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The Wizard's Dilemma: The Fifth Book in the Young Wizards Series Paperback – Aug 6 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (Aug. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152024603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152024604
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #376,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

The fifth title in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series delves deeper into an emotional landscape than any of her previous books (So You Want to Be a Wizard, Deep Wizardry, High Wizardry, and A Wizard Abroad). For the first time ever, friends and wizard partners Nita and Kit seem to be having trouble communicating. They argue over a spell to clean up the pollution in New York's Jones Inlet, and from that point on, they can't connect on anything. Is it adolescence that's tearing them apart or something more profound? Meanwhile, Nita and her family are stunned to discover that her mother has cancer, and there's a possibility that nothing--not surgery, not even wizardry--can fight it. Nita refuses to let her mom go down without a fight, however, and soon she's on a mission that brings her face-to-face with the Lone Power, source of all death in the universe--Nita's worst enemy, and possibly her only hope.

Impressive in its scope, The Wizard's Dilemma, like all the titles in Duane's series, is packed with an intriguing combination of technology and magic that fans of fantasy, science fiction, technology, and even Christian literature will find absolutely gripping. Nita is a complex character, as befits her status as a teenager, not to mention a wizard. Her confusion and self-doubt will be painfully believable to every reader. There are no simple answers in this remarkably philosophical novel. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-8-Now 14, Nita bemoans the fact that she "kept running into problems for which wizardry either wasn't an answer, or else was the wrong one. And even when it was the right answer, it never seemed to be a simple one anymore." School is harder than ever before, and her wizarding partnership with her best friend, Kit, has been under stress, when the ultimate blow comes: her mother has intractable brain cancer. As in earlier books in the series, wizardry is an unusual hybrid of science fiction and fantasy conventions, in which interplanetary aliens and parallel uni-verses coexist with spells and talking trees. In this installment, the two friends each face a dilemma: Kit finds he can retreat forever into his own self-created heaven, but at the cost of giving up the fight against evil. Nita learns she can cure her mother's cancer, but only by sacrificing her powers to the Lone One, the source of all unhappiness in the universe. As the maturing wizards learn in the story's moving conclusion, there are no simple answers to decisions like these. A well-crafted plot, occasional dry humor, and appealing main characters will make this novel popular with readers new to the series as well as with Duane's fans.

Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is the darkest of the first five, and deals with the heavily emotional issues of puberty and the impending death of a close family member. At the outset of the book Nita (Juanita) Callahan and Kit (Christopher) Rodriguez argue about the best way to clean up a waterway. The argument seems petty because both are after the same goal. However, there seems to be a communication gap between the two.
This event sends Nita on a voyage of personal discovery that intensifies when she learns that her mother has cancer. For the first time since becoming a wizard Nita learns that even wizardry has limitations. Even Dairine, her powerful and talented younger sister, is incapable of handling the cancer that is slowly taking their mother. Dairine is justifiably angry at her own inability to kill the cancer, and realizes that to battle this demon will require a finesse that she does not possess.
Nita must go on a voyage of self-improvement that only she can undertake. She must learn to recognize and find the kernel of a being, be it a world or a person. Nita must learn to manipulate that core, to help it marshal the powers that the kernel represents and commands. Only by manipulating the kernel does Nita have a chance to save her mother from cancer.
As the book develops Nita finds friends from other planets who have been manipulating kernels for some time. Nita is also developing advanced skills as a wizard, and I can see the potential for Nita to advance in the wizard hierarchy. Eventually Nita comes to realize that even with all she knows and with all her will that she still needs the help of friends, who come through for her when she really needs it.
I was quite surprised at the dark atmosphere of this book.
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By A Customer on May 24 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was written by Diane Duane and is one of my favorite books of all time. This is the fifth book in the award winning Young Wizards series. To really understand the characters in this story, however, I would suggest reading the rest of the books in this series first.
In this story, Nita is still recovering from her mother's death and Kit is left partner-less. Nita is being troubled by strange dreams containing clowns and robots. Tom calls Kit over to investigate a wizard who has been on his ordeal, a test that you have to become a wizard, for three months, but hasn't left his house. Together Kit and Nita have to discover more about this new wizard named Daryel. They also have to figure out why the most evil force in the universe is working relentlessly to destroy him.
As I said before, this is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. In fact, it's my third favorite book ever. (My first favorite is also in this series) I strongly suggest this book, and the rest of the Young Wizards series to anyone that loves science fiction or fantasy.
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Format: Hardcover
What sticks with me from this book is the central conflict. Young wizard Nita Callahan is, as always, growing up. When a minor argument shakes her and her wizard friend Kit's confidence in their long-standing partnership, she finds herself adrift handling her greatest crisis so far--her mother's brain cancer. Especially this time, wizardry doesn't have all the answers and the only way to save her mother's life may play right into her worst enemy's hands.
In all of these books, this was the only one where I really feared for Nita as a person. Death, danger, the Lone Power she faces down with aplomb. Losing her wizardry...that's more than half a person. That's scary. Though the development of the conflict is mildly cliché (of course, help would come in time!), you won't come away from a good reading without tackling some hard issues. Nita certainly wouldn't be the only one with some very hard questions about the Wizard's Oath, the competing interests of different lives and forms of life, and how far you can go to prevent a tragedy that is personal but nonetheless natural and in some sense inevitable. I can't blame Nita for being willing to do almost anything to help...though it seems strange that a wizard who's faced so much already, seen Timeheart multiple times, and been willing to make so many other sacrifices for wizardry is so afraid of loss here. But this is her mother; it's very personal here. It also leads one to wonder: what about all the wizards out there who don't have a partner looking after them?
The writing is pretty good, though I was having a somewhat difficult time following some of the wizardry here. A little too much of it without significant developments. I'd also have liked to see more of Kit, but then I always do. I have a difficult time believing 1.
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Format: Paperback
Miss Duane has a singular muse. This book, like all the others in the series, stands by itself as an imaginative achievment. And when the book was finished, I was reluctant to put it down. So much happens in this book and some things are left unresolved as it becomes apparent that Miss Duane intends to continue the series. And I will happily buy each and every book as it comes out.
Originally, I bought 'So You Want to Be a Wizard' as something to read while waiting for the next 'Harry Potter' book to come out. Now I find I'm reading 'Harry Potter' while I wait for the next Wizardry book to come out. And while the former is certainly enjoyable, I can connect with the Wizardry series on an intellectual level because Miss Duane has made it easy to see HOW wizardry can operate within the realm of reality. And she maintains this balance between fantasy and reality throughout each book. Ultimately, the spell that is cast is cast about the discerning reader, leaving them open to possibilities that they may otherwise have never imagined.
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