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A Wizard Alone (Young Wizards #6)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,333 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
While Nita grieves over her mother's death, Kit tackles a challenge as dangerous as it is strange: Rescue a young wizard who has vanished on his first assignment. This new wizard is unlike any other--he's autistic and he's a magical prodigy. His power is enormous. Now Kit and his dog, Ponch, must track down the missing boy before the Lone Power finds him.
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Turtleback Books (first published October 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Full disclosure first off: I have mild Asperger's, and I'm an anti-ableist campaigner (online and sometimes off). I'm also physically disabled.

The first time I read this book, I really enjoyed it, with the ideas surrounding internal landscape, and how Darryl is on the outside compared to how he is on the inside. I still love the author's dealing with Nita and her family, and how they are in the aftermath of "Dilemma", and Ponch and his squirrels. But how Darryl is "locked in" is much more uncomf
Oct 01, 2012 Julia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
auuuuuggghhh the ableism I may vomit

At the beginning, I was really excited about this book, because I thought it would have a positive take on how an autistic person could wield magic and fight ultimate evil in his own way. I also liked the description of how Nita dealt with grief. I thought this was going to be the best book in the series yet.

Wow, was I disappointed. The depictions of autism got worse and worse as the book went on, and by the end I was gnashing my teeth in rage. Autism does not
Oct 21, 2014 Ellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-ya, fantasy
This is a review of the New Millennium Edition of this book specifically in regards to how it was changed from the original edition. I don't think the NMEs are listed separately on goodreads so hopefully I'm putting this in the right place.

A Wizard Alone was originally published in 2002 when knowledge about autism was different from what it is now and the movement for autistic self-advocacy was far less visible. I think the first version of the book was trying to be respectful towards autistic p
Bark's Book Nonsense
Apr 07, 2011 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read this book as an unabridged audiobook not realizing I was entering headfirst into a long running series. Despite my complete lack of knowledge about the previous five books events my enjoyment of the book wasn't lessoned by bouts of confusion which says a lot for the talent of the author. Yeah, there were a few gaps here and there but nothing I couldn't get past or figure out by continuing to read along.

Kit Rodriquez is a young wizard (as I'm sure everyone but me already knows), who along
Rachel (Kalanadi)
This a good story, on par with the strength of previous books in the series. I really liked seeing Nita save the day this time. Her story arc from the previous book had a good ending here. And we see more of Kit's family and Kit needing a helping hand.

The only problem is Darryl, the autistic wizard. I would love to read the updated/rewritten version of this book just to see Darryl treated more like a... a person. The way that autism is described in this original version of the story is definitel
Vanessa Hardy
Jun 02, 2010 Vanessa Hardy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Large parts of childhood hurt, and adults did with that remembered pain exactly what kids did when they could: Let whatever good memories they had bury it. Oh, the moments of delight, of pure joy, were there, all right, but what adults seemingly couldn't bear was the idea that their whole childhoods hadn't been that way, that the trouble and sorrow of their adult lives, the result of the Lone Power's meddling in the worlds, wasn't something they'd always had to deal with, right from the start. ...more
Dixie A.
Feb 10, 2015 Dixie A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
In this book, Nita's recovering from the death of her mother. Grief makes everything more difficult. Much of the grief recovery stuff is boring and depressing. I read all of it, even though it made me feel more hopeless about life, something I really don't need considering I normally suffer from depression.

Meanwhile, her partner, Kit, is dealing with a wizard who has been on Ordeal for three months. Ordeal being the final test that new wizards go through to prove whether they really have what it
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.

“She felt as if there w
Nov 26, 2011 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, re-read
Relative to the rest of the Young Wizards series, this story is no less well-thought out, but it's a great deal more internal, traversing psychological planes of adventures, not anything physical. Duane still makes an internal brain-scape an interesting setting, but it's hard for that to compare with some of the other scenes she's drawn -- epic fantasyscapes, other planets, etc. It's also a darker novel (which the last one was, as well, for mostly the same reason: (view spoiler) ...more
Lady Ozma
Jan 08, 2009 Lady Ozma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember the first time I read, So You Want to be a Wizard. I loved it. Boy, I looked all over my library for my OWN Wizard's manual. If wishes could come true, I'd join forces with Kit and Nita!

I love this series and was glad when I discovered the author was adding to it again. I dove into book 6 with a zest, imagine my surprise with the newest kid to join the wizarding world.

