In the fifth chapter ofÂ High Wizardry, Kit and Nita begin their search for Dairine. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Young Wizards.Â
EachÂ Young WizardsÂ book has taken me to an incredibly strange place, and I am so perfectly okay with that. Yet as bizarre and absurd as each of these stories has been, what I appreciate most about these books is that theyâ€™re all grounded in this very real group of friends and family. Let everything be strange as hell, Iâ€™m fine with that, but show me why I should care about all the people who this is happening to, you know?
So, Duane swiches back to Nita and Kit, who must deal with ramifications of Dairineâ€™s actions, which includes the fact that she left a GIANT GATE TO MARS open. Had I considered this? No, and one of the coolest things about how this book progresses is that I get one characterâ€™s take on events, but then I get to see how it affects other people. I felt excited and thrilled about Dairineâ€™s trip to Mars and elsewhere, despite recognizing that it was foolish. But from Nitaâ€™s perspective, this is a DISASTER. Itâ€™s not exciting; itâ€™sÂ terrifying. Itâ€™s confirmed that this is Dairineâ€™s Ordeal, and that means ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN AT THIS POINT.
And itâ€™s important to note how much anxiety all of this causes Nita. She doesnâ€™t want to lie to her parents ever again, but Dairine hasnâ€™t made that easy for her at all. Dairine left with no communication at all, and Nita remains behind to pick up the pieces. Of course, things are complicated when DAIRINE answers the phone at home, which is impossible in Nitaâ€™s mind. How can Dairine be at homeÂ andÂ somewhere in outer space? Oh, wizardry. YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFULLY COMPLICATED. Yet wizardry can be unnerving and scary, too, and the idea of a â€œfakeâ€ Dairine in the Callahan homeâ€¦ damn, itâ€™s really upsetting, isnâ€™t it?
But thatâ€™s sort of the point. Dairine is callous, and she doesnâ€™t have the discipline to deal with wizardry at this point. Perhaps thatâ€™s what her Ordeal will be about! I donâ€™t know that yet, and Iâ€™m guessing that the next chapter will be from Diarineâ€™s perspective. For now, though, letâ€™s all acknowledge how cool it is that as soon as Nita and Kit realize that theyâ€™re in over their heads, they go to Tom and Carl. THEY ASK ADULTS WHO KNOW LOTS OF THINGS. THIS IS SO GREAT. And itâ€™s definitely something weâ€™ve seen in past books, you know? Tom and Carl donâ€™t provide answers, either, and often times, they donâ€™t even really have guidance, at least not the kind Nita or Kit expect.
However, the beauty of this chapter is that these men volunteer to head to the Callahan house in order to explain where Dairine is themselves. BLESS. THEIR. HEARTS. I get it, too! Both Nita and Kit apparently look like shit, first of all. And Kit closed a patent gateway by himself, which must be something a younger wizard is unlikely to do. Then, we learn that Dairine used her own body to create that gateway, and that she used the new â€œsoftware versionâ€ of the manual. WIZARDRY IS UPDATING TO THE MODERN AGE, Yâ€™ALL, THIS IS SO COOL. That makes me wonder how theÂ hellÂ this book looked when it was originally published. Did it even revolve around a computer in 1990? Probably, but it must have been executed differently than this one. Regardless, the story still fascinates me because this is the first chance we get to see this new â€œdigitalâ€ manual in use. And given that Dairine seems to be using it purely as a shortcut, I can see a possible exploration of a theme here. Unlike the last two books, Dairine doesnâ€™t suffer consequences for her wizardry as she uses it. How long until she does?
Well, her family doesnâ€™t have to wait long. I canâ€™t help but beÂ slightlyÂ amused by Harry Callahanâ€™s reaction to his computer being a tool of wizardry. IT ENTERTAINS ME, OKAY. But yâ€™all, how great is this exchange???
Nita felt sorry for her father; he looked so pale. Her mother went to him, put an arm around him. â€œWhat did she do?â€ she said.
â€œShe went to Mars and left the door open,â€ said Tom.
Nitaâ€™s dad shut his eyes. â€œShe went toÂ Mars.â€
â€œJust like thatâ€¦â€ said her mother.
BLESS ALL OF THIS. Or how about the reveal that wizardry is passed through onÂ Harryâ€™sÂ side of the family? Hey, at least he doesnâ€™t act like Petunia does inÂ Harry Potter. Still, this is aÂ lotÂ to reveal to a family. Their daughter is on MARS. THE ACTUAL PLANET. Which means that the Dairine in their house is one of the creepiest things in this series so far, or at least for me she is. She may look like Dairine, but Nita was able to pick up on the subtle things that made her different and UTTERLY CREEPY. Why?Â Because it has no soul.Â None at all!
The whole experience is such an eerie way to demonstrate wizardry to the Callahans and to explain why wizards are important, but itâ€™sÂ necessary. Thatâ€™s why I value Tom and Carlâ€™s part in this story. Could Nita and Kit have done the teaching? Sure, but in this context, I imagine these two adults appreciated two seasoned wizards explaining everything to them. So how the hell is Kit going to manage this??? He wants to do so, but is he going to do it alone or invite Nita to help him? I WANT TO MEET KITâ€™S FAMILY.
God, thereâ€™s just so much potential by the end of this chapter. Kit doesnâ€™t just have to tell his parents about his wizardry; he and Nita have to trace Dairineâ€™s trail into ANOTHER GALAXY. It sounds dangerous and ridiculous and impossible, and I was pleased that Nitaâ€™s dad stated as much.
â€œEven saints have to start somewhere,â€ Carl said softly. â€œAnd itâ€™s always been the children who save the Universe from the previous generation, and remake the Universe in their own image.â€
Gods, what a powerful message.
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:
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