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The Wizard’s Dilemma
by Diane Duane
By the fifth book in the Young Wizards series, mighty teens Nita and Kit have explored the oceans, outer space, parallel universes, and the land of Faery. Now a new and far more personal assignment takes them into “inner space.”
It begins with a quarrel between our two young wizards, which might seem to be the beginning of the end for their partnership. Things aren’t helped when they both accept solo assignments that take them out of this world, in vastly different directions. For while Kit’s dog Ponch is teaching his master the joys of creating new universes, and traveling between them without wizardry, Nita’s family is shattered by the news that her mother has a brain tumor. And her search for a way to save her mother’s life confronts Nita with a real wizard’s dilemma: make a deal with the devil, or let her mother die… give up wizardry forever, or spend the rest of her life knowing that she let her family down.
What results from this dilemma is the severest test of the partnership between Kit and Nita so far. It is a weird adventure among many worlds, some of which exist for training purposes only, in which Nita meets a variety of really cool aliens, makes entertaining conversation with the Transcendental Pig, and faces down the Lone Power one more time. Meanwhile Kit, led by his adorable and adoring mutt, follows her scent from one universe to another, racing to save her from doing the right thing for very, very wrong reasons (or maybe that should go the other way around).
Besides the adventure, it is also the deepest exploration yet of the characters and relationships in Nita’s family, in all their wonderful humanity. You also meet Kit’s family (finally!). And you get to share the humor, the sorrow, the fear, and the hope of the Callahans in the story of a battle against cancer whose ending is not necessarily what you would expect. And the temptation of Nita creates some of the series’ richest suspense so far, with a clearer than ever (though still secular) delineation between good and evil. And this too works out in unexpected, but totally fulfilling ways.
What you should expect is wet pages and a pile of used facial tissue next to wherever you read this book. You’ll want to keep the unused tissue handy, as the sequence continues in A Wizard Alone.