So, I’m drawing close to the end of my chapter-by-chapter recap of Diane Duane’s novel “A Wizard of Mars”, and I’d like to say that I’ve had a great time sharing this book with you. I’d like to try something else soon, possibly not chapter by chapter, but going through a book in installments as I read it, instead of a single review/book report of the novel as a whole, and I’m setting up a poll to see what possible titles there’s any interest in from my regulars.
So, at the end of the last chapter, Nita teleports into the throne room of one of the Martian royal houses, that of the Shamaska city, and she’s very pissed off and wizardly and competent and magnificent, as Kit said about her a bit earlier. So she tells off Iskard, the king, and Rorsik, his toadying minister, for the way they’ve treated the planet, and wizardry, and their people, and Aurirelde, Isakard’s daughter, and Khretef, her sweetie from the other side of Mars, the Eilitt. Particularly Nita rages on at the blindness of wizards letting themselves slip into an ‘us or them, we have to use wizardry against them because they’d do it to us’ mentality.
She’s also desperate to get Kit back, because the Martian wizardry has apparently taken his body to bring Khretef back to life, and Nita demands that the Shamaska get Kit back, threatening to pour the Waters of Mars over her head, ready to meet Kit in Timeheart herself rather than face life without him. Khretef regretfully says that he’s not sure if it’s possible, that he doesn’t even hear Kit’s voice in his thoughts anymore.
At this point, Mamvish, the archivist who’d been assisting with the Mars project earlier in the book, and Irina, the senior wizard for Earth, arrive, no longer blocked from transiting to Mars now that Nita’s taken the Mars kernel away from Aurirelde. Mamvish manages to split Kit away from Khretef, leaving Khretef a body of his own, and Irina takes charge with the other Shamaska, announcing herself as ‘senior among equals’ of the planetaries for the entire solar system, (which makes me wonder – besides Europa, how many planetary bodies in the YW solar system have life on them?)
Basically, she says that the Shamaska and Eilitt have really messed up by following their own program to take back Mars without stopping to care about how it would affect Earthlings, and gives them two choices – go back into hibernation until Earthlings have become extinct, or only until Mamvish can arrange to have them all ‘rafted’ away to a planet in some unoccupied solar system suitable for settlement. Iskard and Rorsik refuse this dichotomy, insisting that their species was here first, which Mamvish says doesn’t entitle them to what they want.
Kit jumps in, and suggests another idea – timesliding the Shamask and the Eilitt into the past, seperating them from Earthlings and each other in time, and volunteers the one thing necessary to make the scheme work – an interdimensional conduit capable of sustaining truly amazing energy levels. Ponch’s leash, the one thing that Kit has left of his dog, which probably won’t survive the strains it will take this time, but it’ll get the job done. Everybody agrees to this alternative, and Nita finally takes off back to Earth, with Kit, so that she can take a well-deserved nap.
I don’t think I’m going to quote a passage in detail this time around, but I really loved the little moment when Kit teleported into his house in front of his annoying big sister Helena, and Helena, (who thinks that he’s a mutant now,) starts quizzing him about the BAMF sound he makes when he appears. This is a shout-out to Nightcrawler of the X-men, and I picked up Diane’s X-men novel, “Empire’s End”, at Ad Astra this year, but haven’t started reading it. Guess what? That’s on the poll.