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The Young Wizards Series
by Diane Duane
Currently seven books and almost twenty years strong, this series of sci fi-fantasy adventures proves that its author is too good to be wasted on Star Trek novelizations. Fans of Harry Potter, take note. Run, do not walk, to your library or bookstore, and borrow, buy, or order these terrific books! It should be astonishing if this series isn’t nearly as well known as the putative seven-book series by J.K. Rowling, and loved by many of the same people.
Beginning with So You Want to Be a Wizard, the series follows the career of teen wizards Nita Callahan and Kit Rodriguez, best friends from a suburban community on Long Island, New York. Instead of going to a big wizard academy, they learn their Art as they go along, aided by a very interactive Manual and the advice of older and more experienced wizards. And though they are fighting to save the universe from the Father of Darkness, a.k.a. the Lone Power, from the very beginning, they have to hide their wizardry, at first, from their own families.
As the series develops– so very like real life– things change for Nita and Kit. Nita’s kid sister Dairine becomes a wizard. Later on, Kit’s dog Ponch starts developing interesting powers, and his family– particularly his older sister Carmela– develop symptoms of “wizardry leakage.” And most poignantly of all– proving that Duane is confident enough to make irrevocable changes to her own “formula”– Nita’s mother… well, you just wait and see.
These are dramatically strong stories that combine mindblowing science concepts, cosmic battles between good and evil, and encounters with the Powers of Life and the Lone Power (of death and evil). Nita and Kit weave spells, visit the Faery world, swim with whales, meet aliens from outer space, visit other universes, and also cope with the every day problems of siblings, parents, pets, and school. It’s amazing what you can do when you learn to speak the language of Creation itself, which– if you say the right words in the right way– can actually change the world. And it’s equally amazing, what obstacles you can overcome when you have a faithful friend to back you up.
I could not recommend a series more highly than this. If you are ready to move on to the next thing after Harry Potter, this may be it.