Wizards at War by Diane Duane. ★★★★★
Wow, this book was intense.
You definitely need to have read the prior books in the series (start with So You Want to Be a Wizard) before picking up Wizards at War, which builds upon the prior books, reintroduces characters, and starts almost immediately where the last book left off.
In the last book, Tom and Carl weren’t strangely weren’t in contact. Now we find out why. The universe is ending. Entropy has suddenly speed up with the appearance of ominous dark matter that is pushing apart galaxies. Wizardry is failing, and soon people will cease to care about all but material things. The senior wizards will lose their powers first, along with any memories of wizardry every existing. It’s up to the young wizards to save the universe.
“Suddenly Nita began to understand the feeling she’d read about in books, but never really understood: the feeling that it was genuinely all over, that nothing further could be done… except to go out as well as you could.”
Kit and Nita have just gotten back from the events of the prior book, and the three alien house guests are still present. Kit, Nita, Dairine, Filif, Sker’ret, and Roshaun are joined by Ronan, from A Wizard Abroad, in a trek across galaxies to try and get to the heart of the problem. Their quest will take them to a world darker than any seen before, one that belongs completely to the Lone Power.
“So there’s still hope?”
“Always hope,” said the mirror-scaled koi. “But you can’t just sit there and stare at it. You have to do something with it.”
Everything about this book was fantastic. All the character building scenes of the previous books paid off here when beloved and familiar characters suddenly face something they’ve never seen the likes of. The book was incredibly paced, the moments of humor were a wonderful release, the aforementioned characters were great, and there so many scenes that were genuinely moving. There was particularly something that happened near the end with one of my favorite characters that really gets me.
On the subject of favorite characters, Wizards at War has given me an incredible love for Carmela Rodriguez. She’s been very good in the last few books, but here she moves from endearing to truly awesome.
I really, really loved Wizards at War. If you’re a fan of the series, I think you’ll likely to love it as much as I do. If you haven’t read any of the Young Wizards books, why not? It’s one of the best YA fantasy series out there, and if you’re at all a fan of the genre you should be giving it a look.