Mark Reads ‘Wizards at War’: Chapter 4

In the fourth chapter of Wizards at War, there’s a giant meeting of wizards on the moon, and I couldn’t ask for more. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards. Oh, this was so satisfying, y’all! Duane managed to combined many of my favorite characters with ANOTHER SCENE ON THE MOON. Always a good thing in my book. But the set-up here is so tantalizing because Duane hints at sub-plots to come while signifying that this journey has truly begun.

Let’s start first with the Moon, because WHY NOT. There’s something poetically beautiful about Earth’s wizards – of all species! – meeting on the Moon, the celestial body that has such a profound affect on many things on Earth. It’s here that they begin to plot out how they’ll divide up work, where they’re all going to travel, what the next steps are to solve this horrific dilemma. Even if the situation is dire (and Duane most certainly does not ignore this in the chapter), I still felt such joy reading all of this.

First, the group is reunited with S’reee, and I can’t believe I didn’t predict that she’d show up. She’s such an important wizard on Earth! Of course she’d be asked to be a part of this! And now, she’s in charge of all the water environments on Earth since the Senior wizards lost their power. (I believe it’s safe to assume that at this point, the Senior/adult wizards are now completely powerless, right?)

Darryl also makes a glorious appearance, and I got emotional just seeing his description because I LOVE THIS CHARACTER SO MUCH. I think we might see him again before the book ends, but his inclusion in this meeting isn’t because he’ll be involved in the majority of the action. Instead, Darryl recognizes that he’s still growing into his power, which was already pretty massive before the Seniors started losing their own. And now? Well, he’s got a lot to adapt to without having to deal with the expansion of space, so Duane reveals that he’ll be one of the wizards staying behind to help deal with the day-to-day complications of wizardry on Earth. Also: HIS MANUAL IS PERHAPS THE COOLEST ONE WE’VE SEEN YET. A magical iPod that unfolds into a flatscreen that you can hold in your hands? I DESPERATELY WANT ONE.

I do not want a scene with giant evil bugs, but guess what? I’M PROBABLY GETTING ONE. Darryl’s dream vision/message is yet another ambiguous clue, though perhaps much more direct than the weird haiku-esque messages that Spot spouts every so often. So the Lone One has an evil bug force out there that someone is going to run into? Great. GREAT. Y’all are gonna get to watch me squirm in horror because giant bugs freak me out.

Other than that, there are a few clues to things that haven’t come to fruition. Kit points out Ronan’s odd behavior, which I’ll assume is because of the Champion passenger that lives within him. That seems like a sensible deduction, right? At least Nita believes so, but I wonder if there’s more he knows about the Instrumentality that he’s not telling everyone. I also suppose that we’re going to be dealing with a split narrative, with time divided between the plot to seek the Instrumentality and the journey to Wellakh and the silicon planet. And what of Ponch? What of the creepy, dread-filled moments Duane gives us through Ponch, or Kit’s fear that this is going to be the last time he sees Earth? Oh god, WHY ARE YOU FILLING MY HEAD WITH DOUBT? If anything, that’s why this scene had to take place on the Moon. In that place, the wizards could see their planet within the scope of space, to appreciate how huge it is and how relatively tiny it is, too. These kids are about to make some of the most important decisions in human history, so it’s meaningful that they begin to do so while in view of the whole planet.

Lord, I’m scared.

I also want to put in one bit of nitpicking, but I’ll preface this by saying that I’m actually not sure what the intent of the text is here. I was thrilled by the introduction of twychildren, twin wizardry being a thing I didn’t even know existed. And it’s awesome to get two more non-white wizards introduced to us, too; both Nguyet and Tuyet seem like interesting characters. I would also like to say that it’s a bit of an unfortunate trope to describe Asian characters as having “porcelain” skin, and this is further complicated by the invocation of the use of “feral” to describe the kids’ smiles. Even if they’re not intended to, they’re the kind of descriptions that dehumanize characters of color by reinforcing the idea that they’re strange or the Other. No one else is described in such a manner (Darryl is just described as “dark-skinned,” for example), and the feral thing threw me off a lot. Like, was Duane trying to describe them as excited? Hungry for action? I don’t know, but I do want to see if a later section will put this in a better context.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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