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Wizards at War (Young Wizards #8)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  4,391 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Nita and Kit return from their wizardly holiday, looking forward to getting back to their everyday routine. But there's trouble brewing. A strange darkness of the mind and heart is about to befall the older wizards of the world, stealing away their power. Soon, the young wizards of Earth and many other planets find themselves forced to defend wizards and nonwizards alike a ...more
Hardcover, 552 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 21, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Latest in the Young Wizards series is Wizards at War by Diane Duane.
Diane Duane was writing about boys and girls becoming wizards long before Harry Potter was ever envisioned. The premise is nothing less than every wizard is trying to stop the heat death of the universe. Yeah, pretty big stuff. I really love that the wizardry is all scientifically based (You want to go to the moon? Remember to bring air, heat and take into account the orbital velocities of the Earth and Moon, as well as the velo
May 05, 2008 Wayne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, juvenile
The eighth book in the Young Wizard's series. Once again Diane Duane has written a story wrapping wizardry, science, and religion into one storyline. When expanding dark matter threatens to destroy the universe itself Nita and Kit have to find a way to stop it. The problem is that the expanding dark matter is affecting the way wizardry works and causing all of the adult wizards to lose their power, and even forget that wizardry exists. Nita and Kit have a lot of help this time with a virtual Uni ...more
Jul 05, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult
The final book (or so I've heard) in Duane's Young Wizards Series. I'm rather sad about this. I've been reading these since I was the age of the protagonists, starting with the wonderful "So You Want to Be a Wizard", and in the last couple of books she's introduced some really amazing new characters. But this book was great, one of the best, really, with all the gang getting lots of time on the page: Nita, Kit, Dairine, Ponch, Carmela, Ronan, and the others we've come to love are all there, savi ...more
Dec 17, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
I have finally caught up with this series! I don't know if that's exciting or depressing.

This book is much longer than the other books in the series and, accordingly, deals with a much more complicated and detailed plot than in the beginning of the series. It takes place immediately after book 7 and contains most of the same "extras".

The interactions between the characters felt like I was watching something real - something unscripted. It captured my attention and didn't let go. Still a fast re
Sep 12, 2010 Luann rated it really liked it
Third time's the charm. This is at least the third time I've checked this out from the library. This time I finally finished it before returning it. The other times I would wait until the due date and then just return it because I hadn't started it or hadn't read more than a few pages. I really wanted to read it, but it felt so long and involved and I didn't have the time needed to devote to it. I know it's not a 1,000-page book or anything, but still quite long and not a book I wanted to rush t ...more
Jul 21, 2009 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Number 8 in the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane. Nita and Kit have to save the universe. Again.

If you haven't read the rest of the series, DO NOT start here. You will be so lost. And it has major spoilers for the previous books too. It does revisit a scene from High Wizardry, so that was fun, and it links closely with the previous book, Wizard's Holiday.

So without spoiling it in case you want to read the series and haven't yet, let me say that the universe is in a rather odd crisis. Dark mat
Jul 15, 2009 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Possibly the most epic and whirlwind Young Wizards book yet.

The strange goings-on in the universe are coming to a head. Entropy seems to be forcing space to expand at a dangerous rate, and a weird dark entity is being spotted in the far reaches of the galaxy. The Lone Power is obviously up to something...but what?

Worst of all, the expansion is causing Senior wizards everywhere to lose their powers...and eventually their memories. Without their advice and experience, it literally is up to the "y
Jun 27, 2010 Evelyn rated it really liked it
When I found this book at my library, I was ecstatic. The Young Wizards series has a fine tradition of excellence which was well carried on in this book. Functional magic is a beautiful thing. For specifics, I found the plot perfectly paced, the characters wonderfully written as usual, the emotion elegantly and subtly handled, and...I'll stop. It's impossible for me to write an unbiased review of the Young Wizards series. But I would like to point out that Roshaun and Dairine's relationship coul ...more
Jun 27, 2009 Scurra rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It's hard to say things about this one without spoiling it - especially as the completely unexpected resolution is genuinely heart-breaking but far more so if you don't know about it.

But there are some brilliantly unsettling bits quite apart from that. The scene with Tom and Nita is very effective, as are the equivalent ones on the alien planets, and the section in the Throne Room.

