Monday, November 29, 2010

A Wizard of Mars--Diane Duane

Title: A Wizard of Mars
Author: Diane Duane
Publisher: Harcourt, 2010
549 p

The last Wizards book was in 2006--Wizards at War--and I was thrilled to see that Diane Duane decided to write another story. I was also thrilled that I actually wrote a detailed review of the last book because it helped refresh my memory!

A Wizard of Mars takes place shortly after the events in Wizards at War. Go ahead and click on the link up there, I'll wait. This 9th book finds Nita and Kit averting another disaster a little closer to home. They've traveled to many different planets and solar systems as wizards, but no other planet is as mystifying as Mars. There's no sign of life or wizardry on Mars, but the wizards are drawn to it and feel as though they've lost some connection with it. Kit in particular is obsessed with solving the mystery of the red planet, even if it means straining his friendship with Nita. Nita doesn't quite get Kit's obsession and tries to be understanding and at the same time deal with her sister Dairine's obsession with finding the lost Roshaun.

Duane jumps right into the story like we've never left the wizard's world. This is not the book to start the series with! Readers need to know the history and back story of the first eight books to fully appreciate this one the way it's meant to be appreciated. Since I've read all of them (even if I did need a little refresher) it was easy to jump right along with Duane. Nita and Kit feel like old friends to me now. Except that I'm the only one who keeps getting older (I'm pretty sure I was around 10 or 11 when I read the first book, close to the same age as they were.) Nita and Kit are growing up though--and so is their wizardry. The first few books were clear good vs. evil battles. Wizardry was very much black and white. But now that our heroes are a bit older and more experienced they see that life is NOT black and white and good vs. evil is not so clear-cut. This is the first book that the Lone Power does not play a big obvious role, but is instead more subtle with his deceptive influence.

The lost Roshaun is not found and Dairine's story is secondary in this book. Hopefully that means there will be another Wizards book soon.
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