Daniella's Reviews > High Wizardry

High Wizardry by Diane Duane
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Aug 05, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, book-challenge-2009, contemporary-fantasy, rereadable, science-fiction, to-buy, favorites, series, 2009
Recommended for: Fans of the Young Wizards series and sci-fi/fantasy
Read 2 times. Last read January 14, 2009.

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 Large portions of the narrative are taken up with unnecessary descriptions of an outdated OS, most of which I could have done without, and overall it simply lacks the same quality of layering as in So You Want to Be a Wizard and Deep Wizardry .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 of the book, and I came away feeling like there could have been a lot more to the story than there was.

Also, the majority of the book centers around Dairine. I actually kind of like her (except for her name, which sounds like some kind of low-fat dairy product or something), so this wouldn't really have bothered me if not for the fact that Nita and Kit got so little screen time. I love their dynamic, and I really enjoy watching them come into their own both in their wizardry and as individuals in that coming-of-age sort of way that's just right and not too clichéd or cheesy. But more than that, I've become so invested in their ongoing adventures through the first two books, and in their struggles against the Big Bad, that I felt rather cheated by Duane making them little more than a sideshow in Dairine's Ordeal circus, especially considering that this appeared to be such a critical turning point in the fight against the Lone Power.

That being said, I actually loved the latter fourth of the book. Not just because Dairine takes about ten levels in badass and lays the smack-down on the Lone Baddie--although that is pretty awesome--but largely because it's such a powerful story of change and redemption. It has always bothered me how many writers (and people in general regarding real life) seem to operate on the principle that, once a person crosses a certain moral event horizon, they can never turn back. You can't change; you're damned forever. But here's the thing: people change all the time. They don't always change for the better, and oftentimes it might not be very noticeable, but they do change. And I adore Diane Duane for straying from the well-laid path and instead conveying the idea that, even if you're the biggest, baddest motherfucker in the whole of time, space, and the entire freaking multiverse, you can change. It won't be easy, and it won't undo the damage you've done, but you can still make that choice and work to redeem yourself.

Whatever my other issues with this book, there's an important story here that needed to be told. Kudos to Ms. Duane for having the vision to tell it, and for doing it beautifully.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read High Wizardry.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 5, 2008 – Shelved
November 3, 2008 – Shelved as: young-adult
November 24, 2008 – Shelved as: book-challenge-2009
January 12, 2009 –
page 10
January 13, 2009 –
page 108
Started Reading
January 14, 2009 –
page 207
January 14, 2009 – Shelved as: contemporary-fantasy
January 14, 2009 – Shelved as: rereadable
January 14, 2009 – Shelved as: science-fiction
January 14, 2009 – Shelved as: to-buy
January 14, 2009 – Finished Reading
January 16, 2009 – Shelved as: favorites
March 7, 2010 – Shelved as: series
April 12, 2011 – Shelved as: 2009

No comments have been added yet.