Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Young Wizards #4

A Wizard Abroad

Rate this book
To give Nita a vacation from magic--and to separate her from Kit, her partner in wizardry--Nita's parents pack her off for a monthlong stay with her eccentric aunt in Ireland.

But the Old World is even more steeped in magical doings than the United States, and Nita soon finds herself and a host of Irish wizards battling creatures from a nightmare Ireland--a realm where humankind is the stuff of tales and storybooks, and where the legends and monsters of Irish mythology are a deadly reality.

So much for vacation abroad....

372 pages, Paperback

First published July 22, 1993

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Diane Duane

187 books2,278 followers
Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than forty 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 animated TV series on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as work in comics and computer games. She has spent a fair amount of time on the New York Times Bestseller List, and has picked up various awards and award nominations here and there.

She lives in County Wicklow, in Ireland, with her husband of more than thirty years, the screenwriter and novelist Peter Morwood.

Her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is a weird kind of Swiss scrambled-potato dish called maluns, she was born in a Year of the Dragon, and her sign is "Runway 24 Left, Hold For Clearance."

(From her official website)

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
4,192 (36%)
4 stars
4,096 (35%)
3 stars
2,630 (22%)
2 stars
511 (4%)
1 star
122 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 214 reviews
Profile Image for BookishGal29.
151 reviews
July 1, 2018
Okay so I've debated whether I should give this book three stars or four (it would really help if Goodreads allowed 1/2 stars but that's an entirely separate conversation) and in the end I decided to go with three stars.

Pros: Duane continues to expand upon the story-lines in the first few books of the series. In this novel the main character, Nita is sent to Ireland for the summer to live with her aunt. Duane does a fantastic job of weaving in Irish history/mythology and incorporating it into the world of "Young Wizards". I really enjoyed reading about the Irish landscape and culture (visiting Ireland is actually one of my dreams). Duane incorporates so much of Ireland into the novel that it is practically another character. I for one love when authors do this as I feel it really adds authenticity to the story.

Cons: Although the book on the whole is well written, there are so parts that lag, mainly the last 1/3 of the book. This made it extremely difficult to get through. On top of that some of the writing lacked any kind of clarity. (Just to be sure that I read everything correctly I went on Wikipedia.) This made me grow somewhat frustrated as I was very invested in the story and wanted to know what happened.

Overall, I would recommend this book only to people reading the "Young Wizards" series and/or people who are into Irish history/mythology.
Profile Image for Jen .
2,559 reviews27 followers
March 7, 2023
I have had this one on my shelf for a LOOOONG time and decided that now was the perfect time to read it and see if I wanted to continue with the series.

As I was reading this, I was starting to feel more and more uncomfortable reading it and wasn't enjoying it as I had the first few in the series (which I read YEARS ago, so didn't really recall much from them). What was making me confused was the mythology in the book. It had quite a bit of Christian theology underpinning the "Good vs. Evil", but I could tell it wasn't straight Christian and I was curious as to what the intent was.

I decided to look up the author, to see if she was a Christian and it seems that she was raised Catholic and at the age of nine, had a formative encounter with a nun, who effectively soured the author on organized religion. She has respect for the Christian tradition, but she also respects other religious traditions and stories, so uses aspects from each in her writing. (I am paraphrasing from an answer about if the author is a Christian and I am not direct quoting, so if I misunderstood something she said, it is not my intent and I apologize.)

If I may have an aside here and just say that it seems to me that most people who are turned away from organized religion are turned away by people who CLAIM to be Christian, but by their actions and words clearly are NOT and that hypocrisy turns people off. I don't think it's the organized religion that is at fault here, but the faulty people inside of it, much like how Communism or Socialism looks good on paper, but as soon as you get fallible humans in the mix, everything goes sideways.

So, what made me uncomfortable was the Christianity being mixed with other religions and mythologies. It wasn't done in an insulting way and was done quite well, but I didn't enjoy it personally.

