I'd really like to give this one 3.5 stars, but I'll have to settle for 4. I wanted to indicate that I enjoyed this book much more than the others in the series. I read the first three in quick succession a year or so ago when I was home sick from work. The first was ok, if predictable, Sandy finds a student... what a surprise, then in the second Briar finds a student... golly, I wonder what could happen in the third.... Daja finds TWO students... ok, got me there. I picked up the fourth book and read two pages before I had to throw it away. Even though there were entertaining differences between the books and I did ultimately like them... it just frustrated me so much that the adventures each of these young mages went on after receiving their medallions were just so predictable and "coincidental".
After having that year long break though I was able to approach Tris's adventure with a fresh mind. I really enjoyed it. And now, having read Terrier, I can see where TP's creative juices might of started flowing.
Characters and creatures alike were all engaging and it has made some new characters who I would love to read more about. Everything a world book should be.
Still though, the Circle universe just isn't as appealing to me as the Tortal universe. Perhaps that will change more tho, as the character grow and develop.