Mark Reads ‘High Wizardry’: Chapter 8

In the eighth chapter of High Wizardy, Nita gets thoughtful on the moon. ON THE MOON, Y’ALL. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.


The “usual place” where they met was, of course, the Moon.

Only in this book. ONLY IN THIS BOOK IS THAT A SENSIBLE THING TO SAY. I just… I love that we are at a point in this series where an entire scene full of thoughtful introspection takes place on the Moon, and it doesn’t feel out of place or unnecessary. Indeed, I can’t imagine a better place for Nita to sit and think about how recent events have come to affect her life.

It’s not easy to split a narrative between multiple people (and I now deeply understand that challenge myself), so I appreciate that we still get depth in Nita’s story, even if we’ve gotten more from Dairine’s perspective than anyone else. Again, it’s nice to see how different Nita’s wizardry feels compared to her sister’s, and the scene where she draws her transit spell is such a cool reminder of the physicality and memory that is required of her.

Yet we’re also reminded of how much she’s grown. One of the ways that’s manifested is with her relationship with Kit. Namely, she can no longer hear his thoughts like she could in the first two books. It seemed pretty strange to me; how could that magic lessen as she and Kit learned more? Wouldn’t only get stronger? But it’s not just about their wizardry. Even if Nita isn’t ready to admit it, even in her own thoughts, she admires Kit. The way she thinks about him when she remembers how she helped him build his description of himself is tender and sweet and… oh gods, she totally likes him, doesn’t she? The text from her manual that explains how “[w]izards in the closest relationships, leading toward permanent partnership, usually find that nonverbal communication becomes rare or difficult” more or less suggests that this is the case.

That doesn’t mean it’s set in stone, obviously, and thinking of “permanent partnership” at thirteen is pretty absurd. It’s also possible that since Nita has had such a traumatic and intense experience alongside Kit, her affection has a context and meaning that’s not romantic or sexual. She’s young, she’s in the middle of a scary adventure, and I don’t think that’s necessarily the best time to determine whether you want to be in a relationship with someone. Regardless, I love that Duane has Nita think about it because there’s still a common experience here that other young people might relate to!

Her thoughts – running alongside the music of Journey – take her to an interesting realization, too. I was already thinking about her growth as a person because of her internal monologue about Kit, but there’s so much development that has nothing to do with him.

What had she been herself, not more than a few months ago? Basically a coward, afraid of everything, including herself – friendless, quiet and smart but with no one to do any good by being so.


I admit that I wanted to see Kit tell his family he was a wizard or at least learn more about how that went over. DID HE DEMONSTRATE WIZARDRY TO THEM? I don’t think it’s possible to upstage TAKING YOUR PARENTS TO THE MOON, but still! It would have been nice to see a bit more of Kit’s family. As it stands, the scene still ends on a bittersweet note. It’s nice that Tom came to see them off, but his goodbye is dire and unnerving. We don’t know how the Lone Power will manifest in this book, and even worse, it’s going to be harder than usual to seek it out. As Tom says:

“And Its power’s oddly veiled, at the moment – concentrated, and hidden.”

I DON’T LIKE THIS. Nor do I like that the Lone Power is specifically seeking out Dairine. What for??? And did anyone else feel a burst of nerves when Tom said goodbye to Picchu? NO, DON’T YOU DARE HURT THAT BIRD.

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! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards.
– 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 have been announced here.
- 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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