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High Wizardry (Young Wizards #3)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  9,237 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
Young wizards Nita and Kit face their most terrifying challenge yet: Nita's little sister, Dairine. Not only is Dairine far too smart for a ten-year-old, she also has recenlty become a wizard, and worse yet, a wizard with almost limitless power. When Dairine's computerized wizard's manual glibly sends her off on her novice adventure--her Ordeal--Kit and Nita end up chasing ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kate Sherrod
Jul 21, 2013 Kate Sherrod rated it really liked it
There is so much science fiction in High Wizardry, the third book in Diane Duane's wonderful Young Wizards series, that it barely counts as fantasy. Which is entirely awesome; this is the Diane Duane whose name I saw with pleasure and anticipation on those Star Trek novels of my youth, except even more cosmic. More cosmic in every possible way.

I've praised Duane's scientific/mathematical approach to magic before, but little did I know just how scientific and mathematical it was yet to become. Fo
Jun 27, 2009 Scurra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
As a geek, this will inevitably always be my favourite of the series, which makes my rating slightly less that useful here. (It should only merit 4 stars really...)

From the opening sequence (which brought back memories of our own first computer arriving!) through to the moment of the Choice, the story fairly rattles along, even if it is a bit too easy to see that the whole Nita/Kit storyline is rather redundant (other than for the "family" subtext.) But pretty much the whole of Darine's experien
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
This series continues to be nothing like what I expected. Yes, the protagonists are kids, and Dairine especially acts like a self-centered brat for much of this book. But damn, this series zigs where others would zag, and it goes at Warp 10 where others are barely making it out of the stratosphere. It's not afraid to tackle issues like death or hate, as well as self-doubt, bullying, and adolescence. The parental figures and authority figures are good people who the kids can trust and go to in ...more
Mar 11, 2008 Qt rated it really liked it
This is Book 3 of Diane Duane's Wizard series, and like the first two books, it is very well written, containing serious and dramatic elements, believable descriptions of wizardry, and a spiritual or philosophical element running throughout.
I think I liked the first two a bit better, though not because they were better books--I think I just preferred the adventures the main characters, Nita and Kit, went on. Also, Nita's sister Dairine is a major character in this one, and I never liked her, so
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
Nita's younger sister, Dairine, can be a bit of a know-it-all brat sometimes. But at least she doesn't know about wizardry.

Well, until their summer trip (in Deep Wizardry) when she saw Nita transform from whale to human right before her eyes. Now she sees the power and she'll go mad unless she can have it too. Understandable, since I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to perform magic.

She starts poking around Nita's stuff, getting more and more intrusive (much to Nita's annoyance), and eventual
Jan 16, 2009 Daniella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Young Wizards series and sci-fi/fantasy
High Wizardry is probably my least favorite of the Young Wizards series. It was a fun, fast read, but much of the story seemed rather extraneous. Large portions of the narrative are taken up with unnecessary descriptions of an outdated OS, most of which I could have done without, and overall it simply lacks the same quality of layering as in So You Want to Be a Wizard and Deep Wizardry . As a result, it didn't even seem like anything important started happening until around the latter third o ...more
Montana Library2Go

I read this at speed, which for me and in this case meant 375 pages in 75 minutes. I would have skipped it entirely if I weren't concerned that I might need to know about some of what happens in it for future books in the series. I actively disliked Dairine in previous books and I hated her in this one. I was hoping bad things would happen to her. I wanted her knocked down 10 or 12 pegs. I longed for her to understand that her view of herself as high-and-mighty better than eve
Sep 30, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review written: sometime before April 20, 2015

High Wizardry by Diane Duane

Why I read it: My book club is reading the series sometime next year.

Rating: 4/5 [now 3/5 for certain reasons] [actually now it's 4 again]

What I thought: Takes quite a while to get going, and I rushed its ending, which is an absolute shame, because there's a lot of interesting things going on here. Dairine is pretty great, though I'm unenthused by certain parts of her backstory. (There's so much more I want to say but whil
Li Seagull
A series with a good premise has been reduced to nothing but pulp action told from the POV of a whiny, bratty little girl.

Dairane is a flat and static character who is known to whinge, scream, and be, overall, an overconfident prick. I'm fed up with this series and will certainly not be going out and picking up the next installment.

(Excuse the bitterness that might resound through this review; this series is a one of my friends' current infatuations and I am just sick and tired of hearing about
May 24, 2012 Lindley is currently reading it
This is the third of a series that I really wanted to like, enough to buy the whole set in one go – and I’m so disappointed that it didn’t work out that way. On the good side, the visit to an alien airport was fun, and briefly lifted the book, and the race of little machine creatures was cute, if a little cutesy. I'm giving it three stars because, while problematic, it wasn't bad, as such - just really not the exciting, emotionally involving children's fantasy I hoped it would be.

