Whereas the Circle of Magic quartet was mostly written for a younger audience, the same definitely cannot be said about the Circle Opens quartet. Here Tamora Pierce dives into the darker aspects of life and humanity.Daja has always been my favourite of the four, but she does seem an awful lot older than 14. I guess some of that could be contributed to her past, but still. Nia and Jory were much more believable 10-year-olds than Daja ever was. Although I have to say they drove me crazy with their obstinancy to learning meditation. I would not have been able to be as patient with them as Daja was, and think their disobedience was passed by much too easily. That bugged me.I was fascinated by the insights into the arsonists mind - especially his absolute bafflement, that Daja could ever suspect him of being cruel or a monster - he obviously thought his actions perfectly reasonable and a natural consequence of how he was treated... probably not too far off from how real psychopaths think.