For Fans of Magic and Wizardry


There is a great series about wizardry by Diane Duane that our children's librarian recommended.  It starts with So You Want to be a Wizard and continues on with eight more adventures.  It begins with the main character, Nita, trying to hide out in the library because she is a frequent victim of relentless bullying.  She happens on a book in the career section called So You Want to be a Wizard.  Browsing through it, she finds that only those who might be chosen can even see the book title.  It hasn't been checked out in years.

After beginning the book and trying to begin her first attempt at wizardry, Nita meets up with a Hispanic boy named Kit who has social troubles similar to hers. Nita and Kit are both brainy scientific types, and they immediately team up for the lessons which lead them to be shifted into a whole other alternate Manhattan.  There powers of evil seem to dominate everything.  The quest is dark and frightening, lightened only by the humor of a little white hole named Fred who joins them.

Like the Harry Potter series, the frequent perils can be thrilling or exhausting as they roller coaster one into another, but unlike Harry there are no colorful magical settings to imagine.  The imagery is nothing but spooky and dark.  The language of the narration is frequently poetic with phrases such as "timeheart" and "starsnuffer," and references to astronomy, light and dark, and stars and moon.

So here's a dose of science and magic and the theme of wars between good and evil forces executed by a pair of very real world characters and their curious little white hole friend.  The lead character, Nita, is a girl who is brainy and brave and, when not involved with wizardry and battles against evil forces, just wants to fit in with friends and family.

This book gained  a starred review in School Library Journal and won an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers award.

More about Diane Duane can be found on the website here.  Four of her Star Trek novels have been listed on the  New York Times Best-Seller list.  And all books in this Wizard series and others by Duane can be found in print format, audio, and e-book format in our Orange County library catalog.

1 comment:

PIB said...

I really enjoyed Diane Duane's adult fantasy novels, so it wasn't too much of a leap for me to find that I enjoyed this series a lot.

I thought it so original and interesting that wizardry in her Young Wizards series is similar to mathematical formulas, or science, and requires that they be precise and methodical when casting spells. It made a strange kind of sense to me, that magic in the modern age would be, I don't know, modern.

I like to think of it as "smart" fantasy!