In the first half of the sixth chapter of A Wizard Abroad, Nita visits Dublin and meets a ton of wizards. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
I HAVE MUCH TO TALK ABOUT. LET’S DO IT.
I love trains. I love them so much. And I live in a country where we have largely de-prioritized train travel, which is astounding to me because have you seen how big my country is. So coming to the UK and Europe is an endless treat for me because it’s just part of the infrastructure. It’s not just a part of the politics but the social culture of many places in across the Atlantic. We have such a huge hang-up here about public transportation in places that aren’t New York, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. There’s a great Maria Bamford bit about how if you live in Los Angeles and tell someone you’re on the bus, they suddenly get concerned and ask if you’re okay. Being on a bus or train means there’s an emergency or that you’ve hit rock bottom. WHICH IS ABSURD.
Anyway, it was on my mind while reading about Nita and Annie on the DART train.
My time in this city was unfortunately short, but it was a cool experience to read this half of the chapter and recognize so much of what Duane wrote about. My tour was partially by car (I was staying with my friend’s mother, who lived near the southeastern tip of Phoenix Park) once I got to Dublin and had a lovely breakfast of granola and a cheese plate. (IRISH CHEESE, HELP ME.) We drove around Phoenix Park, which was impossibly large AND I WANT TO LIVE IN IT, specifically Astown Castle. Why don’t I have my own castle yet? I remember we swung down the south side of it, past the War Memorial Gardens, then drove by the Guinness Storehouse. We parked downtown prior to my lunch with Diane Duane and did some sightseeing, and I COULD NOT GET OVER HOW COOL DOWNTOWN DUBLIN WAS. It’s one of those places that times felt familiar to me, but all the little details I caught – many which Nita notices as well – helped me feel like I was in a special place.
We went to Saint Patrick’s Park and St. Patrick’s Cathedral; I got to see Grafton Street and Trinity College; I saw all of the National Museum of Ireland (the history and archaeology buildings!), and then spent time in St. Stephen’s Green, which was stunning that day. The weather was perfect; low 80s, so it was warm, but not too hot. I feel like I saw the Iveagh Gardens, but I’m not sure. Basically, from like nine in the morning until my event that night (THE WILDEST EVENT EVER, I WILL NEVER FORGET IT), I was sightseeing around Dublin. Hell, I even had really good sushi after my reading/meet-up up near Parnell Square. That part of town was gorgeous, too. And now I remember that it absolutely poured that day, too, and my friend and I had to take refuge inside The Gresham to stay dry.
Oh my god, I want to go back to Dublin (and that killer pizza restaurant) as soon as possible. I WANT TO SEE SO MUCH MORE.
A Wizardly Intervention
Yeah, so I haven’t spoken much about the text itself, but there was so much that this chapter dredged up in my memory. I wanted to share it with you! But this chapter also serves to demonstrate that at least two of the Treasures are most likely unusable for any future recreations of the battle of Moytura. I wouldn’t begin to know how to make those objects “remember” the power they once held, so I’m guessing this is Duane’s way of communicating to us that the wizards are going to have to get creative.
It was a lot of fun getting an insight into Annie’s life as a wizard, from knowing that she split from her original wizarding partner, to finding out you could hide yourself in the manual, to the incredible meet-up in the Dublin pub. I really hadn’t considered that Nita had never been around a large group of wizards before. While the meeting here is just getting started (I suspect the bulk of the remaining part of the chapter will deal with them), I was fascinated by the entire affair. Spells to scramble overheard conversations! Spells to make non-wizard patrons go somewhere else! WHAT ELSE HAVE THEY THOUGHT OF??? Oh my god, there’s a Planetary Wizard for all of Earth. WHO IS THAT. CAN WE BE FRIENDS.
Beyond this, the scope of this conflict got a whole lot bigger due to this chapter, too. The sideways flashes are happening all over the island, and there are ripples felt IN OTHER COUNTRIES. China. Peru! How? (And what are their wizards like??? I want to know!) I also want to know who assigned Nita to Dublin. And why her? The biggest question I have, though, is: How are they going to recreate Moytura without all the Treasures?
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!