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High Wizardry

(Young Wizards #3)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  10,833 ratings  ·  262 reviews
Nita's bratty little sister Dairine, 10, is too smart and powerful for a new wizard. Her computerized wizard manual glibly sends her off on her novice Ordeal. Kit and Nita chase her across the galaxy, trying to catch up before she gets into trouble so deep that not even her brains can rescue her. ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published March 1st 1990)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,833 ratings  ·  262 reviews

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Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of So You Want to Be a Wizard
This review contains spoilers for So You Want to Be a Wizard and Deep Wizardry.

High Wizardry continues the story of Nita Callahan, a teenage wizard from New York, and her partner Kit Juarez. It also adds a third character to the mix: Dairine Callahan, a child genius who is determined to follow in her older sister’s magical footsteps. Unlike previous books, which were told entirely from Nita’s point-of-view, High Wizardry alternates between Nita and Dairine’s perspectives.

The first book in this s
Kate Sherrod
Jul 13, 2013 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
Sonia Gomes
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves magic
Recommended to Sonia by: Own a copy
Shelves: sci-fi, very-good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
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 ti ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the second book in the series and being utterly dissapointed (see review) I was somewhat hesitant to pick up the third book. Well, I can say I'm glad I did.

Unlike the first two books the main characters are not Kit and Nita - it's Dairine, Nita's bratty, annoying, kid sister who is far too smart for her age.

Many of the reviewers on here didn't like Dairine. I actually did. Sure she's bratty, and a know it all but beneath all that she's a good person who's navigating her way throug
Jun 27, 2009 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
Mar 04, 2008 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
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
The MC is an over confident know-it-all whiny little brat!
She literally knows everything without needing to learn it, despite being so small.

The philosophy and life lessons that I loved so much in the second book are reduced to: the worst thing that can happen is having dogs burn in cars! Not children or other people getting killed but dogs!! And we should do anything to save those dogs!

I'm done with this series! It's just not worth my time.

Would I want my kids to read it? It's a series meant
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
Aug 05, 2008 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 thi ...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
Julie Davis
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with the previous two books in the series this is equally devoted to the problems of growing up and those of fighting the evil entity who opposes all good. And, not being the target audience, I didn't care much about the real life problems although I did enjoy the moments when each sister realizes the other is actually admirable. As always, Diane Duane's world building skills are amazing and the ultimate struggle with evil reveals deep inner truths that readers of any age can benefit from and ...more
Feb 04, 2012 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 believa ...more
Oct 18, 2010 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
Feb 15, 2014 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
Dixie Conley
Sep 04, 2014 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
Jan 27, 2008 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.
Feb 03, 2016 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. ...more
Jan 23, 2016 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. ...more
Jun 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
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.
Apr 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
A series with a good premise told from the POV of a whiny, bratty little girl.
John Loyd
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Third Young Wizards novel. Last one in the omnibus Support Your Local Wizard. Nita has confessed to her parents that she is a Wizard, something that Dairine had figured out for herself. Now she's jealous of her older sister and has been looking in Nita's wizard's manual. She may even have read the oath. When the Callahan's get a computer the next day Dairine finds a disk with more on it than could possibly be there. Her manual is not a book like the ones Nita and Kit have.

Dairine is off to Mars
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite of the series but still really good
May 22, 2012 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,
Pauline Ross
Aug 12, 2011 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
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
I really loved High Wizardry. It was like the potential in the two books at last became epic. I enjoyed the magic, the plot, the characters, it was all such fun.

This series isn't like, unpredictable WOAH. Generally, it's more like I enjoy the journey and the particulars than any forced Plot Twists lesser books might employ. I say, just let the story tell itself, and let it be what it is: A fun, magical adventure.

That being said, these books can and have surprise me, even if the series cannot SHO
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
I've been ambivalent about the updated versions of these stories. I didn't really get the need to bring them into the 21st century, and it didn't really make a meaningful difference in either of the first two stories. This one, though, is a different story given the centrality of computers. I'm not really sure the update works. Dairine's relationship with computers made a lot of sense when it was set in the late 80s. But it feels a lot clunkier for 2008.

I'm also not really sold on the psychology
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
Dan'l Danehy-oakes
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book 3 of the "Young Wizards" series.

To recap: In books 1 and 2 of this series, Juanita Callahan and Christopher Rodriguez, junior-high-school students, acquired manuals that teach wizardry, became wizards, underwent an Ordeal, and saved the world twice (both times at great cost) from the "Lone Power," the Being that gave the multiverse entropy and death. Along the way, they gave the Lone Power an option that It has not had before - the option to repent and rejoin the other Powers that Be. In bo
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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 an

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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