Wizards at War

Wizards at War

by Diane Duane

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Nita and Kit return from their wizardly holiday, looking forward to getting back to their everyday routine. But there's trouble brewing. A strange darkness of the mind and heart is about to befall the older wizards of the world, stealing away their power. Soon, the young wizards of Earth and many other planets find themselves forced to defend wizards and nonwizards alike against an invasion of a kind they've never imagined.

But mere defense won't be enough to combat the evil afoot. With their alien teammates, Nita, Kit, and Dairine must race to search worlds known and unknown for the secret weapon the Powers That Be have promised them--before the minions of the sinister Lone Power find it first. And then, for the first time in millenia, the wizards must go to war. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547546810
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 06/01/2007
Series: Young Wizards Series , #8
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 462,402
Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

DIANE DUANE is the author of more then twenty science fiction and fantasy novels, among them the eight books in the Young Wizards series. She lives in rural Ireland.

DIANE DUANE is the author of nearly fifty science fiction and fantasy novels, including ten books in the Young Wizards series. Four of her Star Trek novels have been New York Times bestsellers, including Spock's World. She lives with her husband in rural Ireland. Visit her online at www.DianeDuane.com and www.youngwizards.com.

Read an Excerpt

Situational Awareness

IN THE BRIGHT LIGHT of an early spring morning, a teenage girl in faded blue jeans and a cropped white T-shirt stood in her downstairs bathroom, brushing her teeth and examining herself with a critical eye. Have I lost weight? she thought, pulling the T-shirt a little away from her as she looked down. This doesn't fit like it did two weeks ago...

The view in the mirror was more or less the usual one: light brunette hair cut just above her shoulders, a face neither unusually plain nor unusually beautiful, a nothing-special figure for a fourteen-year-old. But there were changes besides the fit of her T-shirt. Nita Callahan racked the toothbrush and then leaned close to the mirror over the sink, pulling down the skin above her right cheekbone with one finger. My tan looks pretty good, but are those circles under my eyes? she thought. I look wrecked. You'd think I hadn't just had ten days off on a planet that was almost all beach. "I think I need a vacation from my vacation," Nita muttered.

She started to turn away from the sink...then stopped, noticing something in the mirror. Nita leaned close to it again, pushing her bangs up with one hand and eyeing her forehead. Oh no, is that a pimple coming up? She poked it, felt that telltale sting. Great. I really need this right now!

She sighed. "Okay," she said. Normally she wouldn't have been enthusiastic about spending any significant part of her morning talking to a zit, but if she talked the pimple out of happening right now, it'd take her less effort than if she waited until later.

"Uh, excuse me," she said in the wizardly Speech-and then stopped. Wait a minute. I don't know the word for "pimple."

Nita frowned. For a moment she considered the tube of facial scrub on the shelf by the sink, then shook her head and reached out toward what otherwise looked like empty air beside her. Into that "empty air," the pocket of otherspace where she normally kept her wizard's manual, Nita's arm disappeared up to the shoulder. She felt around for a moment-I really have to clean this thing out; there's too much stuff in here-and then pulled out what to most people would have looked like a small hardbound library book an inch or so thick.

Nita started paging through it. Let's see. Pimple, pimple...see "aposteme." She shook her head, turning more pages. What's an aposteme? Sometimes I really wonder about the indexing in this thing.

"Nita?" came a shout, faintly, from the other end of the house.

"What, Daddy?" she shouted back.


Nita raised her eyebrows. At this hour of the morning? It's not Kit; he wouldn't bother with the phone. "Thanks!"

The word for "phone," at least, she knew perfectly well. Nita held out her hand. "If you would?" she said in the Speech to the handset in question.

The portable phone from the kitchen appeared in her hand, its hold button blinking. She hit the button, meanwhile balancing her manual on the edge of the sink while she kept paging through it. "Hello?"

"Nita," Tom Swale's voice said. "Good morning."

"Hey, how are you?" Nita said.

"A little pressed for time at the moment," said her local Senior Wizard. "How was your holiday?"

"Not bad," she said. "Listen, what's the Speech word for 'pimple'?"

There was a pause at the other end. "I used to know that," Tom said.

"But you don't anymore?"

"I'll look it up. You should do that, too. How are your houseguests doing?"

"They're fine as far as I know," Nita said. "Probably having breakfast. I was just going to get some myself."

"You should definitely do that," Tom said. "But can you and Kit and the visiting contingent spare me and Carl a little time afterward?"

