High Wizardry (Young Wizard"s Series Book 3)

by Diane Duane

Paperback, 1997



Local notes

PB Dua




Harcourt Childrens Books (1997), 337 pages


When her younger sister uses the family computer with its special wizard software to travel to worlds light years away, Nita uses her wizardry to try to find her.



Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

337 p.; 4.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member beserene
This third installment in Duane's Young Wizards series was, I have to say, not quite as enjoyable for me as the first two. I think that a lot of what distanced from me from the novel is that, for the first time, this one felt dated. The story was, I am sure, cutting edge for the early 1990s and is
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chock-full of pop culture and computer/technology references... and that is the problem. Instead of being absorbed into universal themes as in the previous books, the reader is frequently jarred by the outmoded computer details. Not enough time has passed to make such details quaint or "period", so the effect isn't great.

In addition, instead of focusing on Nita and Kit, our two young magical heroes from the first books, this volume adds Nita's younger sister Dairine in a major way. Dairine is a little more difficult to relate to, and becomes even more so as the book progresses, but I don't wish to give anything away, so I will skip the details.

Even with these issues, this is still a fun novel and one that is definitely worth reading to the end; it is in the last quarter of the book that Duane's usual rich, universal themes finally come into play in a major way and some interesting things happen in that eternal battle between... well, you know.

So, while not the best of the series, in my opinion, High Wizardry is still a pleasant read.
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LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
Nita's little sister Dairine becomes a wizard, copies the new family computer, and starts jumping around the Solar System, all in one day.

The story moves between Dairine testing her new powers and Kit and Nita chasing after her. Dairine was portrayed as a precocious brat in previous books, but now
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we get to see deeper into her character and also (as usual) meet exciting new characters as well.

This is the first of the New Millennium Editions that I actually found somewhat better than the original. The updated technology and a few dialogue tweaks really help the story flow.
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LibraryThing member sara_k
Nita and Kit find wizardry handbooks (the books are only visible/available to pre-wizards). They take the oath of wizardry and embark on adventures to help others and to heal the rift caused by the Lost One/Lone Power. In Deep Wizardry Nita and Kit are called to help the undersea community in a
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healing song to quiet the bound power. Too late they realize that the cost of this wizardry might be more than they thought...and there is no easy way out. During the ordeal Nita must tell her parents and sister about her powers and job. In High Wizardry, Nita's little sister receives a software version of the handbook and starts out on her journey without assistance or full understanding of what the risks and responsibilities are. Her journeywoman task is not clear to her but Nita and Kit rush to help her by direct assistance or by distracting the tricky evil.

I don't really like these books but I can't say why. Meanwhile, I have three more of the series in the pile. Maybe I can figure out what I don't like by the time I finish them.
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LibraryThing member MyopicBookworm
Although the scientific element forms a strong background to the magic in the previous two books, this one takes a large step from fantasy towards science fiction. It starts as a merry romp about a precocious kid sister, but picks up the theme of moral decision on a grand scale. The author manages
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to keep her light touch and creative imagination intact, even while loading spadefuls of philosophical theology into the reader's lap. Again the tale invites comparison with Philip Pullman (though not a match for The Golden Compass in style or inventiveness)... except that Duane clearly takes a positive angle on the Christian cosmological myths. Imagine if C. S. Lewis had written Perelandra not for adults, but for the young audience of his Narnia tales, and done so with the benefit of several more decades of astronomical discovery. Enjoyable and thought-provoking. MB 21-iii-2008
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LibraryThing member jbelina
Being a young wizard is hard enough when you're battling to fight death and chaos at every turn, but when your little sister decides to sneak off to Mars you know it's the start of something bad. Will our two young heros be able to save little sister or will the Lone Power succeed in his plot to
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ruin everything?
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LibraryThing member savageknight
I have to say that the introduction of Nita's sister into the Wizardy world was partially expected, but still highly entertaining. Talk about how much someone can be capable of doing if they don't know they shouldn't be able to do it!

I must admit that it was a little strange to be almost at the
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end of the book and not remember that Dairine is the youngest wizard in the series. She certainly acted/ spoke like a much more mature person but perhaps that had to do with her above-average intellect. At any rate, the situations she got herself into were definitely unique as was her way of solving her problems.

I also began to see some small similarities between this series and the Pendragon books (although these were obviously written much earlier): The whole idea of children battling a "Lone Power" whose only desire is to corrupt people/ civilizations.

