Mark Reads ‘Lifeboats’: Chapter 8, Part I

In the first half of the eighth chapter of Lifeboats, Kit spends some time reflecting. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards. 

Well, this was more introspective than I expected, but it’s full of a lot of information. It feels like Kit is on the brink of an epiphany, which I do hope comes soon because… shit, there’s not much left in this book, y’all. There are still numerous threads that have been left hanging, and this chapter introduces another one: the strange being in Kit’s dream who makes a ton of ambiguous statements about salvation and perception. And like Kit says, this is exactly what comes with the territory. Wizardry doesn’t provide easy answers!

But at this point, Kit has virtually no answers at all, and it’s part of the reason why he spends so much time here trying to sort through his thoughts. Initially, he is trying to decipher his dream. (Why sibik eyes??? I still don’t get that part!) (Was it really Ponch??? DON’T TORMENT ME LIKE THIS.) But that gives way to a greater introspection about recent events, Thesba, and Kit’s place within all of this. I love that Duane calls back to the events of The Wizard’s Dilemma, given that this book often feels like a companion to that one, at least in a thematic sense. Sure, this conflict is distinctly less personal, but it’s still about how one wizard copes with a problem that is insurmountable.

And really, that’s exactly what Lifeboats concerns itself with: Kit cannot change this future timeline. No matter what he does, it is literally impossible for him to save every Tevaralti. It is impossible for him to stop the destruction of Thesba. There’s even mention of mu Cephei, the star that’ll go nova and destroy Tevaral regardless. So how the hell do you cope with things you actually can’t change? How do you have hope when it seems impossible?

Well, Kit doesn’t necessarily try to answer that question. He’s plagued by all these mysteries, but he also just moves on with his day, immersing himself in his routines for a bit of distraction. That, and he also experiences some of Djam’s culture’s entertainment, which sounded right up my alley. I AM SURE I WOULD HAVE LOVED IT. But in the end, this just makes him feel sorrow. More so than ever before, we’re at a moment in this series where Kit and Nita are about to enter adulthood, and that means that wizardry will continue to get more complex. This is just the start, isn’t it? And perhaps that’s the whole point of Lifeboats. Maybe it signals a key change in the series as one big story, you know?

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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