In the epilogue of Wizard’s Holiday, LITERALLY EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS NOT OKAY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
This is intentional, isn’t it? Virtually every line in this epilogue, right down to those last few sentences, is meant to convey a sense of calm and peace. Alaalu is forever changed, and that’s immediately apparent. The world is empty of the entire civilization that lived there! It’s a bit unnerving, especially in the way that Duane describes it:
For as they came down to solid ground again neither of them could hear anything but a great silence. It wasn’t merely a matter of the lack of sound, but of the effect of many minds that had been in that world but now were gone, gone off to do other business, to live other lives. They had left behind them a world that was empty, and strangely innocent and clean: an old world made new.
And Alaalu felt so alive before this. However, it’s not quite as vacant as it might seem. There’s still the keks and the ceiffs, both who can reclaim a land and be “wild” as they once were. Of course, the keks might have a different plan for the future on the planet, and thousands upon thousands of years from now, Alaalu might even be called something else. It might look like somewhere else. Either way, Duane captures the oddness of it all for Nita and Kit, whose presence and actions helped push the Alaalids where they needed to go. I can’t even imagine what that might feel like, but I don’t have to. Duane puts that surreal nature onto the page. There’s that brilliant moment where Nita folds up one coverlets and puts it on the foot of the bed. She doesn’t have to; no one will care that it was left out, that the homes were abandoned, that things were not as they were at the start of this trip. However, it’s a sign of respect, a slight nod at who came before and who moved on to another life and another existence. It’s like Nita’s quiet way of giving thanks, if you will.
Before that thing happened, I, too, thought that Wizard’s Holiday gave the reader a lot to think about. I’d like to believe that adversity has made me into who I am today. That’s not to suggest that people deserve to suffer or that we shouldn’t do things to alleviate that sort of suffering. Instead, I can look upon my past in hindsight and appreciate that my own personal progress leapt forward in bounds whenever things got rough. For the Alaalid people, there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty, but that uncertainty isn’t a bad thing.
I am now realizing that this is the point because Diane Duane was probably foreshadowing the next book. Oh my god, UNCERTAINTY. FEAR. THE UNKNOWN. That’s precisely why this book ends on such a daunting note. What if Earth is next? What if that is the reason for all those senior wizards being pulled away from Earth? OH NO, IT WAS RIGHT THERE ALL THE TIME, WASN’T IT.
I did not expect this to end in a cliffhanger. None of the others have! THIS IS DEEPLY UNFAIR. But it’s also a great way to end a book about uncertainty and courage, by hinting that the main characters may have to now deal with that on their own world. Shit, the next batch of predictions are going to be so fun, I CAN’T WAIT.
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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