Street Magic (The Circle Opens, Book 2)
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Briar Moss been training four years as a plant mage, but he hasn't put his past behind him. He meets a street girl, Evvy, using powerful magic to polish stones for a merchant, and resolves to find her a teacher. But Briar understands the city's gangs as well as he understands Evvy. When gang warfare breaks out, he discovers that the fiercest gang is seeking a stone mage to lead them to hidden gems. Only Briar and his magic can offer Evvy protection. Swept up in a bloody conflict, Briar must decide if he's ready to make the final step away from his former life as a "street rat".
why he was doing so much for her, though what he’d said about Niko, the mage who had clothed him and brought him to Winding Circle, was true. It certainly wasn’t as if he liked this rude, impudent brat. High overhead they could hear the toll of the Karang Gate clock. It was the third hour after noon. “Time and past to eat something,” he said as his stomach rumbled. Evvy’s eyes brightened at the prospect of a meal. He followed his nose to a food vendor, where they bought steamed lamb and baked
taking another bite. “She wouldn’t’ve really cut your nose off,” Briar said. He realized with a feeling of destiny that he would probably buy her a larger breakfast shortly. “Just bloodied it a bit.” “She’s fierce,” Evvy said admiringly. “I bet she scared Jooba-hooba plenty, to make him leave the palace.” “If he’s going to be your teacher, you ought to say his proper name,” Briar informed her sternly, thinking of how the stone mage might react to being called “Jooba-hooba.” “Or call him Master
Stoneslicer.” “I still don’t see why you can’t teach me,” Evvy replied, jaw set. “We were learning fine yesterday, right?” Briar rested his head in his hands. It was going to be a long morning. Evvy finished her dumpling as Golden House came to life. Briar placed his tree-working kit on the stall’s counter, and put his willow next to it. He was training it to the spiral form, which it liked far better than the cascade form it had when he’d bought it. Working gently, assuring the tree it
explained patiently. “They don’t go out, only Evvy goes in. They’ll be safer than we will. And it’s not a long haul, only about a week. I spoke to the man who runs the last eastern caravan of the season. They leave in six days. He must have some weather magic, because market gossip is that he’s never been caught on the road by the rains.” “You mean it?” Evvy asked, her chin and voice wobbly. “You won’t leave me and the cats here?” Rosethorn took the napkin from her lap and folded it precisely.
wind shifted twice as they walked, sending a cloud of dead gases into their faces. Twice they had to stop for Evvy to vomit; when she finished, she walked on with Briar, her face set in hard, angry lines. The crack of stone nearby made Briar look up. The outer wall was coming to pieces along its length, assaulted by vines outside and trees within. Earth shifted and writhed as the plants surged, bringing down the last of the stone structure that had hemmed them in. There were torches outside. In