Mark Reads “On Ordeal: Mamvish” – Chapter 3, Part II

In the second half of the third chapter of “On Ordeal: Mamvish,” Mamvish comes into her own. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

So, I get why I thought that the opening of this short story was rough to get through. Without knowing what the end result of this story would be, I couldn’t see why I needed all of the information that Duane was giving me. This is the risk I take with Mark Reads, more so than Mark Watches. Television episodes are, generally speaking, designed to be consumed one at a time. Chapters of a book or sections of a chapter? Not so much. So I know that there’s always this chance that I’ll read something, comment on it, and then be immediately wrong in my perception of it. IT’S KIND OF MY DEAL. I do appreciate the dense opening to Mamvish’s story, which isn’t to say everyone has to. I feel like Duane’s style has gotten more complex over the years, and I wouldn’t say that her diction and craft in So You Want To Be A Wizard is at all identical to her recent work. It’s very much not. Hell, even within these two stories in Interim Errantry 2, the styles aren’t the same. Roshaun’s third-person narration felt much closer than what we’re getting here. 

So, there’s also a part of me that feels like this story is in conversation with both the last one and us. I admit that I went into this with an expectation that we’d get a version of Roshaun’s story, that Mamvish would come into wizardry and then go through a challenging Ordeal, and it would be illuminating into her character and provide us with some necessary context. That did happen… sort of? In a roundabout way, Duane achieves the same end, but y’all, this was a SURPRISE. After a lengthy, exhausting, and confusing journey, Mamvish has an Ordeal that is literally unlike everyone else’s because SHE DOESN’T FACE THE LONE ONE AT ALL. No, she’s the extremely rare exception to the rule, and I’m still surprised by this.

But it makes so much sense, doesn’t it? I know that Tauwff lifespans are much long than our own, but that doesn’t negate her impressive journey to right the world of Wimst. This whole quest leads her to Mentaff, the Planetary for Wimst, and OH BOY, THIS DOESN’T GO AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD EITHER. After Podrist fought Mamvish, I wondered if Mamvish would have to do the same thing. But her confrontation with the Planetary is the accumulation of more than just a journey. All the way back in the beginning of the story, one of Mamvish’s clutch mates was eaten before they could experience life, and through all the twists and turns of this, SHE ENDS UP MEETING HIM AGAIN WITHIN MENTAFF. I’d say, “What are the odds?” But we know there are no coincidences in wizardry. This was where she needed to be. And it’s not that it’s destiny, per se. She still had to make all the choices along the way, and at any point, she could have given up. 

But she didn’t. So when Mentaff willingly gives himself up to Mamvish—reuniting her with her sibling—Duane makes this the Ordeal. She gives us a story of someone who didn’t have wizardry when they faced the Lone One and who faced the Lone One indirectly, over and over again. And oh lord, the reward for that? Like with Roshaun’s story, there’s an immense satisfaction to Mamvish getting her full name and taking on enacture. It’s so cool, y’all!!! I was so happy for her, especially since it granted her the kind of hope she never really had. I wouldn’t say she was negative or cynical prior to this, but once she knows just how grand and huge the universe is, it’s like every door of potentiality is opened for her at once. Y’all, she goes on her first errantry ON THE FIRST DAY OF BEING A WIZARD!!!

Before the night was over she was standing under the vast moon of another world…

This is how Duane hints at what Mamvish will become. She’ll help repair worlds. She will help evacuate populations. She invents rafting. Mamvish became exactly the wizard that the Powers hoped she would be, and it was so fulfilling to experience.


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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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