Feb. 28th, 2009

starlady: (the wizard's oath)
Yup, another reread, this time of the much-maligned fourth volume in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, partially in honor of the fact that the ninth, A Wizard of Mars, is due out some time this year.

Well, I say much-maligned because I think there is a general consensus that AWA is the slightest of the eight books in the series, but I have to say that even Duane's slighter books, such as this one, still manage to pack a decent amount of thinky thoughts in. On rereading, I can see that this book is Duane processing her having relocated from New York to Ireland after her marriage, and having been to Ireland, I think she gets a lot of the country right. Compared with the other books in the series, though, the narrative simply lacks punch; it's no where near as evocative or as urgent as any of the others before or since, and I'm not sure I could say why, unless it's the insistence that what's threatening Ireland is the past coming alive again (not that this might not be an issue in Ireland in reality, har har). Replaying old roles just inherently lacks pizazz, for all that Duane gives Irish legends her own spin with customary flair, and the ending is positively anti-climactic. There's interesting hints, though, of what is becoming more of an issue in the later books--Nita's fraught relationship with the Lone Power. Since in this book the Lone One is a hill with a malevolent eyeball that has perhaps one line of dialogue, as opposed to Its other sexy and/or wittier incarnations in the other books, that's a drag too. Worth a read as part of the series, and I'm glad I finally have my matched copy, but no great shakes. Though I will say, I do like how Duane has managed to write a nine-volume series that has stretched from 1983 to 2009 in which only about two years has gone by internally, while having each book be both of its time and yet perennial.