Nita is still mourning the loss of her mother after losing the battle with The Lone Power for dear mum's life. I cried
Oct 17, 2009 Luann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2015 Lourdes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know that this book has some problematic views of autism which is why I would like to read Diane Duane's updated edition sometime soon. However, keeping this in mind, I very much enjoyed the book otherwise. I loved reading more from Kit's point of view and seeing how Nita deals with (view spoiler).
This was the first book of the Young Wizards series that I read. It caught my attention because there was a major character with autism. When I read the novel, it didn't seem very related to autism in any clinical sense but I found the book imaginative, well-written and fun. I enjoyed all the characters and was moved by the story of loss. As a result, I have begun to read the other books in the series. To date, I have just read the first and realized that the presence of the autistic character w ...more
Nov 28, 2008 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
What happens when someone who is autistic is offered wizardry? Especially when wizardry is really only offered to children? That's part of what this book is about.

The underlying message seems to me to be "no matter what it feels like right now, you are not truly alone". As someone who's battled depression for a very long time, I know what that phrase sounds like to someone who is under the bell jar and what it sounds like outside. This book does a good job of not sounding preachy about the mess
Sep 27, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“One of our wizards is missing,” that’s the message Kit Rodriguez gets from Senior Wizard Tom Swale. Darryl McAllister has been on Ordeal for months. Usually, this entrance test for a young wizard, a confrontation with the evil Lone Power is more quick and decisive. And usually when Kit goes on errantry, as wizards call their work, he’s accompanied by his friend and fellow wizard Juanita Callahan, but Nita, overcome with grief from the recent death of her mother, hasn’t the strength for anything ...more
Julie Decker
Aug 12, 2014 Julie Decker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kit receives an assignment to go help another wizard who's been somehow stuck in his Ordeal for three months. Normally, when a wizard takes the Wizard's Oath and goes up against the Lone Power for the first time, the wizard succeeds or fails, but does not get stuck. So Kit goes to help--with his wizardish dog Ponch assisting him since his usual wizard partner Nita is grieving from events in the last book--and finds that the wizard on Ordeal, Darryl, is profoundly autistic. He's not externally re ...more
So interesting and so disappointing at the same time. Duane continues to find intriguing twists and challenging issues to add to this magical series; in this case, Nita is grappling with depression and grief after (view spoiler) in the previous book, and the new wizard whom Kit is sent to help has autism and appears to be enduring an especially prolonged and torturous Ordeal. Many of the psychological aspects of the book are interesting and effective, and I in ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Kit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would really like to see the revision on this book, because I have a kinda on-the-fence feeling about it. My cousin Wyatt is ten years old and autistic, so although I can relate to some of Daryll's actions and some of the descriptions of his world, I am not quite sure if this depiction is a fair way to go or not. It is good that the author comments that not all people experience it the same, I feel that she came at the subject with good intentions but left it with somewhat misleading ideas for ...more
MB (What she read)
Mar 10, 2010 MB (What she read) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids (and adults) who like fantasy & scifi, autistic parents
Re-read 3/10/10. Easy to dismiss as being just-for-kids but Diane Duane's Young Wizards series is amazingly good--maybe too good for only kids. There's a lot of wisdom here and some science, and a mythology that's believable and convincing. They aren't dumbed down and she isn't afraid to let bad things happen to her characters, either. In this book I really liked what she had to say using anger constructively.
Sarah Crawford
Feb 09, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nita is very down after the death of her mother. Tom meets with Kit and tells him a wizard on ordeal has gone missing. The person is a black male, only eleven years old. He has autism and is on Ordeal.

There are several themes in the book. For one, Nita is having to deal with the death of her mother and how this affects her self-confidence and her wizard's abilities. Ponch, Kit's dog, is turning out to be something much more than just a dog that can communicate with its master.

Kit is intent on f
Feb 21, 2015 Shaina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm currently doing a reread of the series, since I haven't read it since I was a teen, and I was surprised to realize that this book is entirely new to me. Somehow I managed to miss it when I was a kid! Edit: After reading some reviews, I'm really interested to know what the difference is between the original edition and the New Millennium edition, since a lot of the critiques seem to be about things I didn't see in the NM version. I'll have to get my hands on an old paperback and compare some ...more
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
It's been a few months since the events in the last book, and Nita's still not fully recovered. I mean, when you've been through what she has, who could blame her?

