In the first part of the second chapter of “On Ordeal: Roshaun,” IT HAPPENED, IT HAPPENED!!! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
I know I am absolutely repeating what I said at the end of the video for this part, but it truly is the best part of the opening of chapter two. LOOK HOW MUCH JOY THERE IS WITHIN THE TEXT. It doesn’t take long for Rho to wake up and realize that something has happened. In hindsight, I find it hilarious that he had a full-on conversation with an object or a thing and then just wrote it off as a dream. RHO, PAY ATTENTION, YOUR WILDEST DREAM IS UNFOLDING BEFORE YOU. Yet I totally get why he didn’t see the obvious! How could he? Look at the emotional state he was in. He witnessed an assassination attempt on his mother; he was in the midst of an existential crisis about the path of his whole life. He wasn’t exactly in the most receptive mood!
And yet, once it’s undeniable, the tone of “On Ordeal: Roshaun” completely changes. He discards his doubt and accepts that an Aethyr—no, his Aethyr!!!—has finally arrived.
I am a wizard, Rho thought, his mouth dry with shock and astonishment. Finally, finally it’s happened.
ISN’T IT JUST FULL OF JOY AND WONDER, Y’ALL?!?!? It doesn’t matter that we knew it was gonna happen. It’s still so exciting, especially because Duane spent so much time giving us a sense of what Rho’s life was like before he was given a chance to be a wizard. It’s a classic case of knowing the ending, but having a story told to explain how one arrives there. Thus, there’s still tension here, and there’s still a need to know. I want to see how Rho’s Ordeal will unfold, and I want to know what his very first trip to the Crossings will be like. But more than anything else: I want to know what it will be like for him to taste freedom.
I’m sure none of you are surprised that I am latching on to this specific dynamic more than anything else. I distinctly remember what freedom felt like after years of the opposite. Duane captures the combination of ecstasy and terror that I, too, felt throughout the experience. Just because Roshaun has this thing he’s always wanted doesn’t mean his fear disappears. You can still see it here as he stresses over the thought of his Challenge as well as the terror that his first wizardry will fail miserably. This might change his outlook, but it doesn’t immediately change his personality, you know? His anxiety is still on the surface, and he’s still concerned about the ramifications of everything. I DEEPLY, DEEPLY RELATE TO THIS. Even if my freedom was wrapped up in a lot of trauma—being kicked out of my home is not something I’d like to relive—I remember how light my body felt in those first few hours. And I relate that to the fact that Rho now has choices he never had before.
Isn’t that the nature of freedom? It means all the choices that are available are available to you. And for a kid who isn’t allowed to have friends over, who isn’t allowed to just leave his home for casual strolls or day adventures, who must tell his parents and his security staff his every move, wizardry has granted him a million new choices.
I can’t wait to see what he does with them.
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