Mark Reads ‘Wizard’s Holiday’: Chapter 8, Part I

In the first half of the eighth chapter of Wizard’s Holiday, everything’s fine! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

I know there’s more to come. I know I am not only prepared, but I can’t even begin to formulate how unprepared I am. But I am now realizing the extent to which I’ve been had, to which I’ve fallen for this. I even suspected that there was a direct and disturbing connection between Nita’s dream and her trip to Alaalu, and it didn’t help.

Because Diane Duane has constructed a paradise that felt realistically perfect. If this had simply been a case of something being too good to be true, I probably would have called foul. But there is enough low-level conflict – such as Kuwilin’s desire to have more help to the complications of the ceiff – to make this seem like things are not quite perfect. Indeed, Quelt’s problem with the veins of metal felt like a distant threat to some of the “perfection” we’ve witnessed so far in Alaalu. Plus, there’s the power of juxtaposition! This chapter opens with a phone call between Nita and her father wherein she reveals just how calm and organized this world is. There are none of the stresses of everyday life that Harry is used to. Thus, even if the Alaalids do have problems, they pale in comparison to what Earth deals with.

However, this is where it starts: Duane is eating away at this perfection. The first suggestion outside of Nita’s dream that this is not what it seems comes when Kuwilin and Demair are completely non-responsive to invocation of the Lone One. Initially, I wondered if it was a translation issue more than anything else. Perhaps it was just called something different! Hell, even though Alaalid society is open about wizardry, maybe no one ever sat these two down to explain the Lone One, entropy, and death in a way they’d understand. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, does it? Especially in light of this:

“Certainly we know about her. But she’s no problem.”

But… the Lone One is everywhere, right? It’s a problem for ALL LIVING THINGS AND UNLIVING THINGS EVERYWHERE. How could the Lone One not be a problem for these people???

Once Kit and Nita confront Quelt about their concerns, I was left NOT AT ALL COMFORTED BY WHAT THEY SAID. See, that whole “Our Choice” thing made no sense. I thought an Ordeal was a personal quest, not one an entire civilization goes on! Kuwilin says it was his “species'” choice, and later, Quelt basically confirms it. Something called the “Debate and Decision” happened on the very island they’re standing on, and apparently… that solved everything? Of course, this is the exact place where I’m going to be RUINED. I’m writing this on February 12, and I don’t get to read the second half of this chapter until MARCH 1. I HAVE OPPRESSED MYSELF.

To say I’m eager to find out where this is going is an understatement. GODDAMN IT.

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

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.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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