Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


****Wizard's Holiday

by Diane Duane

Reviewed July 7, 2004.
Harcourt, Orlando, 2003.  416 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF DUA).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #14, Fantasy for Young Adults

I do love Diane Duane’s books.  This is the seventh in her Young Wizards series that begins with So, You Want To Be a Wizard.  (One of these days, I'll review it as an Old Favorite.)  Although I certainly recommend reading the whole series, I think you can probably enjoy this book even if you hadn’t read what went before.

In Wizard’s Holiday, we have fantasy with more the feel of science fiction.  Nita and Kit, teenage wizards of earth, go on a “cultural exchange” program to visit a wizard on a planet on the other side of the galaxy.  In exchange, Nita’s wizard sister Dairine plays host to three wizards from other planets.

The beginning of the book is wonderfully entertaining as it displays Diane Duane’s incredible imagination.  The nicest two alien wizards visiting Dairine look like a fir tree and a giant bug.  The humanoid visitor is a handsome alien prince, and he’s awfully condescending toward Dairine’s home and the whole planet.

Meanwhile, Nita and Kit find themselves on a planet where life’s a beach.  There is perpetual sunshine and idyllic flying sheep.  Life seems perfect, so why do they get the feeling that something’s missing?

It doesn’t really come as a surprise to the reader that both sets of visitors end up having a crisis to deal with that affects the fate of an entire planet.  After all, to the Powers That Be, nothing is wasted, not even a cultural exchange program.

In the process of telling a great story, Diane Duane explores questions in philosophy and even theology.  This book is both entertaining and thought-provoking.  Diane Duane is still at the top of her form.

Reviews of other books by Diane Duane:
A Wizard Alone
Wizards at War
Games Wizards Play
Stealing the Elf-King's Roses

Amazon links to more Diane Duane books:
So You Want To Be a Wizard?
Deep Wizardry
High Wizardry
A Wizard Abroad
The Wizard's Dilemma
The Book of Night With Moon

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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