So, if you don't like Christian beliefs mixed with other beliefs, then this might not be the book series for you. It is written well and the mystery, storyline and characters are all interesting, as are the little bits of amber the book has preserved, such as pre-9/11 air travel where those with a ticket could be seen off at the gate by family and friends without tickets, but the multi-religious underpinnings threw me off. I don't know enough about the other religions and stories being used, so can't differentiate them all and it bothered me.

My boss at the book store LOVES this series and suggests it to all of the middle grade readers coming in looking for something fun and full of magic and adventure and I will not stop her, it is a well written series. I am just going to stop with the series here.

2, I'm sad it didn't work for me, stars.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kendrick.
111 reviews5 followers
August 5, 2021
In my review of High Wizardry, I pointed out that Duane had gone into strong science fiction territory with her writing. Here, after that sojourn into space, Duane sends her protagonist, Nita Callahan, to Ireland for a vacation away from magic -- except that there is no vacation when you can be pulled into a new quest on a moment's notice. This time, the worlds of myth and reality are beginning to blur, and all manner of folklore and prophecy is beginning to shake the Irish land. Featuring the Irish Elk, the Sidhe and the Fomoire, Duane's writing swings like a pendulum into the realm of pure fantasy, and it is up to Nita and the Irish wizards to find a way to restore the land to a period of calm.

There is a lot for me to like in A Wizard Abroad. There is the continued worldbuilding of Duane's world and how it intersects with Irish tradition and myth; the threat of worlds slipping into each other means the setting is described with suppleness, prone to shift into the surreal at a moment's notice. There is the fact that Duane herself is Irish, and her writing is clearly at home in its setting even as it introduces American-born Nita to Irish cultural quirks. There is even a cat bard called Tualha who is described as "a little butterball, round and fat" (again adorable), when she isn't declaiming myth and providing exposition for the reader. But, if I had to be absolutely honest, there were two things about this instalment that let me down -- first being the weird dynamic between Nita and the boys in this book, and second that the action in the book was not as good as previous instalments.

On the former part, Nita has a summer crush on a boy she meets in Ireland called Ronan. Ronan alternates between admiring Nita's Americanness and being suspicious of her because she is involved in what is he thinks is "local matter". Nita herself was sent to Ireland because she was spending too much time with her wizarding partner, Kit, and it is hinted that her parents think they're too closely involved. As a whole, the dynamic between Nita, Kit and Ronan is smoothly written, avoiding the worst tropes of a love-triangle, but there are points where the adolescent negging from Kit and Ronan just struck me as pointlessly sexist. Young adults can make mistakes (and should be called out for it!), but these incidents felt annoyingly out of character and place, especially for Kit whom readers got close to in earlier books.

Second, even if I were to discount the earlier point to bias, the climactic battle of A Wizard Abroad rests upon the reenactment of the battle between Balor and the Tuatha de Danann, a large-scale intervention that involves a significant number of Ireland's wizarding population. Unfortunately, the war between the wizards and the Fomoire is vague, the action painted in broad brushstrokes and lacking kinetic energy. We are told that all the wizards attending this final battle knew they may die, but these deaths happen to side characters, mostly off-screen. That detracts from the impact of the writing and made the climax of the novel feel distant. While Duane's writing remains full of pageantry and rhythm, it feels less immediate and true.

Overall, the best I can say is that A Wizard Abroad was a true vacation novel. It is cozy, full of humor, and featuring many enjoyable character moments throughout. But it is a diversion, however pleasant it may be. 3 stars.
Profile Image for Dixie Conley.
Author 1 book9 followers
February 10, 2015
Not one of my favorite books in the series. Didn't shed a single tear during it. Wasn't even tempted. I think that's partly because I was annoyed by the love triangle nonsense, and the way that the heroine both insulted and thought she was in love with the Irish guy. Oh, and the part where the Irish guy faced the same choice that Nita did in Deep Wizardry, and she didn't give him the same speech she got (which was a very good speech and quite moving) and indeed, he almost didn't make his choice at all. Bad wizard.

This book covers Nita's trip to Ireland, where magic is so old and layered into the very fabric of the land that just staring at something can make you go sideways into another time or dimension. Her parents sent her there to get her away from her partner and from wizardry. Joke's on them, because the aunt they sent her to is a wizard as well and Ireland and the world itself is in danger.

