Mark Reads ‘A Wizard of Mars’: Chapter 13, Part III

In the third part of A Wizard of Mars, a dinosaur shows up in Nita’s backyard, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, y’all. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

IT’S SO MUCH WORSE THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS. AND I THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY FUCKING BAD, Y’ALL. Oh my god, what do I do with any of this??? How is Duane going to resolve this nightmare? Please tell me that Kit isn’t actually gone because… he can’t???

That’s all I’ve got. I don’t have a clue how this is going to end, so… bravo??? Bravo, Diane Duane, for making me not know anything?

Let me back up, because look, y’all, I was not ready for this final third of the chapter to feature Mamvish THE ENTIRE TIME. If it was bad enough that Tom was disappointed and furious with Kit after what he’d done, this was catastrophically worse. Kit pissed off Mamvish. MAMVISH. The most powerful wizard we have ever met! So I get why she initially seemed to lash out at Nita, suspecting that Kit’s partner helped him get around his band. Can you blame her??? But she’s quick to drop the anger when she realizes that Nita had no part in Kit’s actions. AND THEN THIS BOOK BECOMES A JOURNEY WITH MAMVISH AND NITA. It’s so cool! It had been so long since we’d last seen Mamvish that I had assumed she wasn’t going to appear until after everything had been resolved. However, it’s brilliant to have her in the climax itself; it raises the stakes. This was thrilling and scary enough when Nita was the sole focus. But once you put someone as powerful as Mamvish into the story, it doesn’t diminish the tension. Rather, it accents it. When Mamvish states aloud that this is going to be a difficult task, you know she’s not messing around. So, instead of feeling safe because Nita was with Mamvish, I actually worried more. What would these wizards be met with?

A disaster. Y’all, Mamvish had to put up a shield on THE WHOLE OF MARS because the wizardries activated by Khretef’s manipulation of Kit had long been put into motion. The ancient city was already returning; the atmosphere was changing to make it livable for the Shamaska-Eilitt. What if someone on Earth had seen any of this?

Except that’s the whole point: in one of the more shocking scenes in the book, Iskard claims to not care about Earth. And I know I’m jumping ahead a bit here, but it’s not because Mamvish’s and Nita’s trip to the palace is boring or not worthy of commentary. However, the actual conversation the two wizards have with the rulers of the People of the First World is so incredibly disturbing that I need to yell. A LOT. Iskard, Aurilelde, and Rorsik are… well, beyond selfish. That word doesn’t seem strong enough! They openly admit to what they’ve done and the effects it’ll have on the solar system:

“We not only accept it,” said Rorsik, “but we embrace it. The other planet is concern of ours. If they are not strong enough to accept the return of the People of the First World to the system where we were the First Life, then they should learn such strength. Or possibly vacate that world in favor of a people better suited to occupy it.”

IT’S SO HORRIFYING, ISN’T IT. They’re not even being subtle, y’all. They truly believe they’re the better society, despite that whole little thing where they had to go into hiding because their constant warmongering nearly got them wiped out. Rorsik seems to conveniently forget that detail, doesn’t he? They also don’t care that Khretef used reincarnation (or at least a version of it) to manipulate a teenager into setting them free. Aurilelde brags about it in a roundabout way! She knew that Khretef would “absorb” Kit, and of course, she never once told him that. It didn’t matter, as long as she got precisely what she wanted.

It’s cruel. And there’s no doubt in my mind that practically everything about this is wrong and cruel. I don’t even quite understand what Aurilelde did to Nita, but it seems like she just dropped her on Mars without her life-support force field, so… she intended to kill Nita, right? I WOULD ARGUE THAT THE GIANT WAVE THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT A DREAM OUTRIGHT CONFIRMS THAT. Oh my god, these people only care about themselves. Everyone else is just a tool to help them establish their regime again.

THIS IS SO BAD. How is Nita going to get out of this???

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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