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Games Wizards Play: Book Review

September 30, 2016

Cover image, Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane

Games Wizards Play
Diane Duane
HMH Books for Young Readers

I went into reading this, knowing I would love it. In fact, I bought it months ago. I think it was out in February of this year. And I’ve had it on my Kindle since then, saving it. Saving it to savor it.

I really love this series. It stays good. On so many levels. Great quality fantasy writing, characters who evolve and respect each other. I’ve blogged about it here before. Over the series, characters grow and change, navigating both family relationships and chosen-found family, with a remarkable compassion and humanness. Bad things happen, mistakes happen. Evil needs battling. The world needs saving. Parts and scenes of the books make me cry, or make me need a hug. Or both.

This isn’t a series you can pick up out of sequence, because of how the story evolves.

Through even the worst moments of scariness, loneliness, of devastating heartbreak these characters endure… there is compassion, there is warmth, there is a willingness to make the hard choice if it is the right choice, even if it is the terrifying choice. There is power, and there are Powers that Be lending both a spirituality and a universal scope… but more to the point, there is ordinariness. There are wizards and magic fighting battles for the fate of the universe. But they’re also having hugs and family dinners and laughter and movie nights, and first love and wonder. I like that mix. I like that heart.

Could I pick a favorite book in the series? Not really. No more than I could pick one character as a favorite character, or even a main character. It’s an ensemble cast, of family, chosen and born.

I have read and reread the Young Wizards books. All nine. Now, ten.

And I could see myself doing it again.

I need more books like this.

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