A Wizard Abroad
This fourth book in Duane’s Young Wizards series departs from the others. While the others were set in the United States with excursions into imaginary realms, this one is set in Ireland and the world of Irish mythology. Nita’s parents decide that she needs a vacation from Wizardry, so they send her to stay with her aunt in Ireland. Nita doesn’t want to go, but once there she quickly finds herself sucked into a great crisis. The walls between different worlds–as well as past and present–are being worn away, and it seems that the only way to fix them is to re-fight a battle out of ancient Irish mythology.
I found this book on about the level of the first one: fun and engaging, but definitely not deep. There were a few rather annoying flaws: for instance, Nita’s parents seemed a lot flatter than in Deep Wizardry–they were pretty much standard Parents Who Just Don’t Understand. The thing that bothered me the most was a rather interesting side character who got a lot of build-up and then abruptly faded out of the novel at the climax.
Like the previous books, A Wizard Abroad has the same muddled worldview. Duane seems to affirm the existence of God when she makes a few references to the One, “that Power which was senior to the Powers That Be and everything else.” On the other hand, she continues to assert that the Powers “some people had called gods and others had called angels,” without making any distinction as to the relative validity of the two titles. So while this latest book promotes some nice values (courage, self-sacrifice, and the like), it is definitely non-Christian.