Cover image for The Numair Chronicles. Book one, Tempests and slaughter : a Tortall legend
The Numair Chronicles. Book one, Tempests and slaughter : a Tortall legend

Numair chronicles ;
The Numair Chronicles. Book one, Tempests and slaughter : a Tortall legend
Personal Author:
Publisher Info:
New York : Random House Children's Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, [2018]
Physical Description:
464 pages : map ; 24 cm.
Numair chronicles ; book one

Numair chronicles ; bk. 1.
General Note:
Some copies may include a removable poster.

Pagination may vary.
Arram Draper is on the path to becoming one of the realm's most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness--and for attracting trouble. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the "leftover prince" with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram's heart, Arram realizes that one day--soon--he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.


Call Number
Material Type
YA F PIER New or Popular Book YA Fiction
YA PIE New or Popular Book YA Fiction

On Order



#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! This NEW must-read fantasy from an author who is legend herself--TAMORA PIERCE--is one Bustle calls "the perfect book for die-hard Pierce fans and newcomers alike."

"Tamora Pierce's books shaped me not only as a young writer but also as a young woman. She is a pillar, an icon, and an inspiration."
--SARAH J. MAAS , #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Tamora Pierce didn't just blaze a trail. Her heroines cut a swath through the fantasy world with wit, strength, and savvy. Her stories still lead the vanguard today. Pierce is the real lioness, and we're all just running to keep pace."
--LEIGH BARDUGO , #1 New York Times bestselling author

Discover the origin story of one of the realm's most powerful mages in the first book in the Numair Chronicles.

Arram Draper is on the path to becoming one of the realm's most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness--and for attracting trouble. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the "leftover prince" with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram's heart, Arram realizes that one day --soon --he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom's future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

"I take more comfort from and as great a pleasure in Tamora Pierce's Tortall novels as I do from Game of Thrones."
-- The Washington Post

