Sandrilene fa Toren

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Lady Sandrilene fa Toren, or Sandry, is a fictional character from Tamora Pierce's quartets The Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens as well as the stand-alone The Will of the Empress. She is described as having light brown hair prone to sun-streaks, bright corn-flower blue eyes and an unusually small button nose. She is described as very pretty in Magic Steps by Pasco Acalon, her student, and in The Will of the Empress by her suitors Fin and Jak.


Sandrilene fa Toren is a girl of noble birth. Her mother and father were killed in a smallpox epidemic before she is introduced in Sandry's Book. Her father was Baron Mattin fer Toren, her mother Clehame Amiliane fa Landreg (equivalent to a Countess). She is the great-niece of Vedris IV, duke of Emelan and some speculate that he may change his will to make Sandry his heir instead of his third son (and Sandry's cousin) Franzen. She is also cousin to the Empress Berenene of the Namorn Empire. Until "The Will of the Empress", her Namornese estates are run by her cousin, Saghad Ambros fer Landreg.

Sandry matures as the books go on, but still tends to be a bit 'uppity' about certain things. In "The Will of the Empress," we see a potential romantic interest in the form of Pershan fer Roth (Shan), but that is later dispelled when Sandry finds out that he is the Empress' current lover. Though she claims to dislike flirting, and be opposed to the idea of marriage, Sandry's infatuation with Shan is clear. Of all her suitors in the Will of the Empress, Jak is the one she likes most, but only as a friend. Sandry also is afraid of the dark, she always carries a rough clear rock as her nightlight, that Tris, Daja, and Briar made that gives out light.

Because she comes from noble family, Sandry is somewhat naïve. However, through the series she is shown as a very loyal friend, and does not judge people by their place in society. She has a very strong sense of justice and obligation. Briar mentions her as one of the bravest people he knows, and describes her as a great listener. Daja has commented that she 'has too good of a heart.' When first introduced, Sandry was the only one who wanted to befriend everybody, and during The Will of the Empress, she is the only one of the four to want to "reforge" their circle.


Thread magic[edit]

Since childhood, Sandry has always wanted to learn how to spin and weave, but because of her social status, both crafts are considered unseemly. Instead, Sandry spent many hours embroidering, to the point where she was scolded for doing it too much and damaging the skin of her hands. During the smallpox epidemic that killed her parents, she was locked in a small room to keep her safe from rioters. When she ran out of light she realized that she is capable of braiding light into silk threads. She was found and rescued by Niklaren Goldeye (Niko), a powerful mage, and taken to Discipline Cottage of Winding Circle where she meets three other children with magical abilities. Together, they learn how to control and use their unusual magic.

Spinning pure magic[edit]

When an unexpected earthquake trapped Sandry and her three companions in an underground cave, their individual magics, although powerful, could not reach far enough to protect them. In an act of desperation, Sandry spun the fibers of their power into an abstract thread, using the first corporeal thread she'd ever spun as an anchor for the working. The working causes their magic to mingle and leak into each other, a process only halted when, in Daja's Book, Sandry weaves a cloth map of their respective powers, with dividers blocking them from leaking any further.

According to Dedicate Lark, her teacher, Sandry is the only mage known to have spun pure magic.

She does this again in Magic Steps, when encountering a young Unmage embroiled in a war between two organized crime families. This time, the rope of Unmagic is knotted into a web similar to a fishing net, and Pasco performs a summoning charm on it designed to trap the Unmage and his handlers. The Unmage and the assassins are literally torn to pieces by this net when Sandry uses it to rip the Unmagic from their bodies.


In the Circle Opens quartet, it is mentioned that all four of the ambient mages received a mage's credential that most mages would receive in their late twenties after mastering their power. These young mages had mastered their powers when they were 13. In the book Magic Steps, it does not mention what image is on her medallion.


In Magic Steps, Sandry discovers Pasco Acalon, a twelve-year-old boy with rare dancing magic. She becomes his magic teacher as Yazmìn Hebet, a famous dancer, becomes his dance instructor. Pasco comes from two powerful "harrier", or police, families. He is expected to become a harrier like his parents, grandparents and other relations all of whom disapprove of his interest in dancing. He proves himself worthy of dancing by using his magic to help capture some magical murderers. In Magic Steps, he develops his own spell which makes him "invisible" by causing others to simply not notice his presence.


See also[edit]