was developed by Yanjingyi gardeners over a period of a thousand years. They have the ability to store and over time build up magic from his owners[2] and can be shaped in different ways to concentrate strength. The seed or clipping has to agree to being shaped and kept small, otherwise he won't prosper.[3] The imperial palace of Yanjing has the largest collection of shakkans, followed by Empress Berenene's greenhouses[4]. Shakkans are very valuable, being priced at at least ten silver astrels the piece[5].They are based on bonsai trees, which Tamora Pierce is fond of.

Briar Moss stole a 146-year-old pine shakkan from Dedicate Crane, who falsely assumed that the tree was only 130 years old[6], in his first year at Winding Circle[3]. This shakkan soon became accustomed to Briar, missing him when Briar was in quarantine in Urda's House and the shakkan remained at home at Discipline cottage.[2] The plant preferred Briar's touch to Rosethorn's, which surprised Briar.[7] When Briar and Rosethorn travelled to extend Briar's education they took his shakkan with them.

Shakkan styles

  • Bunjingi - also called "calligraphy form," shaped with a long trunk and a few upper branches[8]
  • Cascade Style - shaped with the trunk bent cleanly to the side
  • Windblown Style - shaped with a more upright trunk

Notes and references

  1. Sandry's Book, Cp. 5 (p. 91; Scholastic paperback)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Briar's Book, Cp. 5 (p. 78; Scholastic paperback)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sandry's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 149; Scholastic paperback)
  4. The Will of the Empress, Cp. 6 (p. 132; Scholastic paperback)
  5. Sandry's Book, Cp. 9 (p. 158; Scholastic paperback)
  6. Sandry's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 146; Scholastic paperback)
  7. Briar's Book, Cp. 6 (p. 100; Scholastic paperback)
  8. Street Magic, Cp. 11 (p. 201; Scholastic paperback)

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