Cold Fire (Pierce novel)

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Cold Fire
Pierce ColdFire.jpg
Cover featuring Daja ice-skating in Kugisko.
Author Tamora Pierce
Country United States
Language English
Series The Circle Opens
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher Scholastic Press
Publication date
April 2002
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 384 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-590-39655-2 (hardback edition) & ISBN 0-590-39656-0 (paperback edition)
OCLC 47208513
LC Class PZ7.P61464 Co 2002
Preceded by Street Magic
Followed by Shatterglass

Cold Fire is the third book in the series The Circle Opens by author Tamora Pierce. It deals with the continuing adventures of child mage Daja Kisubo and her teacher, the dedicate initiate Frostpine.

Plot introduction[edit]

Daja and Frostpine expect to have a peaceful winter's visit with old friends in Kugisko, a port in the vast empire of Namorn. But there is no peace when mysterious fires begin to blaze across the vulnerable city. Daja assists Bennat Ladradun, a local firefighter with a tragic past, to fight the flames. The two become fast friends—until they realize the fires have been deliberately set, and their relationship is deeply tested. Daja's magic helps her track down the firestarter, but no magic can protect her or Ben from the effects of madness and betrayal.

Plot summary[edit]

Daja and Frostpine are staying with some friends of Frostpine's. While they are staying there, Daja realized that the two eldest daughters of the family (the twins Niamara (Nia) and Jorality (Jory) possess ambient magic. She devises a testing mirror to determine the aspect of their magics. Nia is discovered to possess Carpentry magic and Jory to possess Cooking.

Since Daja has no skill in either of those areas, she entrusts the twins to local mages. Her only responsibility is in teaching them to meditate. Since the twins are complete opposites in personality, this proves to be a challenging task.

Meanwhile, Daja makes friends with a local firefighter, Ben Ladradun. He is trying to form an organized fire brigade from the villagers, but it isn't working.

Daja and Ben suspect that many if not all of the recent fires were set on purpose. As Ben searches to discover the "fire-bug", Daja works tirelessly to make Ben a pair of living metal gloves to protect him from burning.

Daja ends up saving many people from burning buildings as the amount of fires increases.

In the end it is revealed that Ben is the "fire-bug" and Daja captures him and gives him to the authorities; who end up burning him to death. Ben set fires because the only time he got respect was when he was a victim of the flames or when he was fighting them. His emotionally and physically abusive mother created his twisted way of thinking.


Daja Kisubo- Daja is a metal-mage. She is part of a group of young mages who have become famous over the last four years. Daja has learned to create 'living metal' due to an accident in Daja's Book. This metal has a mind of its own.

Frostpine- Frostpine is the best metal-mage in the world. As Daja's teacher, he plays a very large role in her education as well as that of the twins.

Nia- Niamara (Nia) is the quieter of the twins. She has carpentry magic. A marriage between her and one of the shipbuilder's sons is being talked about.

Jory- Jorality (Jory) is loud and outgoing. Her magic deals with cooking and she can see magic (as can Nia).