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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
Cold Fire - Tamora Pierce Hell. Yes.

Daja's book in the original Circle books was probably my favorite of the series, and her book in the second series is equally excellent. Just to give you some idea: I started this book when I got on the elliptical, and didn't get off until I was finished. Even for me, reading an entire novel takes awhile, but I was too wrapt to notice the time going by. That's how enthralling this book is.

Daja Kisubu and her teacher Frostpine have come to a series of islands to learn more metal magic. The islands are frozen most of the year, and Frostpine spends most of the book kvetching about the cold (even going so far as to meditate naked in the kitchen hearth fire, much to the kitchen staffs' amazement). Amusingly, it seems he chose his name without realizing quite how cold it gets where frostpines live. Daja is having the time of her life learning to iceskate and make metal filigree. Like the other members of the Circle, she stumbles upon an undiscovered ambient mage--and her equally magical twin sister. Unlike her friends, she manages to find teachers for their cooking and carpentry magic, but still takes on teaching them meditation. Unfortunately, what works for one twin is precisely the wrong method for the other, and vice versa. But Daja grits her teeth and bends to the task--even though it takes her away from her other interest, creating protective metal gloves for the city's head fire-fighter. Her work is particularly important, because an escalating series of fires has begun to strike the islands, and the firefighters and she are called upon to increasing heroics.

And wow, but Daja is a heroine for the ages.

review tbc