The Circle of Magic is the first quartet set in the Emelanese Universe. It introduces the four main characters and details the first two years of their coming into their powers. Whilst the titles suggest the main character of each, it is worth mentioning that all characters play a large role. All four novels of this quartet are set in Emelan, mostly in Winding Circle temple and Summersea, although the third novel takes place in the Emelanese fief Gold Ridge.
The Circle of Magic quartet is designed for younger readers than Tamora Pierce's other novels. The target group for this series are readers between 9 and 11, making them the ideal introduction to Tammy's world(s) for younger readers. This quartet, like her other novels set in the Circle Universe, centers around problems children in our real world face, too, like natural catastrophes, diseases or pirates.
In the UK, the titles were changed and are listed in brackets.
Sandrilene fa Toren - (born August 12th)A noble who has led an unconventional life with her recently deceased parents. She comes into her thread magic during the Smallpox Epidemic in Hatar and is the first of the four to want to befriend everyone.
Trisana Chandler - A weather witch whose family has turned her out when her powers became to much for them to bear. She has lost her trust in people after years of being cast out and ridiculed.
Daja Kisubo -(Born April 13th) A Trader who has lost her entire family to a storm and has been cast out by her people. Her power over metal was the reason she was able to survive alone after her family ship sank.
Briar Moss - (born May 20th)The only male in the Circle and a former street rat. His plant magic saves him from a sentence at the docks after he is caught for thievery.
Niklaren Goldeye - An academic mage who finds all the members of the Circle in their respective circumstances. He becomes Trisana's teacher as there are no other weather mages to be found.
Lark - One of the dedicates who run Discipline and a thread mage. She is Sandry's teacher and a voice of reason and peace in the mages's lives.
Rosethorn - The other dedicate who resides in Discipline and a plant mage. She initially scares the children but eventually becomes Briar's teacher and demonstrates a fierce loyalty to him and the girls.
Frostpine - A smith mage at Winding Circle who becomes Daja's teacher.