In the twelfth chapter of Wizard’s Holiday, the truth is told. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
Well, this hurt.
I suspected that the truth about Quelt’s world would be hard to hear. I could tell from how much Kit and Nita fretted over it that the best-case scenario would probably not happen. Yet the sheer awkwardness that just transpired was so much more brutal than I expected, especially since I totally understand why Quelt reacted this way. Initially, though, I had not even considered what would turn Quelt against these two because it had been so long since she questioned them about Earth.
As the two of them began to share the truth of what they’d learned with Quelt, I read Quelt’s silence as a number of things: confusion. Resentment. Even anger! When I’m angry, I tend to get very quiet first because I’m trying to clamp down on my anger before I explode. But I thought maybe I’d misread Quelt. Maybe she was just taking it all in! However, this part sealed the deal:
“And you believe this?” Quelt said at last. “You believe these things It told you?”
That’s the beginning of end, isn’t it? See, Quelt knew these two couldn’t lie, so she frames her concern in a fascinating way: did they believe what they were told? Not only does this call into question their perception, it’s the formation of what she ultimately sensed of Nita and Kit: that they’d had the wool pulled over their eyes and couldn’t even see that it had happened.
The more Quelt spoke – and the angrier she got – the more I felt that I should have seen this coming. But I’ve got the same flaw here that Nita and Kit did: I didn’t anticipate what this would sound like coming from someone from Earth. Sure, Nita and Kit are outsiders, so this would affect what they said, but Quelt makes in much more personal than that. In doing this, Duane offers up perhaps the most cynical view of our planet in this series. The Young Wizards books have largely been full of hope, albeit a realistic approach, since they tell us that both big and small acts can slow down the entropy of the universe. That’s a touching thing to think about, you know?
Yet I felt personally attacked by this, and I think that’s a good thing. I try not to think about the awfulness of our world too much because I can get overwhelmed so quickly. (THANKS, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION.) But Quelt has an outsider’s perspective, and by contrast, Earth is a waking nightmare. I had to think about how terrible this world can be for people, how much of that terribleness I’ve been on the receiving end, how much of it I’ve spread myself. How would all of this look to someone who lives in a world where things like crime, murder, or plagues existed?
Kit and Nita seemed to have the sense not to defend themselves too much, and to be honest, I don’t even know what they could have said. Quelt was too raw. Too shocked. And from her perspective, she’s just been asked to sacrifice the tranquility of her world for the violent chaos of Earth. Why? Why would she ever make a decision like that based on the Lone One saying the Alaalids might evolve into something better? Which one of us would take that sort of gamble?
I suspect that Druvah will provide some insight into this, but I’m at a loss, y’all. How will they ever be able to convince her after this?
I was already quite vulnerable after this intensity, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the emotional devastation of Dairine’s conversation with her father was LITERALLY TOO MUCH for me. Part of the reason it was so heartfelt was that in it, you could see Dairine’s growth. Her walls are coming down, and she’s discarding her usual prickly self so she can be real with her father. In short? What she’s about to do scares the hell out of her. Even admitting that seemed hard for her, but it’s a testament to the relationship she has with her dad that she can do this. Through the growth of her wizardry, her Ordeal, the many trials she’s been through, and the loss of a loved one, Harry and Dairine have built the kind of loving, supportive relationship that anyone would love to have. Maybe it’s just me, but I love seeing happy familial relationships like this.
Anyway, IT’S HERE. THEY ARE GOING TO THE SUN TO SAVE EARTH. I’m genuinely frightened that Duane is gonna fuck me up, y’all. WHAT IF ONE OF THEM DOESN’T MAKE IT I’m sorry, I can’t help it, I HAVE TO PROTECT MYSELF.
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.
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