Mark Reads ‘Wizard’s Holiday’: Chapter 9, Part I

In the first half of the ninth chapter of Wizard’s Holiday, Dairine is frustrated even more by Roshaun, and Nita overhears something disturbing. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

Oh my god, Roshaun got worse.

So now I’m left with one major question: why the hell did Roshaun go on an excursus if he wasn’t going to try to be a part of it at all? Granted, I know I’m operating with limited information at this point. All I have is what Duane has given to me through this chapter. Up to here, Roshaun has been rude. Cruel. Dismissive. Disrespectful. Uninterested in anything that Earth has to offer. He’s elitist and a snob! In practically every sense, he’s a walking trope: the rich fantasy prince. I had hoped that Dairine’s little trip into his pup-tent (and to his home planet) would shed some light on his behavior. Maybe there was another explanation! Maybe his life at home wasn’t what he made it out to be!

Obviously, the nature of what I do here means that I have to formulate ideas and theories in ignorance, so it’s still possible that I don’t get Roshaun, that there’s something to him beyond the obvious. I don’t have that yet. What I have is a pup-tent full of an absurd level of opulence.

And the place was decorated as if it was a palace. There was elaborate artwork hanging against the walls or, in some cases, unsupported in the air; there was a great couch in the middle of everything, with rich coverings and ornate cushions scattered over it. There was enough furniture – sofas and wardrobes and chests – to supply a good-sized furniture store, except that no furniture store Dairine knew would be likely to carry this kind of stuff, everything glittering with gold or inlaid with green or blue metals that Dairine didn’t immediately recognize.

THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS ON AN EXCURSUS. I know I’m biased in this regard because I’m the kind of traveler who brings as little as humanly possible, but this is ridiculous, right? RIGHT? Except it only gets worse because OF COURSE IT DOES. Roshaun constructed a portal of sorts on the back of his pup-tent, circumventing the “guidelines” set forth by the Powers because WHY NOT. WHY NOT PISS OFF THE POWERS THAT BE. And it’s that sort of flouting of the “guidelines” that enrages Dairine off so much. In the end, he doesn’t care. When she meets him inside his absurdly luxurious palace, it’s clear that he knows he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Has he ever been held responsible for his behavior? Does anyone hold him accountable? Does anyone just tell him NO? I can’t imagine that’s the case, and everything this book is telling me points to a spoiled brat. Here’s a man who has gotten EVERYTHING EVER and he sure as hell isn’t going to change who he is for Dairine.

The guy is going to miss out on GOING TO MOUNT EVEREST. That’s sort of the point, of course; to him, it’s a job that’s beneath his station, not a chance to learn about a new culture, to see something spectacular. But if he’s going to be such a perpetual jackass, then stay home. I’m glad he’s not going!

I was surprised by the jump to Kit and Nita in this chapter, especially since I’d gotten so used to getting one POV per chapter. At this point, however, Duane’s juggling two very complicated stories, and I was appreciative that after the creepy end to the last chapter, we got another update. Clearly, even Kit knows something is wrong with the arrangement on Alaalid. In particular:

But they were difficult to maintain, and to defend. Death might be thrown out of a scenario, but It had ways of sneaking back in if you weren’t very, very careful.

Are the Alaalids being careful enough?

Then, Duane takes this story in another disturbing direction. Yes, Nita has a lot of similar thoughts to Kit about how Alaalu seems too good to be true, and I figured that this is what Duane would focus on. Yet when Nita takes a short trip home to get sunscreen, she overhears a conversation between her dad and Tom regarding “cardinal events.” As best as I understood the term, these are key moments in a person’s history (or a group’s history, or a society’s history, or a whole civilization’s history, and so on) that “hinge” on a decision. That decision to intervene (as a wizard) could send things tumbling one way or another, but as Tom puts it:

“All a wizard can do, in the face of one of these avalanches of chance and change, is pick a spot to intervene in the consequences and try to clean up afterward.”

And apparently, Tom and some of his fellow wizards have recognized that a cardinal event is coming. For humans??? I think??? See, I could read this as being a warning about Earth or Alaalu, y’all, I CAN’T TELL. Which is it? What if this is a clue that Alaalu is about to face a huge, unforgettable change AND NITA AND KIT WILL BE THERE TO WATCH IT? And clean up the aftermath of it, maybe??? Oh god, way to make me even more nervous about this than I was before, Duane. THANKS.

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.
This entry was posted in Wizard's Holiday, Young Wizards and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.