There's quite a bit of fighting in this book, which substitutes poorly for the adventures and emotional development of the previous books. Still worth a read, if only for continuity's sake, but not one of the better books.
Profile Image for Julie Davis.
Author 4 books267 followers
January 18, 2021
Not bad, just not as good (or clearly told) as the other books leading up to it.
Profile Image for Mika.
682 reviews13 followers
January 28, 2018
So, I generally liked this book a lot. A bit more..I mean it wasn't as good as High Wizardry in MY opinion, but it is still a solid instalment in the series. There were however, two factors that made thus book so fun though.

One was the setting!

A Wizard Abroad takes us to Ireland and I loved the descriptions. I'm normally not one for heavy description, and I still wouldn't call this overtly descriptive. However, I rarely have the experience of listing descriptions as one of the things I loved in a book.
Also the cultural differences between wizards and the way in which the book is not the only way to gain wizardry opens the magic system up so much. The concept was introduced in Deep Wizardry, but it's cool to see it in action.

The other factor was Ronan.

Oh Ronan. He's so typically broody, in a way. I totally get others not liking him, but I love him. He's angry, opinionated, but still good. His character isn't bogged down by being 'average' or "normal' in order to be 'relatable' to readers, he gets to exist as his own thing.

However! There are issues with Ronan

I still love him though. Even if it is weird that he shares a NAME with Ronan Lynch. (Oh so grumpy as well.)

This series as a whole has been a blast, I hope we revisit the characters we met in Ireland and I hope the next plot is EPIC. I like epic.
Profile Image for Rachel.
368 reviews1 follower
September 22, 2016
Didn't love this one as much, and I'm not entirely sure why. I know the ending was extraordinarily abrupt, but also: CAT BARD. Still enjoying the series as a whole, of course, and looking greatly forward to the next one. =D
Profile Image for Joe ST.
128 reviews26 followers
May 9, 2018
this one had a kitten who was also a bard, so it gets an extra star. it also has a bunch of adults going "oh, you're the kids who've done some improbable tasks, go you!" and I love their casual acceptance of that and acceptance that the kids really will help with things.
Profile Image for Kailey (Luminous Libro).
2,916 reviews443 followers
March 29, 2017
Nita is shipped off to Ireland to stay with her Aunt Annie for a few weeks. The barriers between Ireland and the Old World of Tir na nOg are thin, and Nita must help the Irish wizards to ward off nightmare creatures from the past. Legends and monsters from Irish legend come into the realm of reality, and only Nita and her friends have the magical power and the connections to stop them.

As always, it is utterly impossible to describe the wonder, the grandeur, the sheer enchantment of a book by Diane Duane. There's something so indescribably foreign and deliciously familiar in all her characters. They possess great magical power; they encounter mystic beings; and they get embarrassed when their socks don't match. Those little down-to-earth moments, like drinking a cup of tea and finding your favorite tennis shoes before going off to fight in the faerie wars, are what make her stories so special.

There's always a current of awareness running under her stories that glances out through little things, showing the dark and brightness in every human heart with a startling clarity. I love the way that each wizard responds to and experiences the magical powers they harness, and there is a reflection of struggle and understanding inside themselves. It makes the magic system so deep and wide and omnipresent in each aspect of the story, because of its complexity and actuality.
(I'm trying so hard to explain the particular enchantment of this magical setting, but I'm failing miserably. It won't make sense unless you've read the magic yourself.)

As always, I adore Nita and Kit's friendship! They are so comfortable together, and there is such a depth of understanding between them. Every scene with them is so carefully and beautifully written.

The plot in this one kept me reading and wondering and enjoying every page! I loved all the Irish mythology, and I consulted Wikipedia many times, looking up the old legends and tales, and trying to figure out how to pronounce all the Irish names.

