In the second half of the eighth chapter of A Wizard Abroad, plans are made for the upcoming battle. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
I do love problem-solving scenes. They’re actually a lot of fun to write, and there are a number of them in my book. There’s something really rewarding about putting characters through a scenario that’s complicated and challenging because scenes like this can be so natural. How would people deal with a conflict like this? How do distinct characters react differently to a problem? And even cooler, Duane manages to inject this whole situation with a powerful dynamic by having all of the younger characters act as the most powerful agents. I know I just referenced that, but it’s even more obvious here.
I’ll talk about that specific thing a bit later. The first big scene in this part of the book involves Tualha, the bard that Nita met early in the book. I love that Tualha operates much like a traditional bard would, except they’re a cat who demands their tuna and cream before they ever speak a word of story of the Spear. Hey, if I was a cat-bard, I’d do the same thing, okay? I WOULD. Some of this story felt a bit repetitious, but it was also a good refresher from some of the elements of Balor’s fight; I know I’m going to need to know that as I go into the final fight. I wonder if, like the Song, each of these wizards would have to pick a role from each of the Powers. Like, would Biddy be Luchtar? Would Dairine be the All-Skilled? Would Ronan be Brigit? THESE ARE THE THINGS I’M THINKING OF. Well, and cats crouching in “meat-loaf mode,” which I’m not going to be able to unsee ever again.
It seems that Diarine would play the most powerful part, since she’s the most powerful wizard in the bunch. (Maybe. Biddy’s demonstration of power was pretty impressive.) I WAS SO HAPPY WHEN I WAS RIGHT ABOUT KIT BRINGING HER INTO THE ACTION. It makes sense, too. Once it’s stated that ur-matter from the Beginning is needed to forge the Spear, I knew there was only one wizard who had the ambition and the power to actually find a way to get it. AND LORD, DOES SHE EVER COME UP WITH A RIDICULOUS IDEA:
Dairine shook her head. “It couldn’t be meteoric,” she said. “That early in the physical universe, there weren’t any planetary bodies to shatter and turn into meteors, yet; not even in the oldest galaxies.” She looked at Nita for confirmation: Nita nodded. “You’re going to have to get real starsteel.”
The older wizards looked at her. “From the nucelus of a star?” Johnny said.
HAHAHAHAHAHA, DAIRINE IS THE BEST. But again, the idea is absurd and seems impossible, and my mind immediately went to Dairine as the only person who could pull it off. On that note, I do find it impressive that Duane allows other characters to be so important to the story. Kit got to hold Fragarach, Dairine will help in farming starsteel, and I assume Nita’s role will be revealed soon. Everyone matters to this story, and I love a book that can juggle characterization this well.
I also appreciated the update about the Callahans, who are mostly regretting the fact that they forced their daughter to travel abroad. Y’ALL ASKED FOR THIS. I get why they miss her, and Duane reveals that they’re most likely ready to compromise about her wizardry. I’m actually quite excited to see if we’ll get another scene between Nita and her parents; I’m fascinated by them. Will she tell them that Annie is a wizard, too???
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