In the third chapter of Deep Wizardry, Nita and Kit learn how the Lone Power may still pose a threat to their world. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
Oh, this is already too much. IT’S ALL SO COOL.
Parents Just Don’t Understand
I know I mentioned this early on in my reviews for So You Want to Be a Wizard, yet it still applies here. Duane has built a nice balance between Nita and her parents so that there’s still conflict, but Nita still loves and appreciates them. There’s realism here, too, since Nita’s mother is aware of how tired and secretive her daughter is being. That’s a tough thing to pull off without it feeling overbearing or fantastical, and somehow, Duane finds the middle ground here.
In the case of Dairene, I believed that she would behave as she did here because her characterization has been well-defined, even if she hasn’t shown up much in the text. Her observational skills are beautifully high, so it made sense to me that she would be much more direct about inquiring whether or not Kit and Nita are “dating.” She’s certainly not as subtle as her mother:
“You two hooking up?” Dairine said.
WOW, JUST PUT HER PERSONAL BUSINESS OUT THERE FOR EVERYONE TO HEAR. I find her bluntness to be super amusing, and I would be down for her to play a bigger part in a book in the future. SHE’S SO ENTERTAINING.
A New Adventure
I see this chapter mostly as a chance for Duane to set up the conflict in Deep Wizardry. It’s still an entertaining read, though! It’s so surreal to think that the majority of this takes place on a fishing platform miles out from the coast of Long Island. HOW WEIRD IS THAT? Not only that, but you can’t forget this one detail either:
Later on, whenever Nita thought of her first real conversation with S’reee, what she remembered best were the two seagulls who insisted on sitting in her lap the whole time. They were heavy, and not housebroken.
This is even funnier if you imagine that these seagulls behave exactly as the seagulls in Finding Nemo. You’re welcome.
So what was so important that S’Reee neededthe help of these two wizards? It’s not surprising that the Lone Power is behind the disruption in the sea, but I know that’s intentional. We’re not supposed to be surprised, and I actually love how well this fits after Kit and Nita’s Ordeal in the previous book. Every act has a ramification, and in a way, this is all happening because of the victory they achieved over the Lone Power.
I say “in a way” because, as S’Reee explains to us and the main characters that the Lone Power is always going to be everywhere, at least until he changes his mind and becomes something other than death and destruction. S’Reee speaks of the destruction of the ocean and its habitats openly, but the cause is only assigned to the Lone Power through the transitive property. It’s humanity who is choosing to overfish, to destroy coral reefs, to pollute the ocean. The Lone Power is directly responsible for the earthquakes threatening to open volcanoes on the ocean floor. And why?
“It took a defeat in that battle you two were in,” S’Reee said. “It’s angry, and the problems we’ve been having are symptoms of that anger. So we have to bind It, make It less harmful, as the first sea people bound It a long time ago. Then things will be quiet again for a while.”
Now, that may sound simple enough, but Duane complicates the “Song” that must be recited in order to bind It. There’s some great worldbulding here, from the revelation that the Sea communicates with ocean-bound wizards, to the story about how the Lone Power tempted the Lords of the Humors (the first ten major wizards of the sea, all whales), to the present-time predicament that S’reee has been forced to manage. I think the coolest thing about this is how Deep Wizardry’s text both invokes the idea that stories repeat in different iterations throughout time while also fitting within that tradition itself. It’s yet another tale about a dark evil tempting a pure, good world and winning, at least temporarily. S’reee doesn’t speak of the Lone Power in terms that would imply that she thinks they can definitively beat It. No, it’s all temporary measures. The binding provides peace until the next battle, and that’s precisely how these tales generally work.
So what does it mean that Nita will take the place of the Silent Lord, the one being who sacrifices themselves in order to guarantee success? Again, I have NO IDEA who is in all of these books, so the possibility that Nita might actually sacrifice herself to defeat the Lone Power is VERY REAL. Plus, this passage seems like foreshadowing, but for who?
“If one knows death is coming – any death, from the small ones to the Great one – and is willing to accept it fully, and experience it fully, then the death becomes something else – a passage, not an ending: not only for oneself, but for others.”
THIS COULD BE ABOUT ANY OF THESE CHARACTERS, AND AFTER THE END OF THE LAST BOOK, I’M ALREADY NERVOUS ABOUT THIS ONE. Binding a being who can exist outside of the timeflow sounds scary enough, but now Duane is adding this to the equation? GREAT. On top of it, the Song required to bind the Lone Power takes hours to recite, and you know it’s not going to go smoothly. YOU KNOW IT.
The original text contains use of the word “crazy.”
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 am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
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