Author Notes

Author Tamora Pierce was born in South Connellsville, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1954. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her first book, Alanna: The First Adventure, was published in 1983 and she became a full-time author in 1992. She writes fantasy books, mainly involving young heroines, for young adults. She is the author of numerous series including Song of the Lioness; The Immortals; Circle of Magic; Protector of the Small; The Circle Opens; Daughter of the Lioness; The Circle Reforged; Beka Cooper; and The Numair Chronicles. Her novel Battle Magic was a New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the intriguing first book of Pierce's Numair Chronicles, set in the medieval fantasy world of her Tortall books, she provides an in-depth look into the magical education and youth of Arram Draper, who later becomes the powerful mage Numair Salmalín. At age 10, Arram is the youngest mage in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak. His raw talent or Gift is enormous and difficult for him to control; it both gets him into trouble and gets him noticed. He quickly makes friends with his roommate, prince Ozorne Tasikhe, and the lovely and kind Varice Kingsford. Although Pierce touches on weighty subjects including slavery and the environment, they're balanced by the relatively lighthearted adventures of Arram and his new friends. She makes the most of the university setting, hinting at possible conflict ahead by way of Ozorne's wish to avenge his father's death. Pierce's many fans will thrill to discover the backstory behind one of their favorite characters. Ages 12-up. Agent: Craig Tenney, Harold Ober Associates. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Readers of the Immortals quartet, one of Pierce's earliest endeavors, are well aware of the mystery that surrounds Numair Salmalín, powerful mage and teacher-turned-lover of heroine Daine. But before he was Numair, he was 10-year-old Arram Draper, a promising mage student who, at school, befriends two other aspiring mages: Varice, whose beauty and kitchen-magic skills often cause her not to be taken seriously, despite her intelligence, and Ozorne, an ambitious prince with no real chance at inheriting the Carthaki throne. Over the first four years of their education, the three develop a strong friendship, and Arram learns magic, speaks with gods, and wrestles with his dislike of some Carthaki customs, like slavery and gladiator fights. Readers eager for action will have to wait for the next volume, as the tale of Arram's infamous exile is yet to come, but this slice-of-life examination of his early years does much to unravel the secrets of his history. For fans of Pierce and there are legions it's not one to be missed. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Pierce has been penning best-sellers for decades, and this return to one of her most beloved series comes with a major national advertising campaign.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Small in size and often the youngest in his classes, 10-year-old Arram Draper surprises his magical instructors-and himself-with the strength of his powers. His talents put him in advanced classes, where he makes friends with his teenage roommate Ozorne and the clever and independent Varice. The beginning chapters see the trio develop their gifts, deal with spells gone wrong, and dabble in discussions of puberty and class distinctions. The final third of the story delves deeper into Arram's healing ability and his stomach-churning apprenticeship patching up gladiators, whose brutal fights are seen as sport. Pierce sets the tale in her Tortall universe, and some readers will recognize Arram as the younger Numair Salmalín from her "Immortals" series. Narrator Ariadne Meyers finds distinctive voices for Arram, Ozorne, and Varice and adds dimension to their teachers, compassionate gladiator Musenda, a powerful crocodile god, and a troublesome bird named Preet. -VERDICT Pierce devotees will revel in the adventure, occasional humor, and promise of romance in this new series opener. The story stands alone and would fit well in any YA fantasy collection.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter 1     August 30-September 1, 435     The Imperial Coliseum, Thak City, The Carthaki Empire     Arram Draper hung on the rail of the great arena, hoisting himself until his belly was bent over the polished stone. It was the only way he could get between the two bulky men who blocked his view. He knew it was risky, but he couldn't waste his first chance to see the gladiators when they marched into the huge stadium. His father and grandfather were back at their seats, arguing about new business ventures. They weren't paying attention, waving him off when he asked to visit the privies and never realizing he'd squirmed his way down to the rail instead.   Apart from them, he was alone. There were no friends from school for company. They all said he was too young. He was eleven--well, ten, in truth, but he told them he was eleven. Even that didn't earn him friends among his older schoolfellows. Still, he wasn't a baby! If he didn't see the games with his family today, he might never get the chance, and he'd learned only last night he might not see Papa again for two years, even three. Carthak was a costly voyage for Yusaf Draper, and his new venture would take him away for a long time. But in the morning, Arram would be able to tell the older students that he had watched the games right from the arena wall!   Already he'd heard the trumpets and drums announcing the arrival of the emperor and his heirs. He couldn't see their faces, but surely all the sparkling gold, silver, and gems meant the wearers were part of the imperial family. He could see the Grand Crier, who stood on a platform halfway between him and the royals. More important, he could plainly hear the man's booming voice as he announced the emperor's many titles and those of his heirs.   "Lookit!" The bruiser on Arram's left bumped him as he pointed north, to the emperor's dais. Arram wobbled and might have pitched headfirst onto the sands twenty feet below if the man on his other side hadn't caught him by the belt and hauled him inside the rail. Without appearing to notice Arram's near fall, the man on the left went on to say, "There's the widow, and her son! She never comes to games!"   "Who's the widow?" Arram asked. "Who's the son?"   The big men grinned at each other over his head. "For all you're a brown boy, you don't know your imperials," said the one who had bumped him. "The widow is Princess Mahira, that was married to Prince Apodan."   "He was killed fightin' rebels two year back," the other man said. "An' the boy is Prince Ozorne."   Now Arram remembered. Ozorne was a year or two ahead of him in the Lower Academy.   From the podium, the crier bellowed that the emperor would bless the games. Everyone thundered to their feet and then hushed. His voice amplified, most likely by a mage, the emperor prayed to the gods for an excellent round of games. When he finished, everyone sat.   For a very long moment the arena was still. Then the boy felt a slow, regular thudding rise through the stone and up his legs. His body shuddered against the railing. Nearby, in the wall that took up a third of the southern end of the arena, huge barred gates swung inward.   Here came drummers and trumpeters, clad only in gold-trimmed scarlet loincloths. Their oiled bodies gleamed as brightly as the polished metal of their instruments. The brawny men represented every race of the empire in the colors of their skin and hair and the tattoos on their faces and bodies. One thing they had in common: iron slave rings around their throats.   Arram rubbed his own throat uneasily. His original home, Tyra, was not a slave country. Three years in Carthak had not made him comfortable with the practice, not when there were no slaves at his school. He saw them only when he was outside, and the sight of them made him edgy.   The leader of the musicians raised his staff. The trumpeters let loose a blare that made Arram jump, almost tipping him over the rail. The men caught him again.   "You're best off at your seat," the friendly one advised. "Ain't your mamma callin' yeh?"   "I'm eleven," Arram lied. "I don't need a mother--I'm a student at the School for Mages!"   The men's laughter was drowned out by a thunder of drumrolls. Arram gave the sands what he called his special, magical squint. Now he saw waves of spells all over the arena floor. They sent ripples through the air, carrying the arena's noise even to the people in the seats high above.   "Why do they allow spells on the arena sand?" he shouted at the friendlier of the two men. As far as he knew, magic was forbidden here. Perhaps they allowed only their own magic, just as they allowed the emperor's magic.   "What spells?" the man bellowed. He reached over Arram's head and tapped his friend as the musicians marched past. "The lad thinks there's magic on the sands!"   The other roughneck looked down his flattened nose at Arram. A couple of scars on his face told the boy he may have come by that nose in fighting. "What're you, upstart?" he growled. "Some kind of mage?"   "Of course I am!" Arram retorted. "Didn't you hear me say I'm in the School for Mages?"   "He's simple," the friendlier man said. "Leave 'im be. Who're you bettin' on?"   The other man seized Arram by the collar and lifted him into the air. "If you're a mage, spell me, then," he growled. "Turn me into somethin', before I break yer skinny neck for botherin' us."   "Don't be stupid!" Arram cried. His mind, as always, had fixed on the question of magic. "Only a great mage can turn a person into something else! Even--"   His foe choked off Arram's next comment--that he might never be a great mage--by turning his fist to cut off the boy's voice entirely. "Stupid, am I?" he shouted, his eyes bulging. "You moneyed little piece of tripe--"   Arram might have corrected him concerning the state of his pocketbook, but he couldn't breathe and had finally remembered a teacher's advice: "You don't make friends when you tell someone you think he is stupid." He was seeing light bursts against a darkening world. He called up the first bit of magic he'd ever created, after a walk on a silk carpet brought flame to his fingers. He drew that magic from the sands and seized the fist on his collar.   The tough yelped and released Arram instantly. "You! What did you do to me?"   Arram couldn't answer. He hit the rail and went over backward, arms flailing. Excerpted from Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.