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Sandry's Book/The Magic in the Weaving
Cover Sandry's Book.jpg
A Novel of the Emelan
Protagonist Sandry
Antagonist Earthquake
Setting Summersea
Author Tamora Pierce
Cover Artist
Publication information
Release Date 1997
UK Release Date
Series The Circle of Magic
Preceded by '
Followed by Tris's Book

Sandry's Book is the first installment of the Circle of Magic quartet by Tamora Pierce. It was first published in 1997 and has since been translated in several other languages. The novel tells the story of four young misfits from four different classes who find themselves put together to live. Niklaren Goldeye rescues Sandrilene fa Toren, Trisana Chandler, Daja Kisubo, and Briar Moss and brings them to Winding Circle Temple in Emelan. There they find themselves suddenly brought together to learn and use their newfound magical abilities. All four have ambient magic, as opposed to academic magic, and the power they use comes from ordinary things all around them. Sandry has magic with threads, Tris with weather, Daja with metalwork, and Briar with plants.

Cover flap summary

"With her gift of weaving silk thread and creating light, Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief who has a way with plants; Daja, an outcast gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. At Winding Circle, the four misfits are taught how to use their magic - and to trust one another. But then disaster strikes their new home. Can Sandry weave together four kinds of magical power and save herself, her friends, and the one place where they've ever been accepted?"
—Cover flap summary of the Scholastic paperback edition


"To Gwen E. Meeks,
who gave me the original title of this book,
which served me through three drafts--
may your writing be as rewarding for you
as mine has been for me
—Dedication at the beginning of Sandry's Book

Plot summary

British cover

Lady Sandrilene fa Toren is locked away in a dark room in Hatar's capital Zakdin with only a fading oil lamp and no windows. She was magically hidden in this storeroom days ago by her nurse, Pirisi, who was then murdered moments later by a mob bent on destroying everything infected by the fierce plague that killed Sandry's parents. Sandry, even though she knows there is no chance of anybody finding her, is concerned about the flickering lamp because she is afraid of going crazy in the darkness. Unknowingly doing her first piece of magic, Sandry traps the remaining light in a simple braid. The powerful seer Niklaren Goldeye finds and rescues her. Niko takes her to Winding Circle Temple in Emelan.

The Trader Daja Kisubo is the lone survivor when Third Ship Kisubo, her family's ship, is destroyed in a storm on the Pebbled Sea. She floats on the water for days, surviving only because she finds a suraku- a survival box full of food and water from the ship - which she unknowingly calls to her with the help of her magic. Again it is Niklaren Goldeye who finds and saves the girl. He brings her to the Trader Council which decides Daja's fate. Because Daja is the only survivor of her family, the declare her trangshi or outcast- the worst sort of bad luck. As trangshi, she is forbidden to speak, touch, or write to other Traders. This means Daja hasn't just lost her family but also any standing with her people. Niko is outraged at the council's decision and conducts her to Winding Circle.

2nd US cover

Roach is a "street rat" in Hajra, Sotat. His mother died when he was young; he was then taken in by the Thief Lord, the leader of the gang Lightning. Each time Roach was caught at stealing and arrested, an "X" was tattooed onto the web of skin between his thumb and forefinger. This happened twice, until he is caught a third time. As Roach is being sentenced to the docks, Niko stops the judge and convinces him to be allowed to take Roach to Winding Circle. Roach also gets to pick a new name for himself; he chooses Briar Moss because of his curiosity and experience with plants, which always seem to flourish around him.

Trisana Chandler is from a merchant's family. She was passed from relative to relative because strange things occurred when she was around: hail, lightning, and storms. Never staying long in one house, she never had a real family. Out of relatives, she is finally brought to Stone Circle Temple by her parents and left there, where she wreaks more havoc still. The temple's dedicate superior, Wrenswing, pleads with Niko to take her to Winding Circle. At first he hesitates because he is on important errands these days. Once he sets eye on Tris, however, he changes his mind and takes her gladly.

2nd British cover

The four kids are all brought to Winding Circle Temple in Emelan, where they do not fit in.

Daja is secluded and ignored because she is a Trader. The other girls don't want her to sit with them at mealtimes and Sandry, who arrived over a month before Daja, is the only one who invites her to sit at her table. One day Daja is even attacked by some of the other children. After this Moonstream, the Dedicate Superior of Winding Circle, decides that Daja can't continue to live at the dormitories. Tris prefers to read over the company of the other girls and wreaks havoc through weather when girls make fun of her or even when the dedicates who run the dormitories tell her what to do. The dedicates decide they don't want to have Tris any longer under their care. Briar is accused of stealing by the other boys and discovered to possess knives, which makes the dedicates bring him in front of Moonstream, too. Sandry is caught sneaking off to the loomhouses too much, which isn't fitting for a young lady of her standing. They are all taken to Discipline cottage, an isolated cottage for children who don't fit in. They are overseen there by Dedicate Lark, a kind and gentle thread mage, and Dedicate Rosethorn, a sharp plant mage.

