The final chapter of ‘A wizard of Mars’, to me, reads mostly like an epilog. The body of the story is already told, the climax has come and gone, and the main characters are talking through the post-mortem at a barbecue, working out things like the interpretation of the Red Rede prophecy, and how they managed to set up a temporal causality loop that influenced key events, by sending the Martian cities back into the past.
Mamvish is as funny a character as ever, especially when Nita’s father gives her some more tomatoes, and there’s an interesting little philosophical discussion with Tom, inspired by the fact that this is the first Young Wizard book that didn’t directly feature a manifestation of the Lone Power, the oldest source of evil, although Nita says that she definitely felt his influence, trying to bring about war on Mars, and between Mars and Earth.
Tom’s point of view, (and yes, he does sound a little like a proxy for a lecture from Diane, but I’ll let that slide this time,) is that it’s a sign that Nita and Kit are growing up. When they were younger, between raw power and viewing the world in simple terms, they were able to force the Lone One to become physical to take them on. Now, their practice of the art is going to be getting more complicated because of these changes in their lives.
After the post-mortem barbecue is done, Nita has a dream of Mars, with Kit, and Khretef, and Aurirelde in it, which is mostly more wrap-up, but at the very end, Kit brings up something that’s been left unresolved:
“Meanwhile,” Kit said, “something I forgot to ask you.”
“Just what was it you called me back there?”
She shook her head. “Back there where?”
“You remember. Back at Argyre Planitia, when you were telling Aurirelde you didn’t have to keep yours in a cage.”
Nita stared at him, bewildered – then realized what he was talking about, and took a very deep breath.
“My boyfriend?” she said. And then Nita felt like cursing at herself for the way her voice squeaked with stress on the second word, turning it into a question.
Kit just looked at her. “Took you long enough,” he said. He grinned at her and vanished.
Nita’s eyes went wide, then narrowed with annoyance – and relieved delight.
“I’m gonna get you for that!” she said, and went after him.