Mark Reads ‘A Wizard Alone’: Chapter 7, Part II

In the second half of the seventh chapter of A Wizard Alone, A LITERAL SAINT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

STILL WASN’T READY. This book is creeping towards something huge, and I love how Duane is raising the stakes and the tension so consistently. (In contrast to what I’m reading over in the Discworld series, so perhaps that’s why this feels so huge and exciting. External factors are probably affecting me.) Just… DARRYL. DARRYL IS A SAINT.


We’ve spent so much time with Tom that having a scene where Carl is the focus felt refreshing, but also completely daunting. Like Nita, I was nervous about what was going to come of the meeting. Nita had discovered something significant about Darryl, and Carl’s reaction to that over the phone was, to say the least, very interesting. So, when she showed up to his house and he got straight to the point, I figured that this was a big deal. Right??? It had to be!

There’s a whole lot of information given here through Carl’s expository dialogue, but the gist of it is that Darryl is Earth’s sole abdal, and his is so important to the fight against the Lone One that he is literally more important that practically all the wizards we’ve meet thus far. As Nita notes later in the chapter, that’s a real sobering and intense thought, you know? But that’s the reason Tom said earlier in the book that the Powers don’t necessarily distinguish between passive and active wizardry. However… wouldn’t you count Darryl’s wizardry as THE MOST ACTIVE OF ALL TIME FOREVER? Literally nothing Kit, Dairine, or Nita have worked has ever been as painful or intense as what Darryl goes through, and he does it over and over again. Is it considered “passive” because it happens in his mind? That… that doesn’t seem right, does it?

Of course, I still don’t understand the abdal/Pillar thing with 100% clarity, and that’s not a criticism. Duane does this thing where she defines her own worldbuilding extremely well, but still leaves it open to other things. This line in particular thrilled me a ton:

“You make it sound like there are saints all over the place.”

“Of course there are. You don’t think it’s just wizards that keep the universe running, do you?”

It’s so casually dropped, and the possibilities of this reveal are endless. For now, though, it’s still a fantastic angle for Darryl. He is a black autistic saint and an abdal, one of the ways in which power for wizards flows to ALL WIZARDS ON EARTH.



Which makes me incredibly worried about Kit. The logistics of Darryl’s worlds and how they are accessed confuse me, but I figure there’s still stuff I don’t know about them. Something about the way that Kit wandered in Darryl’s jungle universe through his dream was wrong, though, that much is sure. So, now I wonder: is that what Darryl meant by getting “linked”? See, this whole time, I assumed that somehow, the Lone One had infiltrated Kit’s heart and mind, sort of like how Nita felt similar emotions towards the end of Deep Wizardry, or the fears she expressed in The Wizard’s Dilemma. You can’t know when the One is working through you all the time, and I categorized his disinterest in the world as the work of the Lone One. It made a lot of sense, right???

It wasn’t until I saw this behavior in action and then got to that final scene with Ponch and Nita that I came to understand it differently. Nita theorized that he was getting sick, that he was exhausted from all the work he’d been putting in. However, illness wouldn’t exactly explain Kit’s strange reaction to literally everything.

This would, though:

His dream took him there without him wanting to be there, at first. Then he couldn’t get out. They were getting alike…

It confused me at first, which you’ll see on video. What could that possibly mean?


I bet their minds are starting to get locked together because of all the time Kit’s spending in there, Nita thought. This is not good

And reality doesn’t feel the same way to Darryl as it does to Kit, Ponch said. The boss is starting to feel it the way Darryl does, and he doesn’t know how to do it right.

completely missed picking up on that sequence where Kit started to feel like the world was overstimulating him, that it was too loud, too present, too detailed. I liked the distinction here: Darryl has a way of coping with reality that Kit is absolutely not used to, and thus, this would affect Kit differently. In his case: disinterest. Lack of emotion. He’s not as responsive as he used to be, either. I’m curious to see how Duane is going to write from his perspective if we switch to his POV in the next chapter.

I NEED TO KNOW. Also: What is Ponch becoming?


Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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