Author: Tamora Pierce
Original language: English
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2001
While Briar and his teacher Rosethorn are helping the locals in Chammur, Briar realizes that all is not as it should be in Chammur’s streets. As a former ‘street rat’ himself, he tends to have an interest in the affairs of local gangs. He discovers a gang known as the Vipers roaming through territory not their own. After further investigation, Briar discovers that the Vipers are the pet gang of a local Noblewoman.
While Briar investigates the Vipers, he discovers Evvy, a local girl with stone magic. At first, she runs away from him, but she gradually learns to trust him. When Evvy singularly refuses to study with local stone mage Jebilu Stoneslicer, Briar takes her training in hand himself. The Vipers attempt to kidnap her many times, so Lady Zenadia doa Atteneh can use Evvy’s powers as a stone mage to further increase her riches. When they finally kidnap her, Briar comes to her rescue.