Mark Reads ‘Games Wizards Play’: Chapter 16, Part II

In the final part of the final chapter of Games Wizards Play, the future is now. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

THIS WAS SO FULL OF JOY AND POSSIBILITY. So much of it! It’s such a happy ending in most respects, and I have a lot of thoughts about it.

Penn and Mehrnaz

The only thing here that left me wanting more was in the resolution of the Invitationals. On the one hand, I understand the shift in focus. The return of Roshaun is a HUGE deal for this whole series, and I needed to know how Dairine was gonna react to this. I needed to know if this had an immediate affect on her, you know? This was also a book so heavily rooted in the struggles of Penn and Mehrnaz, though, that their resolution feels dashed. We only spend a few paragraphs on Mehrnaz’s Invitational display; Penn only briefly talks with Kit and Nita about his internal passenger; we learn of the results of the Invitationals from a third party and don’t even get Penn and Mehrnaz’s reaction to it. How have their lives changed? What did this journey mean to them?

I suppose I wouldn’t have much to say on this if this book weren’t as long as it was and if the main source of tension for them wasn’t rooted in their unresolved plots. So, take Penn for an example! Penn’s monstrous behavior does have precedence within the series. We know that Ronan’s “passenger” absolutely affected his moods and his attitude, so it does make sense that there’d be a similar thing within Penn. However, attitude problems or bouts of anger and confusion don’t give rise to misogyny. And I was doing that thing where I wanted to wait until the end to see how Penn was going to be dealt with before I commented. Now that I’m here… I don’t know that this explains it enough for me. Some of this has to come from his own upbringing, as Nita notes:

“I guess some of your trouble’s been secondary to having a frustrated Exhalation stuck inside you. But I wouldn’t blame her for everything. She had to have some raw material to work with…”

Which is a very necessary point, but I felt like the story just dropped off from there. Penn says he is a jerk, he says he’s sorry, and then he just… goes home? What about his grandfather? What did that scene actually mean? I guess that Nita’s theory is supposed to be the true one, so that man knew what his grandson was going through but… no one ever said anything about it?

I don’t have quite as strong feelings about Mehrnaz because Duane dealt with the ramifications of Mehrnaz’s success on the page itself. We saw both Mehrnaz and Dairine confront the TERRIBLE Farrahi aunt, and it was cathartic and helped to fully explain why Mehrnaz behaved as she did throughout the book. Still, having her performance be so short when compared to Penn’s was a bit disappointing, and I really thought we should have seen her reaction to getting second place. How does her family treat her now? Are they really now on board with calling out Mehrnaz’s aunt just because someone else did?


I’m not saying this because I don’t want Roshaun back or don’t even think this shouldn’t have been the resolution. It’s just that Roshaun’s story eclipses Penn’s, which is unfortunate because it’s such a necessary and cathartic plot twist. Duane does an incredible job of showing us just how happy Dairine is now that Roshaun is back, and it also works as a metaphor for how we can persevere in dark times. Because there certainly have been moments since Roshaun’s disappearance where Dairine nearly gave up. But it was Nita’s support that helped Dairine push on, and I LOVE THAT THIS ENDING IS ABOUT SISTERLY LOVE. Plus, in terms of limiting what’s on page, I thought it was smart that Roshaun doesn’t get to say much. He needs a NAP. And food. Food is probably real important to him. AND QUIET TIME WITH HIS FAMILY!

Planetary Futures

I did find myself pleased with the resolutions for Kit and Nita, too, though I think they’re still overdue for a VERY long conversation about their relationship. In particular, though, this book looks ahead. It asks us to consider a future for the series and specifically for Nita. She’s not going to be a teenager that much longer, and there is a world out there that she’s still got to discover. Her visionary talent has grown immensely, but this ending gave Nita the first real chance to ask herself what she wants to do when she’s no longer a young wizard. It’s a scary question, and when Pluto presents that idea to her in the form of being a Planetary, it’s overwhelming to Nita. How can she even conceptualize being a Planetary when she’s still just… well, a wizard?

But I adore that this makes her think larger than herself, while also acknowledging that she must be pretty special for Aidoneus to tell her that she might make a great Planetary some day. Nita has the potential! I believe in her! I WANT THE BEST FOR HER!!!!

So perhaps that is what’s to come. Perhaps Nita is going to actually start pursuing this. Or perhaps this isn’t what’s going to happen next because DID CARMELA ACTUALLY UPLOAD VIDEO OF WIZARDRY TO THE INTERNET??? Excuse me if I am absolutely taking this in the wrong direction, but what if this was the event that opened the world to wizardry? What if wizards couldn’t stop the spread of this video because it went viral? PLEASE TELL ME THAT SOMEONE WROTE THIS FANFIC.

Anyway, even though this is the last Young Wizards book I am doing for the moment, I’m not done with the series yet! I’m moving on to the On Ordeal stories next before the KITTY WIZARD books. ONWARDS!!!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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