I love that this author always deals with heavy subjects - sacrifice, and honor, and the meaning of truth- but there's also much light-hearted fun in her books.
I can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Profile Image for Jill.
111 reviews1 follower
June 26, 2014
Worried that their daughter is becoming too wrapped up in her wizardly work, Nita Callahan’s parents send her off to spend the summer with her aunt in Ireland, in this fourth installment of Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series. They hope to give Nita a break not only from the magic, but also from her wizard-partner, Kit. Yet Nita quickly realizes that Ireland has some serious problems that only a wizard can fix—creatures from mythology are appearing in modern-day Ireland and wreaking havoc—and she is caught up once more in a battle to protect the world from the Lone Power’s dark work. Fantasy-readers will love this richly-developed world and the magic that inhabits it, while anyone with a soft spot for the beauty and tradition of Ireland will enjoy the detailed setting and Irish vocabulary that peppers the story. An epic tale of the power of life and goodness pitted against the power of death and destruction, while never becoming preachy or trite.

This is a gorgeous epic fantasy story, with beautiful descriptions of Ireland, and an adventure-packed storyline. Fans of Irish mythology, fans of Ireland itself, fans of wizardry and magic, and fans of epic conflicts of good and evil will all find something to love in this story. Readers who have read the preceding books in the Young Wizards series will have a deeper understanding of Nita’s and Kit’s background, but readers who have missed the first three books will not have any trouble enjoying this story as a stand-alone. This would be a great tween read-alike for O.R. Melling’s Chronicles of Faerie, and a good recommendation for fans of the Harry Potter series.

This would be a wonderful fiction companion to a study of Ireland or Irish mythology. It would also be good to include in a display of fantasy books for tweens, or a “What Do I Read When I’ve Finished Harry Potter?” display.
Profile Image for Wayne.
293 reviews8 followers
July 8, 2008
A good book, but a bit dense. I understand that Duane wanted to use Ireland as the backdrop of one of her novels, she lives there afterall. But if I, as a history major, had trouble following all the Irish lore that she throws into the story, what would a 10-14 year old feel? It's a bit like wading through Beowulf or Tolkien. That might be what she was going for, but I found it dense and not well integrated into the story. As a result the characterization suffered as compared to the first 2 books.
Hopefully at this point in the series you are a fan, and wade through. This definitly would not be the best book in the series to pick up and read first.
Now that I've said all those horrible negative things, I really did like the book. I liked her bringing in the Irish History similar to what she did with the whale's history in the 2nd book. This is the first time that Nita and Kit have worked extensivley with other wizards and it's fun to see more of the wizards work.
Profile Image for Blut_Binden .
190 reviews6 followers
February 24, 2020
My favorite of the series mostly because it centers around Ireland, and also because it give Nita the ability to find out who she is as a person. I also enjoy how the book plays with the concept of time. Of course, an epic war doesn't hurt with the novel's thrilling nature.
Profile Image for Lourdes.
207 reviews43 followers
February 4, 2015
I had totally forgotten what happened in this book in the ten years since I last read it but it seemed a lot more action packed then I remembered. I guess that's probably the reason it was one of my favorites back then and still one of my favorites of the series today!
Profile Image for Martin.
546 reviews
April 4, 2018
I don’t think I liked this one as much as the previous three novels. It was definitely still good, and we will probably move directly onto the next in the series tomorrow, but it felt slower paced and I was a little bit less certain what was happening all the time. (It was like the rules of magic got sloppier in this book, maybe?)

Also, there was some (very innocent) romance in this book, and while I’m sure it’s age appropriate, it still felt out of place to me.
Profile Image for TerryC.
42 reviews
October 5, 2017
This was an exceptional book. It was action-packed, funny, and serious all packed into a 300 paged book. I definitely would recommend it. My favorite part was when the one of the friends of the main characters sacrificed his life for them. I attempted to read this book in 5th grade, but thought it was too hard to understand. I am now glad that I chose to read this book. Definitely would recommend it. :)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sonia Gomes.
308 reviews94 followers
June 12, 2021
Ireland the Land of Magic and myths.

But in Ireland there are no myths, it is the History of their Land…Oh wondrous Ireland, so beautiful that it brings a lump in your throat.

