My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Nita is shipped off to Ireland to stay with her Aunt Annie for a few weeks. The barriers between Ireland and the Old World of Tir na nOg are thin, and Nita must help the Irish wizards to ward off nightmare creatures from the past. Legends and monsters from Irish legend come into the realm of reality, and only Nita and her friends have the magical power and the connections to stop them.
As always, it is utterly impossible to describe the wonder, the grandeur, the sheer enchantment of a book by Diane Duane. There’s something so indescribably foreign and deliciously familiar in all her characters. They possess great magical power; they encounter mystic beings; and they get embarrassed when their socks don’t match. Those little down-to-earth moments, like drinking a cup of tea and finding your favorite tennis shoes before going off to fight in the faerie wars, are what make her stories so special.
There’s always a current of awareness running under her stories that glances out through little things, showing the dark and brightness in every human heart with a startling clarity. I love the way that each wizard responds to and experiences the magical powers they harness, and there is a reflection of struggle and understanding inside themselves. It makes the magic system so deep and wide and omnipresent in each aspect of the story, because of its complexity and actuality.
(I’m trying so hard to explain the particular enchantment of this magical setting, but I’m failing miserably. It won’t make sense unless you’ve read the magic yourself.)
As always, I adore Nita and Kit’s friendship! They are so comfortable together, and there is such a depth of understanding between them. Every scene with them is so carefully and beautifully written.
The plot in this one kept me reading and wondering and enjoying every page! I loved all the Irish mythology, and I consulted Wikipedia many times, looking up the old legends and tales, and trying to figure out how to pronounce all the Irish names.
I love that this author always deals with heavy subjects – sacrifice, and honor, and the meaning of truth- but there’s also much light-hearted fun in her books.
I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!