In the second half of the fifth chapter of Wizard’s Holiday, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
Oh my god, I don’t know what I expected??? Like, I figured that this would be weird, but I certainly did not go into this anticipating the glorious shenanigans that actually unfolded here. Duane takes these four disparate people and consistently escalates the cultural differences between them for MAXIMUM COMEDIC RESULTS.
Well, it’s not all humorous, I should say, but I’ll get to that. The scenes in this chapter had me laughing a great deal, particularly once Dairine suggested that they get something to eat. I’m curious, though, how much the manifests for this exchange trip explain this sort of thing. Is there a guide to what each wizard can eat? How they sleep? How they expel waste? What sort of conditions are unacceptable to them? As far as I can tell, these packets contained photos and personality information and… not a whole lot else? That’s not to say I necessarily wanted them; on a purely selfish note, I am DEEPLY THANKFUL that this bumbling mess occurs because it gives us THE BEST DAD IN THE UNIVERSE.
Look, it’s hard not to think of the cloud of grief that hung over Harry Callahan’s head in the last book. While the events in this chapter are certainly challenging and surreal, the man rolls with the punches. He takes every twist thrown his way, from discovering the broken cupboard to the horrors of vegetarianism. I mean, YES, the dude doesn’t have much choice. These aliens are in his house, and he just has to accept that!
But examine how Harry deals with sudden change in contrast to how Roshaun deals with it. That’s the one big non-joke here: Roshaun is an elitist jerkbag. I understand that this is a cultural shock to him, and I’m willing to be sympathetic… to a point. He clearly needs time to adjust to the fact that he won’t have any servants, and he’s been dropped into a world that is utterly unlike his own. But that’s a matter of perspective, isn’t it? If one of his servants were in Dairine’s house, would they behave poorly? See, I understand why Sker’ret does what they do; this is how they eat! They were excited! This is a case where intent does matter, at least in the sense that Sker’ret acted without malice.
Roshaun? Honestly, I can’t see a justification for his rudeness aside from admitting that this is just what he’s like to everyone and everything that he views as “beneath” him. There’s no evidence suggesting otherwise, you know? His introduction was bad enough, but hey, again: cultural differences. His attitude at the back door? Okay, yes, this was all pretty funny, I’ll grant him that. But his bragging… ugh. And this:
He let a number of things be known over the course of dinner, dispensing the occasional fact or opinion as if he expected everybody to be eagerly awaiting his every word… and paying precious little attention to anyone else’s opinions, if they came up.
There’s a point later on where Harry finally provides Dairine with the confirmation and validation she needs, but as the reader, I definitely knew Dairine was right. THIS GUY IS INSUFFERABLE. Why??? Is there some other reason for it, or is he a product of his environment? Is this what royal men are like on his home planet? Look, given the full profile that we get at the end of this chapter, I’m inclined to think that’s true. This behavior has been enabled and encouraged for years. I did find it kind of funny to imagine that the Powers That Be did this on purpose in order to punish Dairine for her rule-breaking. STILL. ROSHAUN SUCKS.
I am thrilled to confirm that I will be a Guest at CrossingsCon 2017! Badges are now available, so COME HANG OUT WITH ME THIS SUMMER.
Mark Links Stuff
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