Book Review: The Wizard’s Dilemma

The Wizard's Dilemma
The Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another book in this series that broke my heart! Such beautiful writing!

Nita gets the terrible news that her mother is dying of cancer. In between hospital visits, Nita searches for a dangerous and elusive wizardry that will cure her mother, but the price may be more than she can pay. She and her wizarding work partner, Kit, have suffered a misunderstanding that keeps them apart. Determined to find a cure on her own, Nita falls prey to the evil Lone One, not realizing that Kit might have stumbled on the answer to all their problems, if only they can reconcile in time!

As in all the other books, I adore the camaraderie and complete trust between Kit and Nita. Their friendship is so special, and seeing it fall apart in this book was heartbreaking. But even through their argument, I loved seeing these characters grow and change, and their friendship ultimately grows and changes along with them. All friendships have some rocky spots, a few bumps in the road, and I was so happy to see how both these characters overcome the obstacles in their way, and it makes them better people, and makes their friendship stronger!

The magic system, as always, is beautifully complex, and yet simple to understand. I appreciate how the magic spells and wizardly doings fit in perfectly with the world, and with the spiritual powers of the books as well. The weird magical extras change in every book, and all the strange alien side characters that come in are so imaginative and different. The whole world-building is seamless and delightful!

This book deals with Death, and so the spiritual undertones, which are present in all the books of the series, are really brought to the forefront in this book, even going so far as to quote several Scripture verses. The age-old battle between light and dark, between good and evil, is a major theme in all the books, but in this one it becomes much more personal to the characters, as they face the darkness inside themselves. All the books have very definite Christian and spiritual themes, and I loved seeing that even more clearly in this book!

Nita has to make a decision about what she is willing to do to save her mother’s life, and of course, there is the temptation to do evil in order to accomplish a “good.” Do the ends really justify the means? Are you really doing it with purely unselfish motives, to benefit someone else? Or are you doing it for yourself, because YOU are afraid to lose someone?

All these questions are dealt with in a graceful and accessible way that was a pleasure to read. Not at all preachy! And of course, seeing Nita going through this terrible difficulty, brought my own thoughts into alignment with these questions and made me contemplate some things as well. I love a book that makes you think, but also tells an engaging story!

There are many deep and emotional themes in these books, but it’s also balanced with many light-hearted and even silly moments of fun! The different plots lines all converge perfectly at exactly the right times and in the right ways. Brilliant writing!

View all my reviews

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