In the second half of the second chapter of Games Wizards Play, Nita learns more about the Invitational. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
If my early sense of Games Wizards Play is correct, then Duane has found a way to build a novel around a different concept than just a battle with the Lone One. Of course, the Lone One factors into every struggle in this book, even if It doesn’t necessarily show up. But like Lifeboats, this book is shaping up to show a different side of wizardry while also giving us a conflict that’s utterly unlike any of the past books.
Granted, I have to speculate at this point. I can say that definitively, this book is addressing the complications of Kit’s and Nita’s relationship in new ways already. As for this invitational, I can only guess what might happen, but OH THE POSSIBILITIES. What if the wizard they mentor is difficult? What if there’s Imposter Syndrome at work? WHAT IF THE INVITATIONAL IS SUPER DIFFICULT? Oh god, there’s so much that can happen here!
I’m jumping ahead of myself, and I don’t want to expect too much of this because I want to see how it unfolds. I am, like Nita and Kit, completely ignorant of this Invitational, and it’s a little surprising that we’ve never heard anything about it. Well, not in hindsight, though, given that it only happens once every eleven years. Plus, our little heroes have been a bit busy for a while. Which is the point! That’s a large reason why they were recommended to be mentors in this program. I love how S’reee put it:
“I keep talking to you, hNii’t, about not going so unconscious about your own credentials,” said S’reee. “You dealt with the Lone Power one-on-one, on Its own turf, on your Ordeal. You survived the Song of the Twelve, which isn’t exactly a given for any of the participants. Not to mention various other minor skirmishes. Mars, just now. Alaalu. The Hesper business.”
This invitation is a recognition of what Nita has accomplished over the course of this series, and it’s also a way to send a message to her: she has knowledge that she can pass on to the next generation of wizards. That’s such an incredible thing! It fits within the arc for her character, too, since years have passed since we first met her in So You Want To Be a Wizard. It’s strange to think about, but there are now a new class of young wizards on Earth who have gone through their Ordeals and need guidance, too.
I can’t imagine someone better than Nita and Kit to provide that guidance. AND IN A COMPETITIVE SETTING. I still think we’ll learn more about that aspect soon, and I just realized I did not ask a vital question until right now:
Will Kit and Nita be mentoring the same wizard, or will they each get their own?
THERE IS SO MUCH POTENTIAL HERE, Y’ALL.
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