Mark Reads ‘Wizards at War’: Chapter 9, Part II

In the second half of the ninth chapter of Wizards at War, Kit tries on something new, and Dairine arrives with shocking information. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

Trigger Warning: For mention of spiders.

You know, so much has happened in this book, and I just realized that I’m barely at the halfway book. This is probably going to be one dense, action-packed novel, isn’t it? Whew, lord, I’m not ready.

So let’s talk about how one plot is left hanging as another is brought to the forefront. The emotional complications between Kit and Nita linger after the split point I was given for this chapter, and I’m still curious how Duane will deal with this. First of all, there is a lot going on all around this, so I get why the two of them don’t just sit down and talk through it all. IT’S KINDA THE END OF THE WORLD. Their priorities are in the right place! Yet at some point, Kit and Nita will need to have a very difficult conversation about attraction and friendship. It doesn’t help that these two can sense emotions and feelings the other person is experiencing. Not only does that show how close they are, but it could easily tear them apart if they’re not careful. It’s a delicate thing that Duane’s created here, isn’t it? Their closeness could be a flaw if they’re not careful about it.

Thankfully, they are being careful, but WE’LL SEE.

The remainder of this chapter is surprisingly positive, given that the young wizards are all hiding in a cave to avoid being eaten by WARRING MURDER SPIDERS. It’s in that cave that we get more of Ponch being the purest dog who ever dog’d, first of all. But Duane also introduces us to Filif’s full mochteroof construction, a wizardry so complicated and smooth that I, like Kit, could only be impressed and nothing else. We’ve seen complicated spells before (the Song was pretty ridiculous), but there’s something about the functional nature of the mochteroof that I find transfixing. It seems so simple! We know it’s intricate, but seeing Kit step into it and just become a Yaldiv is haunting. Filif is such an unassuming wizard, perhaps the least showy of them all, and yet this scene reveals so much about them. I love that Duane calls attention to that, too! In the midst of a coming war, adversity brings out qualities in these wizards we never really knew were there. (Which is not to say that I thought Filif was a shitty wizard prior to this, of course!) Who else will reveal sides of them we’ve not seen?

But y’all. HOW CAN I SERIOUSLY TALK ABOUT ANY OF THIS NOW THAT I KNOW WHAT DAIRINE’S DISCOVERY WAS??? I’ve wanted to make this entire review me yelling about it because HESPERUS AND PHOSPHORUS. IT IS SO DELICIOUSLY SIMPLE AND WAS SITTING RIGHT THERE THE WHOLE TIME. It’s the potential that Duane’s seeded into this story that excites me so much. What does a “bright” version of the Lone Power actually mean? Is this a being or a force that is the polar opposite of the Lone One in intent and action? Can it cancel out the Lone One, or perhaps combine with it to form a new Power? Why has it been hiding out on this wretched “lost” planet this entire time? WHY IS IT BEING “BORN” NOW? Oh my god, there are so many ways Duane can take this, and I’m thrilled. WHY CAN’T I JUST READ THIS BOOK IN ONE SITTING LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN.

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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