First of all, i
Pauline Ross
May 27, 2012 Pauline Ross rated it it was ok
This is the third in the Young Wizards series. I quite enjoyed the first, but no more than that, and was prepared to abandon the series. However, I was persuaded to read the second, and after a mediocre first half it turned out to be wonderful - unexpectedly deep and moving for a young adult book. I bought this one at the same time, since it was about computers and therefore highly appropriate for geeky me.

Memo to all authors: technology moves on so fast that whatever current gadgets you include
I first encountered the idea that young children are more powerful because they don't know what's impossible in Zenna Henderson's short story "Come on, Wagon".

I found the portrayal of the Computer World interesting and intriguing. I recognized from the start that Duane was setting herself up for a fall by basing her theories of future computers on what was then contemporary technology. It's not surprising that a lot of the description comes off as dated. But despite this necessary flaw, the bas
Feb 04, 2012 Julia rated it it was amazing
This book is Awesome. With a capital A. Dairine is one of my favorite characters, and the adventure that she has reminds me of all of my favorite sci-fi books mixed together. I am amazed at the worlds that Duane has created. Everything is so expertly woven, and the plot is very fast paced. Although the story mainly revolves around two girls, I think that boys would enjoy this book too because of its high paced action. It is full of complex "theories" that make this immense magical domain ...more
Feb 26, 2014 Kit rated it really liked it
Oh crud. I think I might not be reading anything else for a little while.
I have a Leetle Wixxard addiction, and I am not sure if I need to get a life or not, or even if I want one.
Oh my god, Dairine and the turtlethings, though. Oh man.
I was absolutely delighted by this book, and by finding out that it is possible to have a younger sister character who, if powerful (a fair enough reason is provided), doesn't turn into another insufferable Dawn Summers character. Good for you, Dairi!
I would have
Oct 23, 2010 Krysta rated it it was amazing
Diane Duane continues to astound me with this series. As in the previous two books, the classic archetype of Good versus Evil is played out with such raw emotion in the climax that you'll be swept right into the wizardry. While I, like protagonists Nita and Kit, find Dairine more than a little annoying at times - she managed to redeem herself substantially in this installment. I think there is a part of all of us that approaches life with cold, calculating logic and it isn't until we acknowledge ...more
Dixie A.
Feb 09, 2015 Dixie A. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
It seems like every book in this series can make me cry. And yet, while full conflict and darkness, you could say that the books are mostly about joy. About life and living.

In this one, Nita's smartmouth little sister has taken the oath and become a wizard. Because of reasons, she gets a computer rather than a book as a manual. Instead of spells having to be carefully prepared and checked and so on, the computer does the calculations, making magic simple for her. Did I mention that the pain in t
Jul 29, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this probably more than SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD but not as much as DEEP WIZARDRY. I appreciate Dairine more than I explicitly like her, so the focus on her through this was at times difficult. Since I'm more a "characters and relationships" fan than a "huge plotty world building" fan, this at times dragged a bit to me. It was reallllllly conceptually cool, though, and it definitely feels like a shifting point for the series as a whole.
Jan 27, 2008 Kirsten rated it really liked it
Nita's younger sister, Dairine, has always been precocious -- and now she's become one of the youngest and most powerful wizards out there. Now she's gone off half-cocked into the universe, and it's up to Kit and Nita to track her down before the Lone Power does.
In some ways this book was slightly dated; Dairine's Wizard's Manual takes the form of a computer, and a lot of the computer stuff is clearly primitive. Other than that, though, it's a great story.
Jan 26, 2016 Jenifer rated it liked it
My mom sent this as a book my 10 yo daughter might like. It sat there for a month before I grabbed it, just to check it out. I devoured it in 75 minutes, enjoying it immensely. My daughter loves it, too. It's just lovely, reminding me of A Wrinkle in Time and Harry Potter with more hard science thrown in.
Rita C
Jul 09, 2016 Rita C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2016 Zach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying this series.

Every book so far has been vastly different from its predecessors. This one being more sci-fi than fantasy.

Last few chapters of the book got very philosophical, much to my surprise.

Overall, I am really enjoying this series and look forward to continuing it.
Nov 05, 2016 Rachael rated it it was ok
I am really not sure how to feel about this book. I read some other reviews to try to help myself and they weren't very helpful. I saw a lot of complaints about Dairine--either that she was irritating in general or that she was irritating and tropey due to amassing a huge amount of power.

