To survive an earthquake, Sandry wove her friends' magics together. At first, this just made them more powerful, but now, each of their magics are leaking into the others. After Sandry accidently lets fly a lightning bolt, Briar incinerates an entire field of saffron, and Daja's iron work starts growing like a plant, their magic teachers lay down the law. They have to detangle their magics, or far worse will come.
Daja's magical iron-wrought tree attracts the attention of a local Trader band. Although Daja is the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and thus shunned for fear of attracting bad luck, the iron tree is so unique that the Traders are willing to trade with her to get it. Daja is finally able to drink the tea of her childhood, and speak to people with the same cultural touchstones, and it makes her terribly homesick. More than ever, she's aware of how much she's lost. But in losing her family, she also found her magic--and that magic is what just might save the entire band. The bit when Daja stands between the Traders and the forest fire and digs in, unwilling to let the flame pass her? So goddamn badass.
I love this series, and I love Daja in particular, from her strong broad shoulders (rippling with the muscle of forge work) to her difficulty remembering&appreciating roots (from the physical ones of a plant to the metaphysical ones of magic).