Mark Reads ‘The Wizard’s Dilemma’: Chapter 5, Part 1

In the first half of the fifth chapter of The Wizard’s Dilemma, Kit travels with Ponch to a strange place; Nita has a realization. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards



Just on a purely selfish level, I’m super into the fact that Duane’s doing the dual POV thing again, and I’m even more pleased that through this, I get to learn way more about Kit and what goes on in his head. Here, I get the sense that Kit’s mind is intensely curious. (I’d say that Dairine is more analytical, while Nita is much more emotional than the other two.) He sees a problem or something weird, and he wants more. He wants to keep going. I can’t quite claim that I’d follow my dog into a black void of nothing out of curiosity, so PROPS TO KIT FOR BEING BRAVER THAN I.

But let’s talk about that, because I have questions. First: A LEASH MADE OUT OF WIZARDRY. A WIZARDRY DOG LEASH. Is that even a question anymore? I don’t even know, y’all, but I’m still blown away by the very concept. But perhaps Kit shares that analytical efficiency that we saw in Dairine in High Wizardry, because the guy keeps coming up with cool shit. Well, necessary as well, since he didn’t want to lose Ponch in that place again.

That place… good gods. Somehow, Ponch found a place outside the universe that allows him to create whatever he wills. We don’t know that immediately, and praise must be given to Duane for slowly revealing each new detail of this strange place. I couldn’t figure out if Ponch was traveling to a location or creating it. Yet once the latter was confirmed, it didn’t provide closure. I was still confused! How did this logistically work? Why was every single thing in this place perfect? It’s not like Ponch was necessarily willing this place into existence from memory. Instead, every detail was the most perfect detail it could be. Why is that? It’s like whatever wizardry at work here could create the perfect fantasy, which is pretty hilarious for a dog. For a human, though? I appreciated that Kit refused to test it out for himself because he wanted more information first. That’s such a smart choice to make because… oh god, this could get out of hand immediately. It’s a frightening thought!


Ah, it’s like everything I wrote in the last review is even more relevant. Communication! So important! Granted, this chapter gives us a complication we’ve never seen before: the inability to communicate. Literally. The place Ponch found exists so far out of this universe that not even the manual can send a message to Kit. (WHAT THE HELL IS THAT PLACE.) Which sucks because Nita desperately needs to talk to Kit about a lot of things. This chapter helps her realize that she was wrong about her wizardry with S’reee and Kit, but because she doesn’t have all the information, she assumes that Kit’s new errantry means she’s been replaced. NO, IT’S JUST PONCH, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS.

(Or is it? Oh god, what if the adjunct talent isn’t Ponch? Great, now I’m creeping myself out.)

So, this, just like Kit’s story, gives me a million new questions. I assume the Powers know exactly what’s happening with Nita. Is this why they’re not putting her on errantry? Is it an important lesson that she needs to learn? Perhaps? Look, nothing happens accidentally with the Powers, so I’m not gonna assume that’s the case. Instead, I’ll assume that perhaps what Kit and Nita are going through are both separate from one another; I see no reason to believe they’re connected. (Yet. Yet.) But then… who does the title of the book refer to? Whose “dilemma” is it? If I had to guess, it still seems like Nita is the one who has a dilemma. Even if we’re not to the main dilemma, this still technically counts.

Honestly, I just feel bad for her because she’s realized that she needs to apologize to Kit, but she can’t. Oh god, I need the remainder of this chapter ASAP. It covers Saturday afternoon, so maybe Kit will be available??? WHAT IF THEY MEET UP AT TOM AND CARL’S???

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 POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year.  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.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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