Mark Reads ‘A Wizard of Mars’: Chapter 11, Part I

In the first half of the eleventh chapter of A Wizard of Mars, Nita tries to figure out what Kit’s test was, and Kit deals with an even bigger problem: his oldest sister. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

AHHHH EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS!!!

Nita

Oh, Nita. OH, NITA. It’s easy to see how much she’s affected by the test that Kit was in the middle of because SHE TOTALLY HAS FEELINGS FOR HIM. It’s gotta be the reason that, upon seeing Aurilelde, Nita’s reaction is to feel “scrawny and non-toned.” See, if this wizardry latches on to a wizard’s perception and then re-creates it, then it stands to reason that there’s a reason why beings within it appear as they do. Is Aurilelde Kit’s ideal woman? If that’s the case, then it makes sense to me that Nita would feel inadequate in comparison. It’s a lot to live up to, and given that both she and Kit have not addressed their possible romantic inclinations in any meaningful sense, all Nita has is her imagination. Here, she imagines the worst of herself while witnessing Kit’s interactions with this gorgeous woman.

Of course, there’s more going on here than this, but I still think it’s going to lead to these two having a serious conversation about it before the end of the book. There’s another significance to Nita’s exploration of this wizardry: she glimpses the gray being that she saw in the early part of A Wizard of Mars, and that means:

So, Nita thought, this is what the people of the First World made themselves into after they came. This is someone from Shamask-Eilith …and now, by location anyway, a Martian.

OHHHHHH, I GET IT. That was why her oracular vision gave her that image! It was foreshadowing to the “final” form of the First World, who had to change themselves when they made it to Mars. It suggests that Nita has a connection to this place, too, but… yeah, I don’t know. I mean, given that Kit has a reason to be on Mars, I assume they’re related? But how can the wizardries planted within Mars have been programmed specifically for Kit and Nita, when they wouldn’t have even existed for HALF A MILLION YEARS? That part of this mystery still perplexes me. It all feels too specific, you know? Then there’s this bit:

And based on the past behavior of the species that, it now seemed, had lain hidden on Mars for so long – assuming that the history that she and Carmela and S’reee had read or experienced in the cavern was true – the thought of having any close dealings with the Shamaska-Eilitt was making Nita nervous. To these guys, Nita thought, all was fair in war. But what about love?

GREAT. NOW I’M NERVOUS AS WELL. Is this entire thing a manipulation of Kit? Why? And why him, so far into the future from when this was all set into motion???

Helena

I don’t know if we’ll get any scenes between Helena and Kit after this, but I’m pretty satisfied with this. Helena’s perception of her brother was obviously flawed, but when you have someone so utterly convinced of a reality in your life, it’s not exactly easy to deal with. I get the sense that Helena had settled into a reality – Kit being the servant of the Devil or something like it – and didn’t really want to budge. I’m curious if Carmela was instrumental in Helena approaching this bizarre situation in a different light. How often had they talked? Had Carmela done her best to explain what Kit was and what he could do?

Regardless, after so much time away from the family, Helena has changed in one significant way. Oh, she might be able to talk up a storm still, but she no longer believes Kit is evil:

And Helena looked at him with an expression of not just understanding, but – bizarrely – pity. “Why didn’t you just tell me that you’re a mutant?”

Yeah, suffice to say that I DID NOT EXPECT THIS TWIST. In hindsight, I can see why she thought this and why it gives her comfort. It’s not a choice that serves some evil being; instead, being a “mutant” means that Kit was born like this, that it is some immutable part of who he is, and he’s just doing the best with what he has. Granted, it’s not all that comforting to Kit, especially since wizardry relies so heavily on telling the truth and reading intent. He’s not a mutant, and he resents that Helena assigns this whole identity and reality on him, despite that she actually has no idea what she’s talking about.

But it’s a move in a better direction, and that’s undeniable. At least she’s not going to be on his case about being in league with Satan, right??? EVERYONE (sort of) WINS.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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