Bout of Books 12.0 TBR

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr // Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater //Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid // Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret by J.K. Rowling // High Wizardry by Diane Duane // A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane

Today's other YW-based bemusement

While wandering hither and yon today following up on the Texas banning of A Wizard of Mars and glancing at other links, I ran across someone who’d seen this dedication page from High Wizardry

– and having seen it, had this to say:

Sometimes I kind of wonder if she’s into the D/s end of things.

(smiles, closes eyes, pinches bridge of nose)

Um… there’s more than one context in which someone refers to another as their master.

…The dedication was in memory of C. S. Lewis, who I was thinking of frequently while writing a book whose events here and there faintly echoed some of  those in the third book of the Planetary Trilogy, That Hideous Strength*. The surprise is a reference to Lewis’s book Surprised by Joy, which deals with the loss and rediscovery of his faith, but is also a pun. For the Joy he was surprised by was his wife, long after he’d given up the idea that he might ever find true love or be married. Four years after finding and getting married to Peter under similar circumstances, I was still surprised.

So if anyone was wondering about that dedication, now you know. And I can reassure anyone who needs reassuring that dom/sub and/or top/bottom issues weren’t involved in any way. We don’t even own a riding crop.  :)

*For one of the best Praising With Faint Damns reviews of the last century, see George Orwell’s review of THS here.

Those who refuse to serve the Powers, become the tools of the Powers. Those who agree to serve the Powers, Themselves become the Powers. Beware the Choice! Beware refusing it!
—  High Wizardry, Diane Duane
She never found out anything about the man who helped her. Nor did he ever find out anything more about her. Pausing by the door of the pay toilet after being released from station security some hours later, and being telepathically sensitive (as so many hominids are), he could sense only that some considerable power had been successfully exercised there. Satisfied with that, he smiled to himself and went on about his travels, just one more of the billions of hominids moving about the worlds. But many millions of light-years later, in some baking wilderness under a barren, brilliant sky, a bitterly weary Dairine paused in her flight, sat down on a stone, and cried for a while in shock at the utter strangeness of the universe, where unexpected evil lives side by side with unexpected kindness, and neither ever seems quite overcome by the other…

Diane Duane, High Wizardry

Just one more example of Duane’s fantastic writing.  Also - was that supposed to be the Doctor??!

“Powers,” Nita heard her father say behind her. “Creation. Forces from before time. This is - this is business for saints, not children!”

“Even saints have to start somewhere,” Carl said softly. “And it’s always been the children who have saved the universe from the previous generation and remade the universe in their own image.”

—  Diane Duane, High Wizardry
The Lone Power rose up, slowly, like one discovering walking after a lifetime of lameness. And Kit and Nita and Darine all gazed, and speech left them. Nita’s eyes filled with tears as she wondered how darkness could be so bright. Lightbringer He was, and star of the morning; and like the morning star, He needed the darkness, and shone brighter in it, and made it blessed. “Home,” He said, gazing upward; just the one word.
—  High Wizardry

Just finished High Wizardry and I have a vague sort of feeling that I didn’t like it as much as a child?  Maybe because it was more on the sci-fi end of things, and/or I didn’t understand all of the concepts completely.  Maybe because it focused more on Dairine, and I didn’t appreciate having my regularly scheduled protagonists interrupted.  Or maybe it was just too fricking painful to read.  But it hurts more reading it now than it ever did then.  Because it’s really heavy stuff, about mortality salience, and how life always hurts, and I think that was a much more difficult and frightening concept for me to grasp than planetary motion or a sentient computer planet or Olber’s paradox.  Even ten years later I don’t know how to handle it.  The only thing that I understand better now is why the younger wizards have the most power.  I mean, Duane says outright it’s because kids don’t know what’s impossible yet, but there’s a difference between knowing it and feeling it.  I took the Wizard’s Oath when I was still young enough to believe in magic, and I was fully prepared to accept the power to risk my life in grand battles for the sake of the universe; now I’m glad I never actually received that power, because I know I’d never be able to handle it.

Still, sometimes I have bad nights, when the weight of the universe seems to be crushing me and the fear of the Lone Power’s creation seems to paralyze me; and during these nights, I remember another night, hiding under the covers with a flashlight and a paperback, swearing to always put aside fear for courage and death for life.  And powers or no, I meant the Oath then and I mean to live by it even now.

Book Meme - Day 2 - A book or series you wish more people were reading or talking about


This is one of my favourite series. If Harry Potter didn’t have all its cultural and personal resonance, it would by my number one favourite series. In strictly literary terms, I prefer these books to the Harry Potter books. And I have next to no one to talk about them with. I’m a member of the Young Wizards Discussion Forums, and it’s somewhat active, but I don’t know anyone on there.

Nita/Kit (the main protagonists) are my book OTP.


It’s an open ended series with nine books already published, so there’s SO VERY MUCH to theorize and obsess over.

THERE MIGHT ONE DAY BE A MOVIE MAYBE I DON’T KNOW. And I’m very conflicted over whether this is a good idea or not. I know I wouldn’t be heartbroken if they didn’t make one. I’m still holding out that they’ll turn the books into anime.

Fun Fact:

The tenth book, Games Wizards Play, was just announced and is (I’m hoping) coming out in the next year. And it shall be marvelous.

With the motherboard Dairine fell down into the dim twilight before her birth, heard echoes of voices, tasted for the first time the thumb it took her parents five years to get out of her mouth; lay blinking at a bright world, came to understand light and form; fought with gravity, and won, walking for the first time; smiled on purpose for the first time at the tall warm shape that held her close and said loving things to her without using sound; found out about words, especially ‘No!’; ecstatic, delighted, read for the first time; saw her sister in tears and felt for the first time a kind of pain that didn’t involve falling down and skinning your knees…

Pain. There was enough of it. Frustration, rage at a world that wouldn’t do what she wanted, fear at all kinds of things that she didn’t understand: fear of things she heard on the news at night, a world full of bombs that can kill everything, full of people hungry, people shooting each other and hating each other; hearing her parents shouting downstairs while she huddled under the covers, feeling like the world was going to end - Will the shoot each other now? Will they have a divorce? Finding out her best friend was telling the other kids stories about how she was weird and laughing at her behind her back; making new friends, but by force, by cleverness and doing things to make herself popular, not because the friends came to her naturally; making herself slightly feared, so that people would leave her alone to do the things she wanted to without being hassled; beating her fists against the walls of life, knowing that there was more, more, but she couldn’t figure out what it was, then finding out that someone knew the secret. Wizardry. And it didn’t come fast enough - it never comes fast enough - nothing ever does…

Nothing ever comes fast enough: end of file…


Diane Duane, High Wizardry

I like Dairine’s character a lot more now than I did when I was younger, because now I realize that she is basically me.