At Discipline cottage they learn they have magic, which none of them knew about. While they all practice meditation under the guidance of Niko, each of the four is matched with a main teacher to guide them through their magical learning. Sandry works with Lark, learning to weave and spin. Tris studies with Niko about weather. Daja is taken under the wing of Dedicate Frostpine, the greatest smith mage. Briar works with Rosethorn in her garden and workshop. They each grow closer together and stronger in their magic.

US bindup with Tris's Book

Once a month Lark and Rosethorn visit the market in Summersea, the closest city and the capital of Emelan, to sell their goods.

From the Japanese version of Sandry's Book

After their arrival at Discipline the four children accompany them, taking care of the booth in the morning and having a free afternoon. Sandry gets into trouble when she tries to rescue a puppy from some city boys, who maltreated it. The boys are eager to get into a fight with Sandry. Her friends come to her aid, however. Even Tris, who doesn't like fighting, getting hurt or dirty, wants to help. She tries to get water from the ocean to dump it on her friends and their attackers to cool them off. Unfortunately someone bumps into her and spins her. The water she lifted from the sea imitates her spinning, developing into a water spout, which causes much damage in the city. When it also threatens to harm her housemates Tris steps in front of it and holds it off long enough for their teachers to arrive and for Lark to undo Tris's magic. The children are allowed to keep the puppy, which they call Little Bear, as a pet.

During the course of the book, there have been tremors all summer. Near the end of the book, a big earthquake comes.

Sandry, Tris, Briar, and Daja are trapped in a cave and the ceiling is falling. Through their magics, they try to protect themselves from the biggest quake yet to come. To get enough power, Sandry spins the fours' magics together, making them stronger. This allows them to ride out the earthquake. At the very end of the book, Tris, Briar, and Daja present Sandry with a light filled crystal to help her conquer her fear of the dark.


German cover


Characters of the novel listed in order of appearance or mention

  • Sandrilene fa Toren - girl of noble birth; ambient thread mage
  • Pirisi - Trader, Sandry's nursemaid (deceased) (only mentioned)
  • Daja Kisubo - trader; trangshi; ambient smith mage
  • Niklaren Goldeye - powerful academic mage; Tris's teacher
  • Briar Moss - former thief; ambient plant mage
  • Trisana Chandler - from a merchant family; ambient weather mage
  • Wrenswing - Dedicate Superior of Stone Circle Temple
  • Aymery Chandler - Tris's cousin; mage student at the University of Lightsbridge (only mentioned)
  • Duke Vedris - ruler of Emelan; Sandry's great-uncle
  • Liesa fa Nadlen - noble girl from Pearl Cup Dormitories (minor character)
  • Esmelle ei Pragin - noble girl from Pearl Cup dormitories (minor character)
  • Amiliane fa Landreg - Sandry's mother (only mentioned) (deceased)
  • Mattin fer Toren - Sandry's father (only mentioned) (deceased)
  • Quail - Dedicate; runs girl's dormitories (only mentioned)
  • Staghorn - Water Dedicate in charge of the girl's dormitories (minor character)
  • Moonstream - Dedicate Superior of Winding Circle Temple
  • Lark - Earth Dedicate; runs Discipline cottage; Sandry's teacher
  • Rosethorn - Earth Dedicate; runs Discipline cottage; Briar's teacher
  • Frostpine - Fire Dedicate and smith; Daja's teacher
  • Kirel - Frostpine's apprentice; novice
  • Crane - First among the Air Dedicates; owner of a greenhouse and the Shakkan
  • Little Bear - dog; rescued by Sandry, Tris, Briar and Daja, afterwards their pet
  • Gorse - runs the kitchens
  • Huath - Dedicate Superior of Wave Circle Temple (only mentioned) (deceased)


Besides being published in hardcover and paperback, Sandry's Book has also been made into an audiobook with Full Cast Audio as the publisher. The book has also been translated in other languages. The German translation, published by the Arena Verlag, is called "Emelan: Im Reich der Magie". The Danish translation by Forlaget Tellerup is called "Spiralcirklens Tempel". Sandry's Book has also been published in Japanese, under the title "Sandori to Hikari no Ito" (Sandry and the Thread of Light), in Polish, under the title "Księga Sandry", in Romanian, under the title "Magia lui Sandry", and in Serbian, under the title "Čarobno tkanje : Sandrinina knjiga". In the British edition the title was changed to "The Magic in the Weaving". Both in the US and in the UK a second paperback edition exists with a new cover.

Audiobook cast

Audio Book


  • Gabrielle Barry-Caufield: Daja
  • Cynthia Bishop: Lark
  • Bruce Coville: Niko
  • Maureen Harrington: Rosethorn
  • Mark Holt: Kirel
  • Tim Liebe: Crane
  • Caroline Manolakos: Sandry
  • Alice Morigi: Moonstream
  • Gerard Moses: Duke Vedris
  • Spencer Murphy: Briar
  • Tamora Pierce: Narrator
  • Brian Pringle: Frostpine
  • Darrin Revitz: Tris
  • Directed by: Bruce Coville
  • Produced by: Daniel Bostick and Bruce Coville


For the research of the book Tamora Pierce even taught herself how to spin thread on a drop-spindle. She encountered all the problems Sandry has herself.[1]

Notes and references

External links

See also