Mark Reads ‘The Wizard’s Dilemma’: Chapter 9

In the ninth chapter of The Wizard’s Dilemma, Nita begins her prep work while Kit wonders if he’ll get to finally talk with her. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

Trigger Warning: For brief discussion of grief

This’ll be a short one, but it’s still an important stepping for the story. (Or at least it feels like one.) I needed to understand this idea of a matrix that Nita would work from before she could ever start to cure her other. I know I’ve said this before, but the wizardry in this books truly feels more like a science than anything else. The kind of research that Nita does here is way more intense than I ever would have expected… from another series. Not this one. Wizardry is a unique thing here, and I commend Duane on being able to pack so much information into the text without it feeling unwieldy or confusing.

For the most part, I think that’s because Duane achieves a good balance between giving us information and the spectacle of a completed wizardry. It’s like… pay attention to these details because HERE IS YOUR REWARD. That doesn’t really happen here, but that feels intentional, too. The repetitive work that Nita does here – repeating 81 syllables in the Speech, then looping them in a dense matrix – provides something new: an act that Nita can use to distract herself from the grief and fear. It reminded me so much of how I used my work to swim in denial. It was a distraction and I have no shame in saying that. When you’re that far gone in grief and fear, sometimes, repetitive actions that require a lot of attention are a godsend.

And it’s not like she’s being dishonest or delusional here, though I’d totally understand that reaction. When her father comes home, the conversation they have is incredibly honest:

“We talked about the surgery. She’s okay with that.”

“Really?” Nita said.

Her father rubbed his face. “Well, of course not, honey,” he said. “Who wants anybody monkeying around with their brain? But she know’s it’s got to be done.”

There are no platitudes given here, but I felt strangely comforted by this whole exchange. They don’t want to fool one another. Yes, Nita decides to keep the details of her plan from her father, but she reasons that she should wait until she can explain all better. Well, that and she doesn’t even know if it’ll work! But in the end, Nita will be honest, and not just because she’s a wizard. It’s what works for her family.

Which is why it’s so frustrating that her and Kit just KEEP MISSING EACH OTHER. They both want to be honest more than anything! I still think it’s odd that Tom and Carl never brought up Kit when they suggested a practice universe. Does the manual not credit specific wizards for their findings either? I guess not. But my gods, I JUST WANT THEM TO MEET. It kills me to know that Kit is ignorant to what his best friend is going through. Granted, Nita’s apology to Kit is not anywhere near the top of her list of priorities, but I still want to see what she has to say.


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.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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