Kit certainly doesn't. But life must go on, and a wizard's work is never done. Kit's been asked by Tom and Carl if he can look into another wizard's Ordeal. Normally it's not wise to interfere with the initial test, but Darryl's case is far from normal.

First off, he's been on Ordeal for over three months now. Usually combating the Lone
Lis Carey
Jan 12, 2011 Lis Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
It's been barely a month since Nita's mother died, and Nita, Dairine, and their father are all still deep in grief and only marginally functional. When Tom and Carl assign Kit to look into a case of a new wizard who has apparently been stuck in his Ordeal for three months--a wizard who's an autistic eleven-year-old--Nita doesn't feel ready to act as back-up. She's still too distracted by her own pain, by trying to keep up at school anyway, and trying to keep Dairine at least going through the mo ...more
Jul 15, 2009 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kit Rodriguez is having a rough time. While he and his wizard partner Nita are more or less reconciled, Nita is still sunk deeply in grief from recent events. Kit is spending more and more time with his unusual dog, Ponch, who has begun to display what appears to be the power to create, enter, and alter universes.

Then Kit is given a very special assignment by his local Senior wizards. A wizard has gone missing on Ordeal, which isn't unusual by itself. But it turns out the young wizard, Darryl,
John Kirk
May 26, 2013 John Kirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells a complete story, so you could probably read it on its own and still understand it. However, it also has important links to the rest of the series. (view spoiler) ...more
This is the first of this series that I don't remember reading, which may mean this is my first read. My shelfari page suggests otherwise.
Oh well.
I liked this one and I thought the characters were well done and the way wizardry is evolving was interesting. The series is evolving even as the encounters remain somewhat similar. The different ways in which the world gets to be just a little bit better are varied enough, and Nita and Kit are compelling enough, that I keep reading.
I am torn regarding
Jun 18, 2007 Rhiannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
I enjoyed this book much more than I did the fifth book in the series, which I thought was kind of plodding at times. That said, this doesn't really capture the magic and the detailed worldbuilding of the first few books. What I loved about those books was her blending of magic with scientific principles and the loving way she detailed ecosystems and physics and made them fascinating to a very non-science-minded reader like myself. I feel like she didn't continue with that in these latter books, ...more
May 18, 2014 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one I need to reread. It has been a number of years and I wish to remind myself what made this special because it definitely was special!

I suspect I read this shortly after my father's death and this was painful to read. Now I can read it and see the hope that is in the book as well as the pain. It actually is a very life affirming book, ultimately. I am not changing this from 5 stars. This was an excellent book. Both for the story and the message.

Kit and Nita aren't working toge
3.5 stars. For some reason I leave this book with a slightly higher impression of it then the last few, even though I am very annoyed at the inconsistencies between the books, still thought it was needlessly wordy, did and didn't like the ending (at the same time) because it was very 'magic fixed everything, yay!', thought the characters were on the bland side of things, and a myriad of other things.

I am interested in knowing what the New Millennium version ending is like as I know it is differ
Jul 13, 2014 Madeline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More thoughtful review coming later. I was prepared (based on my vague recollections of reading the original version when I was younger) to really cringe while reading this again, and I have to say, it exceeded all my expectations. Diane Duane clearly did some good reasearch for this one. There are a handful of things I'm not totally sure about, but on the whole, this book is about as good as it possibly could be without Darryl being the main character.
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Differences between the original and the NME 2 7 Jul 18, 2014 08:37PM  
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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)
  • 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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“But the trouble with sainthood these days is the robe-and-halo imagery that gets stuck onto it." Carl got that brooding look again. "People forget that robes were street clothes once... and still are, in a lot of places. And halos are to that fierce air of innocence what speech balloons in comics are to the sound of the voice itself. Shorthand. But most people just see an old symbol and don't bother looking behind it for the meaning. Sainthood starts to look old-fashioned, unattainable... even repellent. Actually, you can see it all around, once you learn to spot it.” 19 likes
“Virtue," he said. "The real thing. It's not some kind of cuddly teddy bear you can keep on the shelf until you need a hug. It's dangerous, which is why it makes people so nervous. Virtue has its own agenda, and believe me, it's not always yours. The word itself means strength, power. And when it gets loose, you'd better watch out."
Something bad might happen..."
Impossible. But possibly something painful"
-A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane”
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