Briar’s Book by Tamora Pierce
Series: Circle of Magic #4
Four elements of power, four mages-in-training learning to control them. In Book 4 of the Circle of Magic Quartet, former "street rat" Briar leads a comfortable life at Winding Circle Temple, learning plant magic from his teacher Rosethorn. But street kids are still his friends, and when one of them gets sick, she turns to Briar for help. As the mysterious illness spreads, Sandry, Daja, and Tris join Briar and their teachers to fight the epidemic. But just as the situation improves, the unthinkable happens. Will Briar be able to save what he loves most?
Ye gods I had forgotten how much this book makes you cry. I know it is well done when even when I know how it ends, I still cry like a little girl. This world of mages is a harder transition for Briar then the girls, not only is he the only boy but they all had comfortable lives, some of them may have worked hard but they were accustomed to being well fed and decently clothed. Briar was poor. He had no family. In the first book he was facing his third strike for stealing and would have spent the rest of his life in hard labor for his crimes. Tris just recently started teaching him to read. He was raised as a thief, it is not in his instinct to help people or trust people but when a plague strikes, starting with someone close to him. He must learn to adapt. Oh Briar… I think this books shows the growth of all of them and makes me want to hug the whole group and their teachers. It also brings us full circle (heh) bringing us to an end a year after they all came together. This is where I left off when I last joined the adventures of Tris, Daja, Sandry and Briar. Now I suppose it is time to finally move forward.