Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thread magic

A certain someone was very enthusiastic about yarn magic yesterday, so today I'm doing a post about two witches who practice thread magic. Both are from books by Tamora Pierce.

Alanna, a.k.a. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

Alanna is a witch (although she's called a mage, and I think once or twice a sorceress) who can do all kinds of cool magic. She is first and foremost a healer, but she also does some pretty neat tricks with thread.

I'd like to share an excerpt from The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, which is the third book in the Song of the Lioness quartet. (Oh yeah, she's also called The Lioness.) I've edited out chunks from this excerpt that are important to the plot but not to the bit of magic being done.

Alanna swiftly tied a knot in the thread. Ishak fell as the carpet he stood on yanked itself from under his feet, dumping the young man on the ground. The carpet then sailed around the tent frantically. . . .
Alanna swiftly tied a second knot. The carpet stopped its mad journey, coming to a halt directly over Ishak's head. . . .
She loosened the second knot, and the carpet began to lower itself onto Ishak's head. . . .
She untied the first knot, and the carpet whisked itself around the tent, stopping in front of Ishak this time. Alanna undid what remained of the second knot, and the carpet trembled. "You're in its way," she told the young man. Startled, he moved aside, and the carpet settled gently into its former spot.

Alanna appears in The Immortals quartet and Protector of the Small quartet, although she plays a supporting role in those stories rather than being the big hero. She's also the mother of Aly, who is the heroine in The Daughter of the Lioness books.

I'd also like to mention the presence of a certain purple eyed black kitty on the cover of the book. Alanna named him Faithful, maybe because he faithfully gives her advice on everything, even things (or perhaps especially things) that she doesn't want his advice on.

Hmm, and there was a purple eyed talking cat who was a friend of the witch Beka Cooper, who liked giving her advice. And that story took place 200 years before this story in the same world. Oh yeah, and there's a funny cat constellation that sometimes disappears for decades at a time before mysteriously reappearing... ;)


Sandry

Sandry is in The Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens quartets.

Sandry is a stitch-witch. Yep, that's what she calls herself. :) I don't have any of her books on hand so I can't share any excerpts, but I can tell you about her.

She does all her magic with thread, yarn, and anything made from thread or yarn. String, yarn, and fabric both do whatever she wants them to do. Once when she gets angry she orders some tapestries to cocoon people so that they can't move. It takes a while for them to escape!

3 comments:

Magaly Guerrero said...

Mm, mm, mm! These sound like "Meet this Witch" features ;-) Knot magic is very popular and powerful (think witch's ladders and binding spells). And stitch magic? Just imagine the things one could create and the power of a needle going through poking, making... or unmaking. Cool!

Carrie said...

The Tortall collections (all 16 books, I'm only missing the new short story collection) have been proudly on my shelves for years. I haven't read any of her Circle of Magic books though. I really need to try those out. There's just so much on my reading list right now! I think I'm up to 84(?) on my Goodreads "to-read" list. :|

Anyhow, the thread magic was probably one of my favorite parts in the Alanna series. It's so different from the usual swords and daggers action. It was a nice little break.

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