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The Circle Opens is the second quartet set in the Circle Universe and written by Tamora Pierce. Each of the books follow one of the main characters from The Circle of Magic quartet. They are set in different parts of the Universe as more is explored.
The books are targeted for an older audience than the prior quartet, and is recommended for children aged 12 to 14. As the books of the prior quartet are aimed at kids ages 9 to 11, readers are meant to literally grow up with the protagonists.
Sandrilene fa Toren opens the quartet in the first installment. She is separated from her foster-brother and sisters for the first time in her life, and is also forced to deal with her beloved great-uncle's health ailments. In this book, Sandry must contend with a new student, a blood feud, and a new kind of magic.
Trisana Chandler and her teacher, Niklaren Goldeye, have traveled south to the city-state of Tharios. Her teacher warned her about some barbaric customs, even though the Tharians are immensely high-handed and arrogant about their superiority. She discovers a new mage, who needs instruction, and becomes the guardian of the glass dragon Chime. Other matters are even more pressing, however, as a serial killer called The Ghost targets yaskedasi.