Duane fights every war, goes through every enchantment, brings out old treasures and we go along, willingly and happily despite the dangers drinking a thousand cups of tea on the long way…
Profile Image for Charles.
493 reviews22 followers
March 7, 2018
I appreciate that Duane wanted to share some Irish mythology but boooooooy does it drag.
1,084 reviews
July 28, 2021
Glad to find another of this series. I read the first three as an adult, but several years ago. may re-read them. Really interesting and exciting adventure as the Wizards save the world. Would be a cool movie too.
Profile Image for Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~.
1,579 reviews104 followers
September 8, 2018
As much as I've enjoyed the first three books in the Young Wizard series, there were two things I was hoping this book would do differently from the previous books: and make the main conflict something other than the Lone Power. And while I'm happy to say that I'm still disappointed that we once again are dealing with the Lone Power. To be sure, It is the Biggest Bad ever, being all pro-entropy and whatnot, but after the way High Wizardry ended, it felt like that would've been a good time to show us something different. Because the LP? We've been there, done that three times already, and this just makes it seem like this is all this series is going to be about.

Don't get me wrong. I still mostly loved this. Duane takes us to Ireland, land of the wee, and Nita meets a broody boy and a cat bard, goes riding with the Queen and drinks tea. So much tea. So. Much. Tea. I challenge someone to make that a drinking game (kids, if you're reading this, that's fruit punch I'm talking about) and I dare them to be sober, er... not have to pee by the end of this book. I dare them!

It was a lot of fun seeing Nita adjust to a new country and culture and way of life, as well as see how magic and wizardry works in other parts of the globe and the challenges that it presents to those wizards there. For example, the wizards in Ireland have the manuals kind of uploaded directly to their noggins and then have to memorize it. Considering that I can't even remember what I did five minutes ago sometimes, I would be in serious trouble if I were a wizard there. :P

I'm not entirely comfortable with the explanation given for why Ireland has overlays and America does not, because Native Peoples were around just as long if not longer than there were people in Ireland. (Spoilers for this book, ST: Voyager, and talk of racial implications)

I also love that Duane doesn't go for the obvious. She gives you just enough clues so you think you've figured everything out, and then she just quietly goes in another direction and does something unexpected. I was so close to being right, until I was completely wrong. :D She can also take the most absurd idea - cat bard, for instance - and just make it work with very little fanfare. That takes talent, y'all.

I was fun to meet Aunt Annie, Johnny, Ronan and Tualha, and to see Nita just plucking along, doing what she can to help, and just to see how much she's changed since we first met her in the first book. I hope this isn't the last we'll see of these characters.

I'm still waiting to meet Kit's family. :( Hopefully before the end of the series we will? Please?!

Rating is 3.75 but I'm rounding up.

4 books down, 6.5 more to go!
Profile Image for Jess Neuner.
182 reviews2 followers
July 22, 2016
No book in this series ever covers the same ground twice. This time, having returned from fighting the lone power in the far reaches of the galaxy, we're going someone a little closer to home. Not too close, of course, as Nita's parents are suddenly struck by a strange desire to give Nita a break that she doesn't feel she needs from her best friend, Kit, as apparently they're 'getting too close', so they send her to visit her aunt in Ireland.

Prepared for a rather miserable and lonely summer without her best friend and wizardly partner, Nita quickly stumbles into the real reason she was sent to Ireland. Her parents' sudden desire to separate her and Kit was more the Powers That Be arranging to get Nita (and Kit, once he remembers that while Nita promised not to teleport back home to visit he made no such promises about visiting HER) to where they'd be able to help with a rather big problem: ancient Irish lore is starting to overlap with reality. There are Irish wizards, of course, some of whom aren't entirely happy about the 'blow-ins', but Kit and Nita have a lot of experience handling problems where the Lone Power is directly involved.

I hadn't known a lot about Irish mythology when I read this, so it was interesting to see that there's a lot more to it than leprechauns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows. There's just something magical about Ireland that it attracts very powerful magic, both good and bad. We meet everything from fairies, who while not evil are definitely still dangerous, Powers That Be who couldn't bear to leave, the Lone Power (it wouldn't be a Young Wizards book without the Lone Power), Irish elk that have been extinct for centuries, and monsters from the beginning of time.

