Tris is fat, unloved, and far too magically gifted for anyone's comfort. But the recent earthquakes (from Sandry's Book) have weakened the duchy's defenses, and Tris's half-controlled weather magic might be their last protection against a pirate fleet.
Everything about Tris is wonderfully specific and unique, from the way she prices every object she sees to her complicated feelings about her cousin. She's her own person, and discovering all her little nooks and crannies is really interesting. Even more so is the pirate invasion--Pierce writes battles and describes magic in the most exciting, engaging, completely enthralling way. This book was a huge improvement on the first book in the series, and it just gets better from here.