In the tenth chapter ofÂ A Wizard Abroad, the wizards prepare for battle. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Young Wizards.Â
It feels surreal how close to the end of this book I am. Part of that is due to the fact that just in terms of timing, I started this book right as I began to write in advance of my month-long trip. That means I got to read nearly every chapter of this book in a very short amount of time, which is rare in the Mark Does Stuff world. Then thereâ€™s the whole beautiful coincidence of me traveling abroadÂ immediatelyÂ after finishing this book, and I just feel all sorts of things aboutÂ A Wizard AbroadÂ that never were intended. Thatâ€™s one of the fun aspects of doing what I do. Books can mean an infinite number of things to us, and I want to explore why that is.
For example: I desperately want to spend the night in a castle. Iâ€™ve never gotten the chance to do that. (I have, however, spent the night in a hostel in Ottawa that used to be a jail. It was awesome, and I would totally do it again.) So, just by virtue of the setting, I was already 100% into this. GOOD JOB, DUANE, CORNERING THE MARKET ON MY UNIQUE INTERESTS. Itâ€™s also fascinating to me that at this point, none of this seems strange to Nita at all. She wakes up in a castle and then goes and watches a demigod of sorts forge a spear made out of the nucleus of a star. It is ENTIRELY ORDINARY TO NITA CALLAHAN.
Where Duane focuses her tension instead is the promise of the coming conflict. This is a normal occurrence for Nita, but that doesnâ€™t mean sheâ€™s ready for the fight thatâ€™s about to come. The sheer amount of unknown variables is what scares me the most. Sure, I have an idea what the story is; the history has been repeated multiple times. ButÂ what if this doesnâ€™t work? Thereâ€™s literally no back-up plan at all, and thatâ€™s my worry. What if the Treasures are not enough? What if Ronan canâ€™t channel the Champion at the right time? I HAVE NO IDEA.
Plus, thereâ€™s more reason for angst within this chapter alone. Thereâ€™s Biddy, who admits to Nita that sheâ€™s more or less forged her own death into the Spear. This is it for her, and Iâ€™m now preparing for the fact that sheâ€™ll die by the end of this book. Sheâ€™s lived an incredible life up to this point, but her own body canâ€™t last much longer. Itâ€™s Nitaâ€™s conversation with her that causes Nita and Kit to frankly discuss their own mortality. If one of the Powers is going to die, who can guarantee that either of them will survive? Again, Duane puts these teenagers on the same level as the adults. Itâ€™sÂ NitaÂ who reminds Biddy of her duty to Ireland and to the wizardry constructed around her name, not the other way around. And as frank and honest as Biddy is about death, so are Nita and Kit. AT FOURTEEN.
Honestly, their conversation back in the castle is one of the most mature things Iâ€™ve read in a YA book, yâ€™all. Itâ€™s done so well, namely because thse two accept that theyâ€™re doing dangerous thingsÂ andÂ theyâ€™re willing to die for what they believe. AT. FOURTEEN. But I imagine that itâ€™s also possible to derive some inspiration from what they talk about. Mortality isnâ€™t an easy thing to discuss, but Nita and Kit provide an opportunity for that to happen.
The final third of this chapter covers the act of ensouling the Spear. The wizardry itself felt much more visceral than what Iâ€™ve read in this series, and I think thatâ€™s due to the fact that it ended up with an inanimate object feelingÂ alive. The power called to it was such a new thing for me because of itâ€™s living nature. This is not like a wizardry for a utilitarian purpose! Itâ€™s a summoning, and thus, Duane imbues the scene with a frantic urgency:
What was coming definitely meant wellâ€¦ maybe a little too well for mortals to bear. It wanted all things healed, everything made well, no matter what pains it cost: everything being put right, straightened, filledâ€“
YEAH, THATâ€™S PRETTY INTIMIDATING. But itâ€™s nothing compared to the unnerving sensation the Spear gives off after the wizardry is completed. THEY CAN FEEL IT LOOKING AT THEM. Thatâ€™s especially so for Ronan, which put to rest any concerns I had for him being unable to connect with the Spear. Lord, that thing wasÂ madeÂ for him. Whatâ€™s he going to be like during the fight while holding it???
Mark Links Stuff
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