Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Wizard Alone

A Wizard Alone

Diane Duane
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Harcourt, 2002   ISBN: 978-0152049119

Nita's mother has died and she and her family are struggling to cope with the loss. Nita and her sister Dairine have both retreated into themselves, doing what they have to do but not really engaging with the world around them much. Kit, wishing that he could do more for his grieving friend, gives Nita the space she needs and waits for her to come back.

Then Kit is given a job to do. Apparently a young wizard called Darryl, who is going through the Ordeal, is missing and it is up to Kit to try to find him. Kit actually finds Darryl quite quickly and he is stunned to discover that the boy is autistic. Kit's dog Ponce tells Kit that Darryl is not there. His body may be where everyone can see it but the essence of the boy is not.

Not knowing what he is going to find, Kit ventures into Darryl's inner world. Kit and Ponce find the world bewildering and confusing but one solid truth does emerge after a while; the Lone One is perusing Darryl with a vengeance and he is not going to quit until he gets what he wants. Kit can hardly bear to stand by while Darryl is attacked by the Lone One, but at the same time he knows that Darryl has to get through this somehow and he has to do it on his own. Is there something that he can do to support Darryl through this hard time?

Grief and pain are, at the best of times, hard to understand. Most of the time these emotions are just overwhelming and debilitating. In this very special Young Wizards title Diane Duane explores these emotions and the result is intriguing, and at times painful. Kit and Nita meet someone who is not only very gifted but who is also selfless and brave. It is a humbling experience for both of them and they both get something very valuable out of the encounter.