I liked that this book had a lot more wizards in it. This is the first time that we have an actual battle, two armies fighting each other, instead of Nita and Kit against the Lone Power. It was interesting to see so many wizards work together - especially the visitor vs local dynamic. Kit and Nita are not running this particular show - we see local adult wizards in charge, making the plans. I liked that Nita was impressed with the Senior's use of the Speech and spell diagrammes - years of experience definitely make up for a loss of some raw power.

We're also introduced to a new major character - Ronan. Not only is he the local wizard Nita's age, he's also the first crush she's had, despite them spending most of the time trading insults. I was kind of expecting it to be Kit first, especially after High Wizardry, and so was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't. Ronan's also got a rather interesting story of his own, so I rather hope he shows up again in future books, even if it's just to insult things.
Profile Image for Linden.
93 reviews11 followers
January 18, 2022

It's been a while since I last read Young Wizards books, but even so, this one felt out of place and shoehorned in. The dialogue often was strange and wooden, and the "romance" made me cringe. The plot was a little confusing as well. The characters all know what's happening, though, which seems to be the way of things in the Young Wizards series. Speaking of characters, none of them had much character growth to speak of. Nita doesn't seem in character to me. Ronan, a new addition to the cast, is a cardboard cutout of a character. Kit is still fun but sadly doesn't show up very much.

There are, however, a LOT of details about Ireland in this book, most of them not necessary to the plot. I do wonder what Irish readers think about this version of 1993 Ireland. The heavy amount of detailing (along with Duane's author's note) makes me believe that these are all places she has been. I honestly felt like Diane Duane had hit a writing block, took a vacation to Ireland, fell in love, and went "Might as well!" and set everything there. [EDIT: Just looked it up, and she married an Irishman in 1989 and moved to Ireland. I think my point still stands, although it wasn't a vacation]. Interesting vibe to get on a fourth book of a series.

Still, there are a few bright spots. Kit still felt like himself (what a nice boy), Nita and Kit's teamwork is always a joy, sometimes the magic is interesting, and I did like some of the descriptions. Also, there was one cool fight scene. But overall, I was disappointed. I really do enjoy the first three Young Wizards books, though, and that's enough to make me hopeful about the next one.
Profile Image for Colleen.
596 reviews2 followers
July 31, 2016
A Wizard Abroad is a unique entry to the Young Wizards series, because it overlays over its own, already complex internal mythology and narrative another challenge -- a thick layer of Irish myth. The two gel amazingly well (in no small part because both embrace hard truths and non-fairy-tale endings: anyone can and will die in a good Irish story, and Duane is renowned for killing off someone, and demanding hard choices of everyone, in each of her books.) Duane's natural good humor goes down well in this Irish entry, as well, and widens the universe of her wizards.

Highlights include the cat-bard (more properly kitten, actually), the Lone Power's frightening hunt of the Irish elk (which, by the way, you should look up pictures of, because it is stunningly large), and, best of all, the Irish teenage wizard Ronan, whose story has some spectacular twists in it--

It's a quick read, and, for all the hard-science backing Duane gives to her wizardry, not especially complex. That doesn't mean I didn't have to blink hard at a few points-- how did it get so dusty in here? (Sniff.) The implicit creed in Duane's books (in some, almost a science-fiction version of CS Lewis's fantasies) provides a depth of power and meaning to her narratives they might not otherwise have at that level of writing.
Profile Image for Jennie.
37 reviews3 followers
September 28, 2020
I think the common opinion about this entry in the series is that it's not the strongest, and while I agree with that in many ways, I think it serves a very important role. After the first three set up the wizardry and the core characters, and particularly after High Wizardry just went full mathematical science fiction in ways I fully do not and never will understand, this one truly is a vacation of sorts for us. It's in many ways a love letter to Ireland (and having lived there myself for a while, rereading this just makes me desperate for a visit), and also lets us see how myths can interact with wizardry. I know some people aren't a fan of the love triangle aspect, but I think it's actually good for Nita to experience that, and frankly if she hadn't been into Ronan I wouldn't have believed it; he's very typical teen girl romance fodder, there's no denying it. And I like that we start to see so many more wizards AND we get introduced to cat wizardry. Plus, the next entry in the series is one of the most emotionally challenging in the series, so I like that this one feels a bit like a rest at the Crossings before making a long jump to a far flung planet. Not necessarily my favorite, but it does serve an important purpose I think, and as usual I appreciate the reminder that the Powers don't give a hoot about gender. 3 1/2 stars but rounding up bc that first description of Ireland from the plane is spot-on.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Victoria.
290 reviews18 followers
July 3, 2009
Yet another brilliantly executed novel in the Young Wizards series, this is another of the series that makes my "top" list.

