Young Fresh Wizards

So You Want to Be a Wizard, by Diane Duane – This is the first book in the Young Wizard series, which I read based on Amy‘s recommendation. A girl named Nita discovers a book on wizardry, and joins up with another amateur wizard named Kit to retrieve a book of power and fend off the Devil. You know, just basic beginning stuff. {g} The Evil One lives in an alternate version of Manhattan, but fortunately a more interesting one than in the Super Mario Bros. Movie. In this city, vehicles have lives of their own, and dragons dwell in subway tunnels. I don’t know whether Duane originally intended the book to be the first in a series, but that’s how it turned out, and it really does seem more like an introductory book than a stand-alone. Not that there isn’t a strong plot (hey, fighting the Lord of Evil is nothing to sneeze at), but a lot of the more intriguing ideas about magic and wizards struck me as hinting at later developments. Mind you, now I want to read the rest of the series, so I guess Duane’s tactics worked.

By the way, I wonder how the people who think J.K. Rowling is a servant of Satan would react to this series, in which wizards seek to preserve life while the Evil One tries to destroy it. I guess they could just say the Devil is tricking kids into becoming allies when they think they’re opponents, but it still kind of amuses me in that light. Of course, Rowling has come right out and said she believes in God and not magic, but the problem is that the fundamentalist critics believe in both. Personally, I don’t believe in either, but I think they can both make for interesting stories. And on that topic, I have to wonder if the Michael that the Starsnuffer is talking to in the fifth chapter is the Archangel. It’s not specifically spelled out, but it would make sense I guess I’ll just have to read the other books and see if it’s addressed again.

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2 Responses to Young Fresh Wizards

  1. This stuff IS addressed later in the series– the whose-side-are-you-on thing is addressed directly (although offstage) by one of Kit’s older sisters who is convinced he’s sold his soul to Satan and he’s like “NO ABSOLUTELY NOT IF-YOU-ONLY-KNEW-HOW-VERY-MUCH-NO” (it’s also interesting that Kit and his family are often referred to as devout Catholics); it’s been awhile since I read the first book, so I’m not sure of the Michael context, but Michael the Archangel comes into play OUTRIGHT later in the series so it very well could be. Like I’ve said in my multiple recommendations, the series is very L’Engle-like, and they’ve also both got what could be considered very Christian mythologies that are yet broad and open to other religions as well, which means the fundamentalists will still take offense, anyway. Because obviously you can’t TRULY profess the same faith as them unless you profess it EXACTLY….

    • Nathan says:

      I noticed a similarity to L’Engle’s style, in that they both use Christian themes while still allowing for a universe broader than the Bible suggests. Sort of the opposite of Young Earth Creationism and its attempt to keep everything in the nice little package people came up with millennia ago.

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