An enjoyable and entertaining read.
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LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
Nita's little sister Dairine becomes a wizard, steals the new family computer, and starts jumping around the Solar System all in one day.

The story moves between Dairine testing her new powers and Kit and Nita chasing after her. Dairine was portrayed as a precocious brat in previous books, but now
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we get to see deeper into her character and also (as usual) meet exciting new additions to the cast.

This was actually the first book in the series that I ever read. It was confusing (I recommend starting with book 1) but I liked it enough to seek out the rest of the series and I'm glad I did.
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LibraryThing member nmhale
A third book in Duane's wizard series, this one features a new addition to the wizarding family: Nita's little sister, Dairine. Dairine has been envious of her sister's new skills since she learned about them; as a voracious devourer of knowledge, she was incensed to learn that a whole field of
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discovery, the biggest one of all, was unavailable to her. Lucky for her, the wizard world chooses her, but not through a book in the library, like with Nita. No, Dairine unwittingly uploads her manual on a special computer after carelessly taking the oath from her sister's book. Being a huge Star Wars fan, her Ordeal takes her to far regions of space, past even where her inventive mind has imagined before.

This book is the shortest in the series thus far, but since I haven't read them for a while, I didn't mind. It was like a quick refresher to her fictional world. Her integration of computer technology and wizardry was clever, and a new approach to magic fantasy that I had never read before. Yes, much of the technology is already outdated by now, but it was a fresh approach to a genre that can easily become cliched. I also liked watching Dairine mature on her Ordeal. She transforms from a selfish and manipulative child (even if she did have her reasons) into a more open and sympathetic person. Still a child, Dairine had positive growth. The story was a very quick read for me, both because of the short content and because of a fast-flowing narrative pace.

My only disappointment was how quickly the novel flashed past some amazing outer space scenes. The intergalactic travel hub, for instance, was fascinating. We did spend some time here, as Dairine was chased by aliens and Nita and Kit later investigated her whereabouts, but with the wealth of aliens and novelties present in this location, I though significantly more narrative space should have been dedicated to it. I wouldn't have minded seeing Dairine have smaller adventures on some of the planets she flashed to. Yes, yes, this actually would have made the novel a lot longer, and I was just writing that I enjoyed the short length. I'm being contradictory, I know. I wanted to see more galaxies developed, but I was happy with a quick read, so in the end, I was satisfied even if I felt the book had potential left undeveloped. I enjoyed my foray in to the lives of these young wizards, and am again interested in reading more. Which is a good thing, since I received the fourth book as a gift (prompting me to dig out and read this third one) and I plan on plunging straight ahead to the next book in the series.
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LibraryThing member hoosgracie
When Nita’s 10 year old sister Dareen discovers she’s a wizard – her manual is a new laptop computer – Nita and Kit have to go after her to keep her from getting in too much trouble. Again, Duane has written an excellent book with shades of the book of Genesis.
LibraryThing member atreic
This is the one where Dairine, Nina's kid sister, becomes a wizard and goes tearing off round the galaxy. It has some wonderful, wonderful moments - when Dairine thinks she is being so clever, but is actually talking to the alien's luggage, the creation of sentience and life on the silicone planet,
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and the final battle.
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LibraryThing member Crowyhead
Nita's younger sister, Dairine, has always been precocious -- and now she's become one of the youngest and most powerful wizards out there. Now she's gone off half-cocked into the universe, and it's up to Kit and Nita to track her down before the Lone Power does.
In some ways this book was slightly
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dated; Dairine's Wizard's Manual takes the form of a computer, and a lot of the computer stuff is clearly primitive. Other than that, though, it's a great story.
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LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
It's good, but not nearly as good - not nearly as gripping - as the first two. This is, I think, partly because it's Dairine and not Nita (and Kit) who is the protagonist - I identify with Nita (bookish, shy, competent but not visibly so, wants to understand things) a lot more than with Dairine
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(too smart for everyone else's good, pushy, wants a lot of control). It's also too big. Yet another confrontation with the Lone Power, this one more or less head-on...and Dair wins. Sort of. It doesn't actually solve anything, but still...she wins, he/it/she leaves/wins/is redeemed. Permanently. I mean...too much! Talk about saving the universe. Peach doesn't help, either - too much, too powerful. The motherboard and the mobiles are at least learning rather than starting with all the knowledge (though they learn hella fast!). It feels awkward - too large for its space, and not quite fitting the rest of the series. It's still a good story - there are some deep bits, and some really funny ones; I enjoy reading it. But it doesn't resonate with me the way SYWTBAW does, so it's _only_ good.
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LibraryThing member wagner.sarah35
Nita's sister Dairine acquires her wizarding powers in this installment of the Young Wizards series, and causes havoc across the universe. I was glad to see Dairine become a wizard, although I would have liked Nita to have a little bit more time as the only wizard in her family. Good reading all
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LibraryThing member hopeevey
I think I like this volume better than the previous two in the series!