After having saved the world several times, and following her little sister's harrowing but triumphment Ordeal, Nita Callahan is looking forward to a quiet summer hanging out with her wizard partner and best friend Kit. But her parents upset her plans: misunderstanding her relationship with Kit, they've arranged for her to spend the summer with her aunt in Ireland and take some "time away" from him.

But Ireland is, and always has been, at the heart of wizardly business, as Nita soon discovers. The realm of Irish fable is drifting closer to reality, sometimes overlapping with it in terryfying ways. And a wizard is always on call...even if she's on vacation in a foreign country.

Teaming up with a host of Irish wizards, including the handsome and enignmatic Ronan, as well as Kit and her sister Dairine, who can't be kept out of the action for long, Nita will face an explosive battle between fantasy and reality, as well as a search for four elemental weapons from Celtic lore. Duane uses her own Irish knowledge to craft realistic people and events, utilizing all of Ireland's rich mythology and history. An incredible addition to the series.
Profile Image for Seth.
149 reviews4 followers
September 11, 2010
Slightly less good than its predecessors (in my opinion), A Wizard Abroad is a great book in itself and very nice when read as part of a series. Diane Duane creates an intrusive/portal/quest fantasy that presents both a believable world and a believable magical system (something I appreciate). Overall, the focus of the books has skewed sideways from traditional themes, partially owing to the fact that most good source material for intrusive and magical fantasies has already been exploited by predecessors in the genre. Still, the books remain vivid, exciting, and for the most part thematic and/or symbolic in nature. My only complaint would be that in the great detail in which Duane explains the world to the readers, she tends to bog down her narrative. Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for sil.
85 reviews
January 18, 2008
I just reread the first three books of Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, and they were as good as I remembered. Tight prose, and she doesn't dumb her language down for her young adult audience.

This book, however, was a bit of a disappointment. Having taken a break from Nita, Kit, and their struggles, she seems to have lost her feel for their characters. Duane also fails to convey the same sense of wonder-at-the-universe that fills the pages of the first three books. Perhaps she gets lost in her attempt cram in as much information about certain Irish mythology, or perhaps... she's just lost it. Well, I've got four more in the series to go, so here's hoping.
Profile Image for Joan.
2,001 reviews
October 31, 2012
I agree with a friend of mine who said that this was probably the title she liked least in this wonderful series. I still like the first one the best, although the second is close to a tie for that. But this 4th one is rather disappointing. I think some of it was the lack of concern when Biddy did die. Another was the disconnect when the kitten bard discovers she is the queen of the cats. That came out of nowhere and just seemed to confuse the story. I realize she was trying for some humor but it didn't quite take. Somehow things seemed very unsettled in terms of Ronan's magic. Not so much the attraction Nita felt for him, which is ok to leave hanging, but how his magic is going to end up affecting him. Some things just weren't very clear in this title. Well, on to the next one....
Profile Image for Holly Booms Walsh.
1,186 reviews
July 30, 2015
This was another car trip re-listen to an audiobook series that I have loved since I was a kid. The Young Wizards series is about eight books long now, some which are stronger than others. The first four books are my favorites. The first three are the strongest, and this one sets the stage for the more personal tone of the rest of the series. This book takes Nita to Ireland, so it is particularly appealing for its Irish legends, creatures, and characters. It may have been written as an excuse to write about Ireland but I don't mind at all! It's very well read by Christina Moore. Good for family listening as well.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 214 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.