Mark Reads ‘Wizards at War’: Chapter 7, Part I

In the first half of the seventh chapter of Wizards at War, Dairine is reunited with her mobile friends, who have done some impressive things in her absence. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

I can’t get over this and I won’t: I HAVE NEVER READ A FUSION OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION LIKE THIS IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I keep having this same sensation: Diane Duane wrote this series and put whatever the hell she want in it. Oh, were you expected nothing but high fantasy? HERE’S A PLANET THAT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT COMPUTER OF ALL TIME. Oh, were you expecting hard sci-fi? HERE’S A MAGICAL DUDE WHO CAN WALK INTO SUNS WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS. Both of these dynamics exist within the same book! Over and over again! AND I KNOW THAT I’VE POINTED THIS OUT.

Anyway, broken record, blah blah blah. Y’all have heard this before, but hey, I don’t mind being repetitive in these reviews when I’m responding to something as unique as the Young Wizards series. I was blown away by the events in High Wizardry, and returning to them here was a welcome turn of the plot. I didn’t expect to feel so comforted by all of this, though. Dairine’s reunion with the mobiles on this world didn’t start off so great, either, so I was unsettled at the start. Duane didn’t let us forget just how far Dairine and Roshaun were from literally everything, and she achieved that through their physical response to the travel and the understated existential dread present in the text. Like, I can’t even fathom one lightyear away from Earth, and these two characters are forty trillion light years away from home.

But as Gigo revealed themselves and then began to share with Dairine all the changes the mobiles had made, Duane manages to change the dynamic of the story. Of the rapport between Roshaun and Dairine. Of the future of this adventure. That existential dread creeps away, to be replaced with a mixture of wonder and shock. We learn so much about what the mobiles had been up to in the years since Dairine’s last visit, and every new piece of information highlights just how important Diarine’s Ordeal was. Y’all, she created perhaps the most powerful computer that has ever existed or will ever exist. The mobiles, as they grew and evolved, helped to construct a world that is a constantly-shifting wizardry. CONSTANTLY. Those towers, y’all! The fact that they alter their world’s kernel all the fucking time is so impressive, and the mobiles don’t even think of things that way. On the one hand, that could be a disturbing thought because these beings have evolved so far beyond my own understanding, but like Dairine, I mostly felt pride. I was so proud of them! CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS:

“The more we became able to see,” Logo said, “the more we realized how we could be the most useful. We decided we could store all the knowledge in the physical universe if we could just see it, find the places where it’s stored, learn how to read what’s written in every kind of information storage – everything from the heart on out. That’s what we do here, out at the edge. That’s our purpose.”

WHO IS EMOTIONAL it’s me, everyone, I am the emotional one.

Of course, it’s not without a little concern. Not at the mobile universe, I should say! But I was a bit disturbed by the reveal that the Defender had placed information within Spot and Dairine without them knowing. I do think that was a smart way to protect said information – whatever it is – from the Lone Power, but… what is it? The location of the Instrumentality? Something else? Is this why Spot keeps spewing out these cryptic verses? What’s going on? Ah, I’m so excited to find out more!

I am thrilled to confirm that I will be a Guest at CrossingsCon 2017! Badges are now available, so COME HANG OUT WITH ME THIS SUMMER.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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