Mark Reads ‘Games Wizards Play’: Chapter 3, Part II

In the second half of the third chapter of Games Wizards Play, THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

I know I’m deep into this series, but I’m still pleased that we got to meet Mike and see Harry Callahan’s flower shop in greater detail. Obviously, that’s not the thing I’m most excited about in the second half of this chapter, but this world is fleshed out just a little bit more than it was before. It’s related to the comment I made in the video for the previous review regarding Wellakh’s relationship with plants. Knowing that Nelaid would view plant life (and therefore, Harry’s job) in an entirely different light was meaningful to the reader. We understand why it’s so cool that Nelaid is in this scene and why he feels like the shop is “full of life.” Now I wonder what Nelaid’s thoughts are on Earth as a whole and the lush plant life that exists here. OR HOW WE TREAT OUR ENVIRONMENT BECAUSE WE TAKE IT ALL FOR GRANTED.

Anyway, let’s just get to the meat of it: y’all, I LOVE HOW THESE THREE INTRODUCTORY CHAPTERS ARE STRUCTURED. Each one gives us a glimpse of the three main characters in their daily lives, and then each shows us the moment of discovery. They’re all invited to attend the invitational, and they each have a different reaction to it. I also noticed that Duane ordered these so that the reader would get progressively more information in each chapter, too, which is a brilliant way to avoid repetition when dealing with the same issue. RIGHT??? Because despite the pattern, these don’t feel the same at all. Kit experiences excitement over the mystery and grandiose nature of it all. Nita is anxious because she is worried that she is being sent on errantry and because she isn’t sure how to work out the details of her relationship with Kit.

And Dairine is straight-up terrified. Oh, she wants to attend the invitationals and be a mentor, and I’d say she’s even more excited than Kit was. But after she deals with a bit of disappointment over not being invited to participate as a competitor, her main worry is that she won’t be allowed to be a mentor. I thought that initial reaction—anger—was believable for Dairine, especially since she’s such an openly competitive person. (And petty, too. She’s totally petty, right? THAT’S NOT ALWAYS A BAD THING, I LIKE PETTY CHARACTERS A LOT.) More than anyone else, I also saw her as being the closest to the reader’s reaction. This competition is going to allow us the best opportunity to get a huge view of what wizardry is like on worth. Wizards! From other countries! From other cultures! And Dairine would have the chance to MENTOR one of them! Plus, this is another reason why this is going to rule:

A whole bunch of new people—wizards I don’t know, people who’ll take me seriously. And maybe put me onto some spell or something that I’ve missed, something that’ll help me find out what I want to know about more than anything else, the one thing that matters—

Well, that’s technically two reasons. One: DAIRINE UNLEASHED. Now I understand why we had to see her training session with Nelaid: It had to come before this invitation so that her excitement would be grounded in reality. It’s so challenging for Dairine to have to work within the narrow rules of Wellakh’s wizardries, and here’s a chance for her to be as creative and unorthodox as possible.

And perhaps, that will lead her to Roshaun. Ugh, this subplot HURTS me. I desperately want to know where he is, but I also want Dairine to have closure, one way or another. I really don’t believe he’s dead, but I can also see how his absence eats at her. That affects her lessons with Roshaun’s father, obviously, but it’s also an obsession of hers. And what if this doesn’t actually lead to what she wants? How will she deal with that disappointment?

I don’t know. I would love if this happened, but I don’t want to expect it. What I am expecting is an exploration of the mentor/student dynamic, given that Dairine has such a hard time with Nelaid. How will she feel about this when she is the one who must teach someone else? Oh gods, what if her student is really difficult??? THERE IS SO MUCH POSSIBILITY IN THIS Y’ALL.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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