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Daja's Book a.k.a.
The Fire in the Forging
Daja's Book US hc
A Novel of the Emelan
Protagonist Daja Kisubo
Antagonist Forest Fire
Setting Gold Ridge Valley, Emelan in 1035 KF
Author Tamora Pierce
Cover Artist Ursula Albano (design)
Theron (painting)
Publication information
Publisher Scholastic (US)
Scholastic Press (UK)
Release Date October 1998 (hardcover)
UK Release Date 20 August 1999 (paperback)
Pages 240 (US hardcover)
192 (UK paperback)
Series The Circle of Magic
Preceded by Tris's Book
Followed by Briar's Book
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DB german

German cover

Daja's Book is the third installment of the Circle of Magic quartet. It has first been published in 1998 and has since been translated in several other languages. The novel features all four young mages but centers—as the title suggests—around Daja Kisubo. Daja and her friends are accompanying Duke Vedris and their teachers to Gold Ridge Valley in northern Emelan, where a long drought threatens the population. While Daja has the first contact with Traders after she has been declared trangshi--an outcast of their society—upon the bidding on her living metal creation forest fires are threatening the valley.

Cover flap summary

"Outcast Trader Daja, along with her fellow mages-in-training, journeys from Winding Circle to the Gold Ridge Mountains, where drought threatens widespread famine. There, Daja creates an astonishing object: a living metal vine. A caravan of Traders covets the vine, and Daja's dealings with her former people reawaken a longing for familiar ways.
Daja must choose--should she return to the Traders or remain with the Winding Circle folk who have become her family?
—Cover flap summary of the Scholastic paperback edition


"To the teachers who shaped my life:
Rosemary Gomes, Mary Jacobsen,
Margaret Emelson, and David Bradley, Jr.
A great teacher is above all other treasures.
—Dedication at the beginning of Daja's Book

Plot Summary

The story opens with the four child-mages and their teachers at the end of a caravan. Rosethorn, Briar's teacher, stops to examine the tree-litter and while she does this, Daja catches a glimpse of a forest fire miles off. Tris, Briar, and Sandry all turn to look at the fire while Rosethrone asks their local guide when the last time they had a forest fire was. However, their guide only laughs and says their mage, Yarrun Firetamer, takes care of all their fires, just like his father did. The caravan moves on, but Daja still has an uneasy feeling about the huge fire, noting how fire could be her friend and enemy.

Daja's Book Japanese

Japanese edition

The caravan stops in a small town to study magic and assist the Duke Vedris of Emelan with the drought. As Daja is working in the smithy, a woman, a wirok, a scorned Trader who negotiates with lugsha, tradesmen, stops by to talk to the smith. As she notices the blank cap on Daja's Trader staff which signifies her exile status, the Trader refuses to talk to her.

Moments later, Daja loses control of her magic because of her anger, putting energy into a clump of melted iron. Soon, it turns into a branch and the Trader is stunned. Throughout the book, Daja and the Trader converse in a bargain for the 'living metal'.

All of the student's magic is so strongly combined that Sandry is forced to create a magic map, which she can use to separate their twined magic. Their teachers first noticed the mixed magic when Briar and Sandry used lightning by accident.

Daja's Book US 2
While Daja is on her way to the privy, she releases a stream of hot water from within the earth, which spills out onto the stones before her. She and Briar investigate, finding that one of the hot springs leads to an area of ice/glaciers. Melting the water would refill the drying lake, saving one of the town's problems. They also discover a strain of copper which could be used to replenish the town's supply and stimulate trade.

While all the teachers and students are at a watch tower, a huge fire erupts, utilizing all the mast that had built up in the years that Yarrun Firetamer had been suppressing all the fires. After the conceited fire tamer dies in an attempt to stop the fire, the rest of the people try to stop it. Daja is caught in the middle, though, and has to first convince the caravan she is riding with to listen to her, and then stop heading for the fire. She saves the caravan by thrusting all of the fire into a vein in the earth which leads to the glacier.

Lastly, Daja creates a living metal leg with the copper which is now a part of her for the wirok, restoring the wirok's ability to work with horses, her original job.

Daja is a trangshi, a Trader word which literally means "doesn't exist" or "bad luck." In the end, however, she becomes a Trader again because she had gained enough zokin, or honor, by saving the Tenth Caravan Idaram from the huge forest fire.

Characters in "Daja's Book"

Daja's Book UK 1

UK edition

  • Daja Kisubo - trangshi, ambient smith mage and Frostpine's student
  • Sandrilene fa Toren - noble, ambient thread mage and Lark's student
  • Trisana Chandler - merchant, ambient weather mage and Niko's student
  • Briar Moss - former thief, ambient plant mage and Rosethorn's student
  • Niklaren Goldeye - seer, academic mage and Tris' teacher
  • Lark - Earth Dedicate, ambient thread mage and Sandry's teacher
  • Rosethorn - Earth Dedicate, ambient plant mage and Briar's teacher
  • Frostpine - Fire Dedicate, ambient smith mage and Daja's teacher
  • Duke Vedris - ruler of Emelan
  • Little Bear - dog
  • Yarrun Firetamer - ambient mage
  • Polyam - Trader, member of Tenth Caravan Idaram
  • Chandrisa - Trader, member of Tenth Caravan Idaram
  • Lady Inoulia - lady of Gold Ridge
  • Kahlib ul Hanoh - village headman and smith


The book was published in Japanese under the title "Daja to Honoo no Kizuna" ("Daja and the Bond of Flame").

External links

See also

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