And not forgetting the enjoyably tense climax (which involves no less than three Deus ex Machina*) although she does
Wizards at War follows very directly on from Wizard's Holiday and brings in characters and threads from all of the books back to So You Want to Be a Wizard. When Nita and Kit return from their holiday, they find Nita's house still full of alien wizards, and they also find out wizardry is failing and the universe itself is threatened. The cameos from previous books could be on the self-indulgent side, but Duane handles them deftly enough to avoid that, and the story wraps up plot threads satisfyi ...more
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
If Dairine's computer's incessant chanting of 'Uh-oh' are any indication, there's about to be trouble.

When Tom and Carl ask to come over, Nita, Kit, Dairine and their guests hope it's just a normal house call. Maybe a little debrief of why there were suddenly no higher-ranking wizards around last week (during the events of Wizard's Holiday)? But surely nothing earth-shattering after all the work they just went through, right?


A malevolent blackness is pushing the universe apart, warping old
Jul 19, 2010 Aviva rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys reading about magic, cats and young people :-)
I just rediscovered Diane Duane and in less than a week caught up with her Young Wizards series' books 6-8.

It's been several years (5?) since I read book #5, and yet as soon as I picked up #6, I fell right back in love with the characters. My library classifies this series as youth/juvenile fiction, but I apparently still identify well with teens and pre-teens because I was right there on the edge of my chair as I read them.

I will be forever grateful to the man who introduced me to Diane Duane
Jun 05, 2011 Ryan rated it it was amazing
As is often the case in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, something big is going wrong. This time, however, it is not a single world that is being threatened. The entire universe is coming apart at the seams and in order to stop it, Nita, Kit, Dairine, and several side-characters from previous books have to go undercover on a planet that lives under the ironclad fist of the Lone Power itself. Worst of all, they can't tell anybody where they're going, not even those they trust the most.

This boo
Emma Mcdonald
Nov 06, 2011 Emma Mcdonald rated it it was amazing
This is the eighth book in the Young Wizards series. It continues the story of Nita, Kit, Ponch, and the other young wizards they've met on other worlds. If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend you start with the first book and work your way to this one. Diane continues her story without any kind of prologue. There are brief references to events in the earlier books without any kind of recap of the sequence of events. In this story Nita, Kit, and the crew (including Kit's older siste ...more
Jacqueline Brocker
Jan 20, 2013 Jacqueline Brocker rated it really liked it
Book 8 of the Young Wizards series, and Duane continues in her usual way - that is to say, very well indeed. Her sense of humour that pervades the books is wonderful, and works to build rapport and connection between the characters, which in turn makes it all the more wrenching when the inevitable sacrifices come at the end (I won't say who, for that would ruin the impact). In this adventure, Duane ups the stakes and thrusts the wizarding power entirely into the hands of young wizards as dark ma ...more
Mar 02, 2012 Colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: re-read
Like pretty much every Young Wizards book, this book kept me hooked and got me to tear up. For all that, though, I feel like Duane's editors have let her a little off the leash in the last couple installations, because the plot's allowed to meander a little -- which conflicts a little oddly from the catastrophic atmosphere she otherwise handles ably in 'Wizards at War,' and makes it, at the slowest points, feel like 'Wizards on a Fetch Quest with a Deadline.' But even these slower spots are leav ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
I hadn’t read any of Diane Duane’s Young Wizards novels in years, and then, while cleaning up for Christmas, I found book seven, which a friend had given me months before. I read it, then had to re-read books 1-6, and then re-read book seven. Then, while my husband was away, I ordered books eight and nine.

The thing I love about Duane’s series is that while it’s technically a young adult series, or even meant for kids younger than middle school, it’s deep enough to appeal to adults as well. (I fi
Dec 09, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it
I know this is a crazy series, but I read the first few books when I was young and I'm finally reading the rest after having found them again. These books are a bizarre mix of wizardry, science, and religious philosophy, but I like the crossing of the boundaries. The author is very creative, and by this point in the series I just had to laugh, since a baseball-hat-wearing Christmas tree, a purple centipede, a cosmic pig, and a godly dog are pretty weird if you just pick up the 8th book and read ...more
Molly G

Continues to be a great series, and each installment just gets better. Remarkably mature, sophisticated fantasy. And while I love all the characters tremendously (and this installment particularly for bringing so many of them together!), want to say that Nita belongs in the pantheon with Katniss and Hermione of fantastic modern female protagonists, for young readers of any persuasion to identify with. And I may like her as a role-model even more than the wartime-/combat-ba
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.

