In the fourteenth chapter ofÂ The Wizardâ€™s Dilemma, WHAT. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Young Wizards.Â
I justâ€¦ what do I evenÂ sayÂ about this? WHAT DID I JUST READ?
It honestly never crossed my mind until the second chapter of this chapter, but I may have gotten this wrong.
Nonetheless she tried to contact Kit before she left. She couldnâ€™t find him; the manual gave her the same subject-is-not-in-ambit message as before.Â He never did get a chance to tell me just where he was, or how heâ€™s doing that,Â she thought, dropping her transit circle to the floor and watching it flare with the brief shiver of life and light that meant the spell was ready.Â Gotta find outâ€¦
Because in my mind, the practice universes were the the same thing as the universe-creating universe that Kit was visiting. But theyâ€™reÂ not, are they? Theyâ€™re completely separate entities, one set up by other wizards/the Powers, and the other isâ€¦ well, one giant mystery. Oh my god, this isnâ€™t even a â€œWhat if?â€ scenario, is it? Iâ€™ve had this wrong the whole time!
You know, I gotÂ realÂ nervous once Nitaâ€™s second test revealed that OTHER WIZARDS were there to reach the universeâ€™s kernal, too. But hey, alternate Manhattans have historically beenÂ terrifyingÂ in this series, so I WAS JUST TRYING TO PROTECT MYSELF. I expected the worst! But I donâ€™t think They would put Nita in a world that would kill her, you know? Challenge her, sure! I am expecting that each test will not only get harder, but will be more dangerous, too. If sheâ€™s going to attempt a universe-changing wizardry, these tests are going to have to be ridiculous so that Nita can prove herself to her fellow wizard community.
Letâ€™s talk about that community because I, once again, must praise Duane for eschewing theÂ Star Trek-esque trope of having non-human aliens appear humanoid. No, she goes so much weirder than Iâ€™m used to, and ITâ€™S INCREDIBLE. If a silicon-based lifeform wasnâ€™t weird enough (or sentient cars, for that matter), then HEREâ€™S AS MUCH WEIRDNESS AS YOU COULD EVER ASK FOR: a lifeform made up entirely of blue spheres that speaks in the plural because it literally cannot conceive of individual life forms. Theyâ€™re like a nicer and cuter version of the Borg, yâ€™all. (Youâ€™re welcome for that, by the way.) They can exist as five single spheres that make up one person, OR they can join up with one another, and theyâ€™re part of an even bigger community. The way they see worlds is utterly unique, so much so that I donâ€™t even know how to summarize the long section in which Duane describes it.
I admire that because itâ€™s both a huge challenge to pull offÂ andÂ because itâ€™s not terribly comforting, at least in terms of what a reader might be used to for science fiction, you know? I canâ€™t think of another book or series that addressed spherical life forms like this, or had a golden otter with tons of legs, or had a species like that mammothâ€¦ thing? ITâ€™S ALL SO STRANGE, Yâ€™ALL! But thatâ€™s why this ends up feeling so rewarding. I allowed myself to go on this journey, to follow Nita as she ran around this bizarre version of Manhattan with five blue spheres, and in doing so, I got a better sense of how huge the wizard community and how diverse it is. Wizards spread all about the universe use these practice universe, and I hadÂ neverÂ even considered that!
What I love about this is that Nita meets a community of people with a basic shared interest and understanding while sheâ€™s on this task. When she reveals why sheâ€™s in the practice universe, they donâ€™t treat her terribly. Instead, Pont suggests that they take Nita under their wing and show her the ropes. At the perfect time, Nita finds other wizards to help her. Thatâ€™s a really awesome thing to have, so Iâ€™m very eager to learn more about Pralaya, Mmemyn, and Dazel. Where did they come from? What project are each of them working on? What is wizardry like in their worlds?
THIS IS SO EXCITING.
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.
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