Mark Reads ‘A Wizard Abroad’: Chapter 6, Part II

In the second half of the sixth chapter of A Wizard Abroad, Nita learns of the scope of her problem, and then gets a tiny revenge. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read A Young Wizards.

am interested to see how this will differ from the climactic battle in Deep Wizardry, though I acknowledge that the setting is an obvious difference. But I see a similarity in the idea of a ritual conducted that replicates something that happened long ago. That’s part of the worldbuilding, though; ritual repetitions like this are incredibly powerful within the world of wizardry, so I get why repeating it is the way to stop it. In that sense, this is a sign of consistency from Duane in the story.

At the same time, these books have all felt so wonderfully different. I’m not expecting A Wizard Abroad to be the exception, but I also can’t deny this exists. So the conflict at this point is purely logistical: they need a way to replicate the four Treasures, each of which are bound to four of the five elements of Earth, and there’s a slim chance that the sword and the chalice can be used as envelopes for power again. What could they possibly use in place of them or the other objects? How exactly do you “pick” an envelope, you know? That still hasn’t been discussed.

And then there’s the actual people involved. I’m guessing that pretty much every person introduced in chapter six – plus Doris, Annie, and Ronan – will have to partake in the recreation, right? How many people will it require? It’s probably no surprise that at least until it happens, they’ll all be busy with the sideways nightmares popping up all over Ireland. But Nita has to be involved somehow. How will that manifest? OH GOD, SOMEONE’S GONNA DIE AREN’T THEY. I better not like any of these characters, because that’s who always ends up dying. This is a good plan, I’ll stick to it.

“If we can’t stop this, then the barriers between present and past will break down everywhere, and the physical world will be progressively overrun by the nonphysical: all the myths, and truths that become myth, all the dreams and nightmares, all the more central and peripheral realities, will superimpose themselves on this one… inextricably.”

“For how long?” said a small voice out of the hush.

“If that level of imposition ever takes hold fully,” Johnny said, “I don’t see how the process could ever be reversed.”

NO PRESSURE, THEN. I actually enjoyed that this was stated outright in the chapter because I needed to know the stakes. What were they risking? What would happen if the barriers kept breaking down?

And then there’s Ronan. Duane writes this character with a fascinating sense purpose. As I mentioned in the video, it’s neat that he and Nita don’t instantly get along with one another, though there’s attraction and chemistry between them. There’s a competitive edge to them, but Ronan also refuses to see Nita on the same level as him. Again, he does have a legit reason to dislike outsiders or colonizers, but it’s not like Nita had much of a choice in the matter. She didn’t barge in on this problem and demand that every do things her way. If anything, she’s been patient and respectful this entire time! She defers to all the people who know this land and this conflict better than she does.

Granted, they certainly don’t hate one another. I loved that conversation they had about Ronan’s Ordeal,  though I should note that Nita was the one to bait him by trying to claim that he might have actually changed history by saving those Romans thousands upon thousands of years prior. Like… why would the Powers send him on an Ordeal to ruin the timeline? So both of them pick at one another, especially after they share nice moments, as if they’re trying to sabotage any kind of friendship from developing naturally. It’s entertaining, too, especially as they each escalate the conversation to that drink-spilling, alcohol-laden disaster at the end of the chapter. These two have some kinks to work out as friends, and I wonder if that’ll be addressed in future chapters.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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