I didn't have a problem with either of those things in theory; I think that a smart, determined girl like Dairine is the kind of person who would set herself to accomplishing anything and everything and manage t
John Kirk
Dec 25, 2012 John Kirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another good installment in the series: it fits into the ongoing storyline, while still telling a complete story in its own right. It also shifts the focus to a different character (Dairine) while still keeping Nita and Kit around in supporting roles.

Diane Duane said that this book was the catalyst for the New Millennium Editions, and I can understand that. Looking back at my paper copy, it talks about Nita's parents buying an Apple IIIc+ (with a set of floppy disks) and Dairine has to t
Oct 18, 2015 April rated it really liked it
Je remercie Livraddict et les éditions Lumen pour ce partenariat. Non seulement la couverture est magnifique, mais le contenu vaut aussi le coup d’oeil !
Ce qui est bien avec cette saga, c’est que le premier tome commence gentiment, mais plus on avance dans les aventures de Nita et Kit, plus on admire l’originalité et la créativité de Diane Duane.

Après des aventures hors du commun, nous retrouvons Nita et Kit, de retour chez eux. Et les choses sont nettement différentes maintenant que la famille
High Wizardry is the third book in Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series, and it focuses mostly on Nita’s younger sister Dairine, who has just become a wizard. Because of this and the stand alone plot, you could pick it up without having read the first books. If you want to read the first one, it’s So You Want to Be A Wizard.

Early on in her life Dairine made the decision to know everything that she possibly could. When she finds out about wizardry and the secret powers and knowledge that underlies
Monia Sommer
Aug 23, 2015 Monia Sommer rated it really liked it

Merci aux Editions Lumen et à Emily pour ce service presse!

Avant toute chose, je me dois de parler de la couverture de ce roman qui est une pure merveille ! Lumineuse et mystérieuse, elle m’a tout de suite attirée. Et en plus, elle reflète parfaitement l’ambiance du livre, puisque l’essentiel de l’intrigue se déroule dans l’espace.

Nous retrouvons Nita et Kit peu de temps après leurs aventures auprès des gardiennes de l’océan. Cette histoire les a vraiment
Jess Neuner
Jul 01, 2016 Jess Neuner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, reviewed
This has been my favourite so far of this series. Everything I liked about the previous books, the maths/scientific approach to magic, the responsibility for the world around you that comes with having power, the pursuit of knowledge just for the sake of it, the love of reading, the thinking your way out of your problems instead of just blasting them, everything, is there, but multiplied by ten. Plus, for the first time, we get to see the wider universe, because Dairine, Nita's Star ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Corrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Check out my full review at!

Dairine really becomes a fully fleshed character in this book. In the previous ones, she was the annoyingly smart little sister–here, she is still the annoyingly smart little sister, but she gets to explain why it’s so important for her to be smart. Dairine knows that knowing things can help you understand the universe, and help protect you from getting hurt. Knowledge is power, and Dairine needs to know–reading and computers are her w
Feb 21, 2015 Shaina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Currently on book 3 of 9 in my reread. If I was a little disappointed with Deep Wizardry, High Wizardry certainly made up for it. This is the first book where I can definitely see the advantage to updating the series for the new millennium; I imagine reading this book in its original rendition would feel quite dated to a lot of tech-savvy young adults (and even to me, though I'd have the advantage of having been raised on that type of tech myself).

I had forgotten how much I love Dairine. She's s
Feb 07, 2015 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Be honest with yourself: After you watched Star Wars, you wished to be in Luke Skywalker’s shoes, fighting the evil Empire and striking a blow for justice and freedom everywhere. Well, Dairine Callahan feels much the same way. But Dairine isn’t just a normal person. She’s just become a wizard, and was gifted with an unprecedented amount of power. Sure enough, soon she’s jetting out into space and getting into all sorts of trouble.

For those of you who haven’t read the other books (of which there
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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)
  • 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)
  • Wizards at War (Young Wizards, #8)
  • A Wizard of Mars (Young Wizards, #9)
  • Games Wizards Play (Young Wizards, #10)

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“Power," Nita heard her father say behind her. "Creation. Forces from before time. This is--this business is for saints, not children!"
Even saints have to start somewhere," Carl said softly. "And it's always been the children who have saved the universe from the previous generation and remade the universe in their own image.”
“Something always happens. You still have to promise stuff anyway. If you have to work to make the promises true... it's like a spell. You have to say the words every time you want the results.” 32 likes
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