Ms. Duane stirs spirituality into the story in a sweet, gentle sort of way. Madeline L'Engle did something similar, but with a decided Christian slant. Religion aside, Ms. Duane's work certain stands next to that of Ms. L'Engle,
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as a wonderful example of what fiction for young people can be.
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LibraryThing member pwaites
High Wizardry is the third book in Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series, and it focuses mostly on Nita’s younger sister Dairine, who has just become a wizard. Because of this and the stand alone plot, you could pick it up without having read the first books. If you want to read the first one,
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it’s So You Want to Be A Wizard.

Early on in her life Dairine made the decision to know everything that she possibly could. When she finds out about wizardry and the secret powers and knowledge that underlies the universe, how could she not take the oath and hope to become a wizard herself? She soon finds that the family’s new computer is actually a wizard’s manual, made for her. Dairine immediately sets off site seeing, heading first to Mars and from there to the greater universe beyond. Then she suddenly finds herself being chased by agents of the Lone Power, the being who created death and entropy. She becomes stranded half way across the universe on a seemingly barren planet, desperately trying to think of some way to defeat the Power who’s chasing her…

Nita and Kit set off to rescue her, but their thread of the story is not what’s important. This is Dairine’s story, and I think it’s my favorite of the first three. Unfortunately, so much of what makes me love this book comes from the second half when Dairine’s actually on the planet, and I don’t want to include a bunch of spoilers in this review.

“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.”

The soul of the Young Wizards series is the mythology and ethics of wizardry. The Powers That Be created the universe of these books, but then the Lone Power went of by Its self and created death and entropy. Every new species to gain sentience is given a choice, but the Lone Power has always managed to trick them into accepting death and fear. Wizards swear to protect life and fight against entropy. Their magic is largely based on knowledge and their ability to interact with the world. They can convince air molecules to become solid enough to walk on, and they can hold conversations with a tree or stone. Wizards exist across the universe, not just on Earth.

“The Crossings Hypergate Facility on Rirhath B is renowned among the Billion Homeworlds for its elegant classical Lilene architecture and noble proportions; but Dairne’s only cogent thought for several minutes was that she had never imagined being in an airline terminal the size of New Jersey.”

If you couldn’t gather it from my initial description, High Wizardry melds fantasy and science fiction. There might be magic and mythology, but there’s also aliens and far away planets. High Wizardry also deals a lot with computers. Unfortunately, I was reading the original 1993 edition and most of the information here was outdated. I know that Diane Duane rewrote this book and the rest of the series to put it all in the 2000s and that the updated version is available through ebook.

High Wizardry is also a very fast read and a lot shorter than you might be expecting. It’s sort of amazing that so much is packed into such a tiny book. I was able to read it start to finish within just a few hours. Also, Diane Duane can sure write. She’s got some magnificent prose, especially when it comes to the climatic parts of the book.

I definitely recommend High Wizardry. I had positive memories of it, and I am glad that it was able to hold up years later on reread. Diane Duane’s seamlessly merged fantasy and science fiction to create something new, embedded with plenty of powerful questions and ideas.

Originally posted at The Illustrated Page.
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LibraryThing member EdwinKort
It could be better, it could be worse

I didn't like the first book much, the second was way better and now this was bad again. Would that be a patron?
LibraryThing member livingtech
I might have liked this one the best so far. Definitely the most science-fiction seeming of the series (which is definitely, solidly, in the YA fantasy category), in this book Nita and Kit have to chase after Nita’s younger sister through the galaxy and into another one.
LibraryThing member bookswoman
Well, I enjoyed this book more than the last one - and the younger sister Dairine's storyline just took a quantum leap (pun intended). I'll probably go on with this series eventually but for now I think I'll read some other things.
LibraryThing member mutantpudding
This is one of favorite books in this series. I love getting to see more of Dairine, I love the humor and excitement in the story, and I love the computer turtles! The books description of the Crossings is also one of my favorites.




½ (416 ratings; 4)
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