In the seventh chapter of Deep Wizardry, Nita and Kit face off against a horror of the deep and the horror of parents. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
THIS CHAPTER WAS SO INTENSE FOR COMPLETELY OPPOSITE REASONS.
Release the Krakens!
Look, I wasn’t fool enough to think that Ed and Kit talking about the kraken breeding wasn’t foreshadowing. I knew it was! I knew we’d see them in this book, and I DID NOT EXPECT THAT TO BE LATER IN THIS VERY CHAPTER. See, there’s a lot of casual worldbuilding accomplished in chapter seven, most of it concerning the last time the Song was used. Through this, we learn what happened to Atlantis: the earth literally opened up and ate it. (Will I ever tire of this trope? No, I shall not.) The Song was interrupted, the Earth more or less revolted, and it was forever changed. Granted, this happened after the last time that the Lone One was defeated and bound to his world, but I saw the story as a vital chance to understand the stakes here. Unless the Song unfolds perfectly, there’s a chance a Pyrrhic victory might come out of everything.
I expected that Kit and Nita would continue to interrogate the Pale One regarding ocean mythology because it seemed like a great chance for the reader to learn more about how wizardry works in the Sea. So yeah, I was very shocked when the krakens attacked. I was even more blown away by how visceral and gory the fight was. That’s especially the case with Kit, who gives himself over to being a sperm whale and IT WAS GENUINELY SCARY. I got worried that he wouldn’t be able to let go of the shapechange! What if he lost himself in the spell or the whalesark? Y’all, it was TOO MUCH.
“Surely you don’t take that attack for an accident, young wizard,” Ed said. “Any more than the shaking of the sea bottom these days or the ill chances that have been befalling S’reee’s people have been accidents.”
GREAT. GREAT. This is what the Lone One is doing in preparation for war. What if that is the reason the kraken breeding cycles has broken with tradition? I wouldn’t be surprised by that at all. What else is the Lone One planning? What else are they going to disrupt and ruin?
Release the Parents
It is absolutely astounding to me how Duane manages to combine terrors in this chapter. We go from the horrors of the deep and the fate of the entire world to the logistical nightmare that Nita and Kit face after coming home late a second day in a row. Both events feel huge and scary to the same degree. That is an accomplishment, y’all.
It’s also a clever way to engage with a trope that’s common in fantasy like this. I can’t even count how much YA features kids going on adventures and then perfectly hiding said adventures from their parents, either through creative lying or coincidental circumstances. Hell, this storytelling device/trope is so prevalent that I specifically designed my first book to avoid it at all costs. SO IT IS REALLY GODDAMN REFRESHING TO READ THIS. When Kit and Nita return to the beach, it is a DISASTER. Duane writes the final scene with an intense focus on realism. If someone’s kid had not come home for hours after they were supposed to, how would that parent react? We are shown that exact scenario here, and I never questioned it’s realness once.
But Duane takes it so much further than just giving us frightened, concerned, and then angry parents. First of all, DAIRINE WATCHES KIT AND NITA RELEASE THEIR SHAPECHANGE SPELL, MEANING THAT SOMEONE ELSE FINALLY KNOWS THAT THEY ARE WIZARDS. !!!!!!! THIS IS MY FAVORITE DEVELOPMENT IN THE WHOLE BOOK!!!! I’ve certainly spoken about how much I love reveal scenes like this. THEY ARE SO FUN AND EXCITING. Granted, we don’t get much of a reaction from Dairine aside from her own shock and unnerve. I imagine the next chapter is going to deal with the fallout from this one. But this is a great development, and I instantly want more.
Yet it is in Duane’s characterization of Nita that we see why this plot twist is such a big deal. Lying is a big thing in a lot of fantasy-based YA. How else can these kids keep their magical world safe from their parents’ knowledge? However, Duane gives Nita a respect for her parents that makes it downright painful to lie to them. To me, that grounds this fantastical story in something real and recognizable. Nita is now going to have to openly defy her parents for the first time, and the thought is eating her alive. It’s upsetting, to say the least, but it makes for some damn fine storytelling.
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:
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