Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane. ★★★1/2
Games Wizards Play is the tenth book in the Young Wizards series, which starts with So You Want to Be a Wizard. I generally really like this series, but I think this installment has structural issues. If I had to guess, I’d say that a lot of Games Wizards Play is setting up for a future book.
Games Wizards Play centers around the Invitational, a planet wide event where young wizards compete in what’s essentially a magical science fair. Nita, Kit, and Dairine are all invited to be mentors to students in the competition. Nita and Kit are given Penn Shao-Feng, who’s working on a solar spell and who’s also a complete jerk. Dairine is assigned Mehrnaz Farrahi, a shy fourteen year old Iranian girl with a plan to stop earthquakes in their tracks and a whole heap of problems from her wizardly family. The book shifts between the perspectives of Nita, Kit, and Dairine.
Interim Errantry by Diane Duane.
Interim Errantry is actually a bundle of a short story, a novella, and a short novel all set in the Young Wizards universe. These stories were all published independently by Diane Duane, and they are basically extra material for the fans. I don’t think knowledge of any of them will be required for the upcoming tenth book, but I wouldn’t recommend these stories to people who haven’t read the prior Young Wizard books, which start with So You Want to Be a Wizard.
Separate reviews of all three stories follow.
A Wizard of Mars by Diane Duane. ★★★★
A Wizard of Mars is the ninth book in the Young Wizard series, which should really be read in order (the series starts with So You Want to Be a Wizard). In A Wizard of Mars, Kit and Nita are part of a team looking for evidence of prior life on the planet. When they find a “message in a bottle,” strange wizardry emerges. The Martians have plans of their own, and they might not be friendly…
Wizards at War by Diane Duane. ★★★★★
Wow, this book was intense.
Remember how I complained that in the seventh book of The Young Wizard series the plot took forever to take off? The eighth book pulls no punches, and the tension’s there from the very first chapter.
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.
Wizard’s Holiday by Diane Duane. ★★★1/2
Wizard’s Holiday is the seventh book in the Young Wizard series by Diane Duane, a YA fantasy series which starts with So You Want to Be a Wizard. I generally recommend reading the series in order. The plot of this installment is basically wizards’ student exchange program – with aliens! Nita and Kit head off to stay at a strange planet where everything seems like it should be perfect, but there’s a lingering sense of unease. Dairine plays host to three alien visitors.
A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane. ★★★★
There are two things you need to know about A Wizard Alone. The first is that it’s the sixth book in the Young Wizard series, which starts with So You Want to Be a Wizard, and that you should probably read the series in order. Secondly, there are two different versions of A Wizard Alone and the differences are significant. There is the original version and the New Millennium Edition. For this reread, I read the New Millennium Edition and I would advise you to do the same. (Note – a spoiler for the previous book, The Wizard’s Dilemma follows.)
The Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane. ★★★★★
To what lengths would you go to save someone you love?
I cried while I read this book. Actually, just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. The Wizard’s Dilemma is a book with a lot of emotional difficulty to it, but that’s part of what makes it so powerful.
The Wizard’s Dilemma is the fifth installment in the Young Wizard’s series, which starts with So You Want to Be a Wizard. I don’t think you necessarily need to have read all four of the previous books to understand this one, but I think it will be more forceful if you are already attached to the characters.