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Spoiler Alert: The following section contains spoilers about Emperor Mage.

Emperor Mage
Emperor Mage
A Novel of the Tortall
Protagonist Veralidaine Sarrasri
Antagonist Ozorne Muhassin Tasikhe
Setting Carthak in 451 HE
Author Tamora Pierce
Cover Artist Michael McDermott
Publication information
Publisher Simon & Schuster;
Release Date November 17, 1994
UK Release Date
Series The Immortals
Preceded by Wolf-Speaker
Followed by The Realms of the Gods

Emperor Mage is the third in a series of four books, The Immortals. This is the second quartet by author Tamora Pierce. The novel details the events taking place around the peace delegation sent by the Tortallan monarchs to Carthak which includes Veralidaine Sarrasri, Numair Salmalín, Gareth of Naxen, Alanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau and Harailt of Aili. The task of the delegation is to put an end to the problems between the two countries. Daine goes with them to save the emperor's birds.

Cover flap summary

Random House

"Daine sails to Carthak as a part of a peace treaty delegation from Tortall. There, she is amazed by strange and wondrous sights, including rooms filled with dinosaur bones and the Emperor Mage's zoo. But she also senses a darkness beneath all the gold and glitter, a darkness that lies in wait. At the same time, Daine is discovering that her own wild magic is growing again, this time giving her powers both great and terrifying."
—Back cover summary from Emperor Mage of Random House edition

Simon Pulse 2008

"Sent to Carthak as part of the Tortallan peace delegation, Daine finds herself in the middle of a sticky political situation. She doesn't like the Carthaki practice of keeping slaves, but it's not her place to say anything—she's ju7st there to heal the emperor's birds. It's extremely frustrating! What's more, her power has grown in a mysterious way.
As the peace talks stall, Daine puzzles over Carthak's two-faced Emperor Ozorne. How can he be so caring with his birds and so cruel to his people? Daine is sure he's planning something. Daine must fight the powerful Emperor Mage, knowing that the safety and peace of the realm depend on stopping Ozorne's power-hungry schemes.
—Cover flap summary from Emperor Mage of Simon Pulse 2008's edition


To those who took a struggling young writer, cushioned her in her early months in the Big Apple, and agreed that no idea was too crazy:
How could I forget? I couldn't have done it without you!
—Dedication for Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce

Plot summary

Daine is sent with a delegation that includes both Sir Gareths of Naxen, Alanna the Lioness, and Numair Salmalín to the Emperor Mage of Carthak, in hopes that she can smooth relations by helping with his prized birds. All seems well in the elaborate court of the charming emperor, who continues to proclaim his innocence in stirring up troubles in Tortall and truly cares for his prized aviary. This soothes the nervous delegation, which is further complicated by the presence of Numair, who had to flee Carthak and Ozorne's ire several years before. Nevertheless, all is not well in the Carthak empire.

Daine makes several friends in Carthak, including Numair's former teacher and still close friend Lindhall Reed, Ozorne's heir, his nephew Kaddar, and a marmoset named Zekoi. She also is reunited with the Stormwing Rikash Moonsword, who seems to bear her no significant ill will and in fact warns her several times about the trouble brewing in the empire. Despite her best efforts, she gets caught up in not only the political situation, but a religious one of sorts as well. Emperor Ozorne Muhassin Tasikhe has been neglecting the worship of the gods, primarily the chief Goddess of Carthak, the Graveyard Hag. To Daine's surprise and later, chagrin, she realizes that she has the ability to revive dead bodies, which leads to a series of mixed episodes which includes the revival of an only partly assembled archaeopteryx skeleton and culminates in the revival of a whole nest of dinosaur eggs and nestlings. The reanimation of the nest results in Daine killing herself and having to get forcibly revived by the Badger god. During the time she is "dead," she gets a brief image of her mother with a mysterious horned stranger.

Daine fights her newly given "gift," which cannot be taken away except by the Graveyard Hag, who has supreme power in Carthak as the primary goddess. It is noted that the only one more powerful in Carthak is the Black God, god of death, but she is his daughter and he listens to her in matters involving Carthak. The Graveyard Hag urges Daine, as her vessel, to act by causing chaos with the revival of the human dead to get Emperor Ozorne to remember the gods once more. Daine is understandably rather disinclined to do so. When it seems Ozorne has murdered Numair, an enraged Daine revives a horde of dinosaurs, whose fossils had been assembled by the mage Lindhall, and destroys the entire palace. Ozorne's rule is broken (he gets turned into a Stormwing) and replaced with that of the more benevolent Kaddar. Her duty as a vessel completed, Daine finally has her "gift" taken away (to her extreme relief).


  1. Guests in Carthak
  2. Imperial Welcome
  3. Hall of Bones
  4. Strange Conversations
  5. Palace Tour
  6. Carthaki Magecraft
  7. Waking Dreams
  8. The Badger Returns
  9. Daine Loses Her Temper
  10. Steel Feather


Tortallan characters

  • Veralidaine "Daine" Sarrasri
  • Numair Salmalín
  • Alanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau
  • Gareth of Naxen the Elder
  • Gareth of Naxen the Younger
  • Harailt of Aili

Carthaki characters

  • Kaddar Iliniat
  • Ozorne Muhassin Tasikhe
  • Varice Kingsford
  • Lindhall Reed
  • Graveyard Hag


External links

See also

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