Mark Reads ‘So You Want to Be a Wizard’: Chapter 7, Part II

In the second half of the seventh chapter of So You Want to Be a Wizard, my spirit is done. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

Holy shit.


Cars. Antennae. And now trees. This book has given me emotions about trees. I just have a lot of feelings about the sacrifice that the trees give these two wizards. Two wizards who are so close to home, yet so far, who are desperate to protect their world from the poison of the Starsnuffer, who will do anything to save this place.

Just like the trees.

I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING, oh who am i kidding.

New York City

It’s hard to really think of this chapter in terms of “favorites,” and it’s even more challenging to try to pick a favorite scene in the whole book. So I’ll say that I recognized what an immense thing it was to experience Kit’s magical realization of Manhattan. I think I’ve spoken enough at this point of my adoration for New York City, and allow this to be my chance to speak something into reality: I will live there some day. It’s where I’ve wanted to be for a long time, so I felt a warmth wash over me as Kit invoked New York. It’s an incredible city because of the people who live there, yes, but I loved that Duane’s text invoked the physical city itself. It’s a city with such a unique look and feel, and she captures it lovingly in these pages.

I miss it already, AND I DON’T EVEN LIVE THERE. When will June get here???


Just real quickly, since I mentioned it in the video. WHO DESIGNED THAT HELLSPACE OF AN AIRPORT? Did Diane Duane create Dark Manhattan after visiting Newark? I know this isn’t the first time I’ve talked some major shit about the place, but every chance I get, I take it. Why are the hallways to some terminals so narrow that you LITERALLY have to close them off just to allow people in the TSA line to get to the x-ray machines? Who thought that was a good design idea? Who put the signs in nonsensical places? Are we all being filmed as we walk through Newark so that in the future, a documentary can be released that compiles all the best footage of people getting completely lost every five seconds? Look, I have an excellent sense of direction, y’all. I promise I do. I rarely get lost, and there are plenty of folks who can testify to the fact that I have visited their cities and memorized the trains or major thoroughfares in less than 24 hours.

And yet I got lost three times in ten minutes. I followed a sign into a dead end. HOW ARE THERE DEAD-ENDS IN AN AIRPORT.


As entertaining and heartfelt as the New York invocation was, I was just as pleased and thrilled by the scene where Kit’s main magic finally took hold and all the city’s statues and figures charged into battle. For lack of a better word, it was magical. It’s just goddamn cool, you know? Inherent in this fight is a love for this city, and I can’t unsee it. This battle is about how these two wizards love Manhattan and New York so much that upon seeing what it could become, they vow to stop the Starsnuffer at all costs. And it’s all written so beautifully, too, even if it’s a violent clash. The two aren’t mutually exclusive by any means, and here’s the proof of that.

Sacrifice – Again

Yet as huge as the eventual climax is, Duane actually punched me in the heart prior to that part of the chapter. If the trees and the wizards were willing to sacrifice themselves to save this world, then the same character who gave us the name Starsnuffer in the first place would also be willing to do anything to stop this force. I think it’s also important to acknowledge that Duane did such a good job with worldbuilding that I immediately knew how scary it was for the Moon to go out. Even typing that sounds absurd! But I understood why the Lone One targeted the sun as soon as possible, and I knew why it was so awful for the moon’s reflection of sunlight to suddenly disappear. How? How was Nita going to finish the spell to stop the Starsnuffer???

And then brightness intolerable erupted in the sky as Fred threw his claudication open, emitting all his mass at once as energy, blowing his quanta.

Fred finally uses all his emitting powers at once to sustain a light in the sky so that the moonlight will help Nita and Kit read from the Book. I don’t see how he could possibly survive beyond this, and it hurts me to think about that. HE’S SUCH A COOL AND UNIQUE CHARACTER, HOW CAN HE BE GONE???

A Correction

Banning the Lone One from the world would have been good enough, but I respect so much that in the end, Nita offers one final change. She gives the Lone One a chance, something he’s never had before. If the Book speaks reality into existence, then Nita and Kit spoke a way out into this being’s existence. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s immediately redeemed or changed, but it’s still something that wasn’t available to him prior to this act. He was stuck in his cycle of hatred and resentment, and that was his reality.

Not anymore. Maybe.


That’s what I’m most looking forward to in the epilogue. I understood why Nita questioned whether or not to continue with the Art. After a harrowing experience like this one, could any of us blame her? Nita and Kit were unprepared for the pain that came with being a wizard, and I don’t just mean physical pain. They lost Lotus and Fred. They know too much about the world to ignore the bad parts of it.

But what of the rest of the world? Does the borrowed time loop this act into a loop that other New Yorkers won’t experience? That would make a lot of sense, but I wonder what the ramifications of this whole adventure will be. Look, I don’t even know if Kit and Nita are in the other books, so I can’t even begin to guess about where this will go. But this experience was rough, y’all. How cruel is it that the timeslide spell dumps them back to the point where they originally came out of the door on the top of the MetLife building? They have to watch themselves and Fred enter the worldgate, and they can’t even warn themselves of what’s going to happen.


Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in the Young Wizards series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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