In the thirteenth and final chapter ofÂ Deep Wizardry, MY HEART. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Young Wizards.
What a journey, friends. WHAT A JOURNEY. Itâ€™s still so goddamn cool that I canâ€™tÂ describeÂ the events in this book in great detail without devolving into, â€œJUST READ THE BOOK, ITâ€™S WORTH IT.â€ I was just recently at WisCon in Madison, WI (YOU SHOULD GO, WHAT A GREAT CON) and someone stopped me in a hallway to shriek aboutÂ Young WizardsÂ with me. (HELLO, PERSON, YOU ARE AWESOME.) They said much the same thing: that thereâ€™s no way this should work, and yet, it totally does.
But before saying goodbye to the Sea and all those who live in it, Duane does a few really cool things with her characters. I appreciated that even after one of the most surreal and frightening things imaginable, a sense of normalcy falls over the vacation house. The Callahans are watching sports. Kit and Nita eat Cheerios. CHEERIOS FEEL SO MUNDANE IN COMPARISON TO EVERYTHING ELSE. But I love that this is soÂ groundedÂ in comparison to what came before. These kids have been through what most of us would consider a nightmare, and itâ€™s just the first of many adventures theyâ€™ll have. How long will they get to settle down? How long until the Powers need them to do something else?
Thatâ€™s why I enjoyed that Duane included this bit at the end:
â€œThe Powers. Theyâ€™ll keep doing it until one day we donâ€™t pull it off. One of us, or both of us.â€
Kit looked down at his cereal bowl. â€œBoth, preferably,â€ he said.
Followed up with this:
Nita shook her head. â€œWe could stop,â€ she said.
Kit chewed, watching her, swallowed, and said, â€œYou want to?â€
She waited to see if he would give some sign of what he was thinking. Useless: Kit would make a great poker player someday. â€œNo,â€ she said at last.
Itâ€™s not a long or detailed conversation, but itâ€™s an important one. Do they actually want to keep doing this? That brief moment of reflection is vital to me because it showed me that even for a moment, these characters were aware of how exhausting and risky their life had become because of wizardry. But thatâ€™s not a good enough reason for them to stop, you know? Through this book and the last one, Duane snakes a theme thatâ€™s inspiring forÂ ourÂ world just as much as it is in this fictional one: this world belongs to many creatures, cultures, peoples, and living things. It is oursÂ collectively, and because of their experience in this book, Kit and Nita know how important it is to care what happens to others. They could have ignored the Sea and its problem. Nita could have run away from her duty and lived a life ignorant of wizardry.
Yet neither of them chose that route. When they return to the Sea one last time inÂ Deep Wizardry, thereâ€™s a mixture of sorrow over the loss of Ed with a joy and appreciation for what has been accomplished. Itâ€™s unfortunate that Areinnye is not around to see what two humans can do when they put aside their own needs and value the needs of others. Indeed, thatâ€™s the whole point of this book, isnâ€™t it? Nita had needs that were understandable, reasonable, and justifiable: she wanted toÂ live. Yet she was willing to sacrifice herself to save the entire world. She and Kit gave the deepÂ peace, even if itâ€™s just for a little while.
It was nice to know that the Powers were aware of what Nita and Kit gave everyone, too. More often than not, governing bodies like this (if you can even call them that) serve a role in fantasy books that is so detached from the main characters that they never seem like they understand what they ask of their magical, quest-seeking pawns. I donâ€™t see Nita and Kit as pawns, though. Wizardry is aboutÂ choice, and the Powers know that these kids chose to fight this battle, and they know that this has changed themÂ forever.
We sorrow. Do you?
For what happened?
No. For who you are now â€“ the person you werenâ€™t a week ago.
But theyâ€™re not. At all. AND I LOVE IT. I love that theyâ€™re proud of their choices, that theyâ€™re eager to slow the death of the universe, and that theyâ€™re ready for the next adventure. BecauseÂ so am I. What an absolute treat, yâ€™all. I cannot wait forÂ High Wizardry!
Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in theÂ Young WizardsÂ series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:
Mark Links Stuff
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