In the last book,
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jan 23, 2016 Rachel (Kalanadi) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Still very good, but this time I thought the ending was a little too drawn out and a few of the final events didn't hit me as hard. Nevertheless, great cast of characters and I loved all their interactions as they attempt to save the universe one more time.
Aug 21, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
Another great installment in the series. I wasnt down with everything in the book (did giant bugs really need misogynistic gender roles?) but I love all the characters and the emotional aspects of the story are very effective. I liked seeing a bit more of Dairine and her relationship with her wizardry, and also found a lot of funny parts even with the threats the characters are facing. Also Nita is a badass and its great.
Julie Decker
Aug 25, 2014 Julie Decker rated it it was amazing
In the past, Nita and Kit and their wizard friends have fought the Lone Power with their wizardry. But what happens when the universe starts to break apart and wizardry itself isn't working properly? What's worse, the adult wizards start to lose their abilities first, so they aren't really available to guide the more powerful child wizards through the necessary fixes. The young wizards--Nita, Kit, Dairine, Ronan, Filif, Sker'ret, Roshaun, and Kit's dog Ponch attempt to stop the dark matter respo ...more
OK, I get that this is war against the Lone Power. I get that war is serious. But does Duane have to kill off popular characters in every single book? I'll admit that this was a decent book in spite of my rating. However, it is unable to stand alone due to trying to use virtually every single character that has appeared in this series. And I did not like the way death apparently has to appear in each and every title lately. I suspect Duane is trying to get through to teens just how special life ...more
Dixie A.
Feb 12, 2015 Dixie A. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I cried so much over this book, you don't even know. The author does the unforgivable -- she messes with the dog. But then all is put right at the end. Yes, this is a SPOILER, but one that I think should be mandatory in all works of fiction where dogs are endangered. The dog is all right in the end! Doesn't matter if civilization as we know has been destroyed, so long as the dog's okay.

Anyway, this book is about all life in the universe coming to an end due to the ever increasing expansion of da
Jul 30, 2016 Zach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much stuff happened on this book, I don't know where to begin. I like how it basically continued where the last book left off. It flowed really well, and it kept the new exchange wizards in the story as well as bringing back some old acquaintances. It's cool to see how everything ties back together.

The scale of things in this story is much more vast than any of the previous. In some ways, the bug planet reminded me of the first book. A world that was lost to the Lone Power.

Honestly, it's inte
Oct 12, 2016 Nevergreen rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-mains
Overall, I found that while I liked this book it was not the best one in the series. Being the 8th one I knew what I was getting into (plus I was spoiled for a few of the things that ended up happening). There were certain certain scenes were highly described in order to build tension, but the overall effect on me was too many words and wanting the story to get to where it was going faster then it was getting there. On one hand, this is great because it was the effect that the scene was going fo ...more
May 01, 2016 Akantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think part of what I love about this series is how its scope keeps expanding. (view spoiler) It's amazing to think back to the first book, and how wizardry seemed awesome, but almost a little frivolous and disconnected compared to the picture of wizardry Diane Duane has been developing since. By now, there's an amazing diversity in terms of personalities, species, galaxies, and Choices, and it's riveting and moving and amusing in wa ...more
May 15, 2016 rixx rated it liked it
While there was a lot of action, the book still dragged on and on for me. I liked the recurring characters, and even the resolution, but I didn't care for the pacing, and while the dangers and risks sounded dire, they didn't feel like it. Nice parts, but a bit meh overall.
Nandhini Parthipan
Oct 13, 2016 Nandhini Parthipan rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than thirty years.
Besides the 1980's creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star Trek TM universe, and many scripts for live-action and a
More about Diane Duane...

Other Books in the Series

Young Wizards (10 books)
  • So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)
  • Deep Wizardry (Young Wizards, #2)
  • High Wizardry (Young Wizards, #3)
  • A Wizard Abroad (Young Wizards, #4)
  • The Wizard's Dilemma (Young Wizards, #5)
  • A Wizard Alone (Young Wizards, #6)
  • Wizard's Holiday (Young Wizards, #7)
  • A Wizard of Mars (Young Wizards, #9)
  • Games Wizards Play (Young Wizards, #10)

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“How am I supposed to save the universe with all this noise?!” 38 likes
“You do have the idea of being ‘just good friends?’”
He gave her a sideways look. “For so high and honorable an estate,” Roshaun said, “ ‘just’ seems a poor modifier to choose.”
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