"Uh, sure," Nita said. "I was going to call you anyway, because I heard some really strange things from Dairine about what went on here while we were away...and the manual wouldn't say anything about the details. Where did you guys vanish to? Assuming I'm allowed to ask."

"Oh, you're allowed. That's what I'm calling about. I have a lot of people to get in touch with today, but since you two and your guests are just around the corner, we thought we might drop by and brief you in person."

"Sure," Nita said. "I'll let everybody know you're coming."

"Fine. An hour or so be all right?"


"Great. See you then."

Tom hung up, leaving Nita staring at the phone in her hand. She pushed the hang-up button and just stood there.

"Wow," she said. She looked down at the manual, which now lay open to one of its many glossaries, and was showing her fourteen different variations on the "aposteme" word. "Kit?" Nita said.

A slightly muffled reply came seemingly from the back of the manual, along with the sound of barking somewhere in the Rodriguez household. "I can't believe we're out of dog food," Kit said. "I leave for a week and a half, and this place goes to pieces."

"We were doing just fine without you," said another voice from two blocks away: Kit's sister Carmela. "It's not our fault you forgot to put dog food on the shopping list before you left. Neets, is it true he destroyed a whole alien culture in just ten days?"

Nita snorted. "It wouldn't have been just him, 'Mela," she said. "And we didn't destroy it. We just happened to be there when they were going on to the next thing."

'Just happened'?" Carmela said. Her tone was one of kindly disbelief. "You're so nice to try to share the blame! See you later on..."

After a moment Kit said, "Am I allowed to think about teleporting her to Titan and dumping her in a lake of liquid methane?"

"No," Nita said, feeling around under her bed for her sneakers. "It'd upset those microbes there...the ones Dairine's been coaching in situational ethics."

"The thought of Dairine coaching anybody in ethics...," Kit said. "No offense, but sometimes I wonder if someday our solar system is going to be famous for having entire species made up of criminal masterminds."

"Well, if the Powers That Be have slipped up, it's too late to do anything now. And speaking of the Powers, you should get over here in about an hour. Tom and Carl want to talk to everybody."

"We're not in trouble, are we?"

"I don't think so," Nita said. "In fact, I think maybe they are."

"And here I thought we were going to have a few quiet days before spring break was over," Kit said.

Nita shook her head. "Guess not. But now we get to find out why nobody could find them anywhere."

From down the hall, toward the front of the house, she could hear voices in the dining room. "Sounds like they're having breakfast out there," Nita said.

"Should I wait to come over?"

Nita shrugged and turned away from the mirror. "What for?" she said. "You might as well come have some breakfast, too, if you haven't had anything."

"I have," Kit said, "but another breakfast wouldn't kill me. Give me ten minutes, though. I have to talk to Ponch."

"Why? Are all the neighbors' dogs sitting around outside the house again?" This had been a problem recently, apparently due to some kind of wizardly leakage. Diagnosing its source had been difficult with so much wizardry happening around their two households lately...and with the present houseguests in residence, the diagnosis promised to get no easier.

"Nope," Kit said. "Everything's perfectly quiet. He just has some more questions about life."

Nita smiled. "Yeah, who doesn't, lately," she said. "Take your time."

Nita paged briefly through the manual, looking at the pimple words. There are too many ways to have this conversation, she thought. And I'm still pooped. If Tom hadn't called, I'd just go back to bed. She yawned-

In the moment when her eyes closed during the yawn, the darkness reminded Nita of something. Another darkness, she thought. I had a dream...She had been standing on the Moon, and it had been dark. Bright lights were scattered all around her, throwing strange multidirectional shadows across the rocks and craters, but the sky was as blank of stars as if the whole thing was a stage set. And something was growling....Nita suddenly got goose bumps.

She opened her eyes. The bathroom, the morning light, the mirror, all the things around her were perfectly normal. But the memory left her feeling chilly.

It means something, of course, Nita thought. Lately, what doesn't? Every wizard has a specialty, but the specialty can change. Nita's initially straightforward affinity to living things was now turning into something more abstract-an ability to glimpse other beings' realities and futures, or her own, while dreaming. She was struggling to master it, but in the meantime all she could do was pay attention, and try to learn as she went along.

Copyright © 2005 by Diane Duane

All rights reserved. No part of this publication
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording,
or any information storage and retrieval system,
without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part
of the work should be mailed to the following address:
Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc.,
6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Table of Contents

Situational Awareness

Force Support

Initial Reconnaissance


Target of Opportunity

Collateral Damage

High-Value Target

Active Defense

Operational Pause

Friendly Fire

Acceptable Losses

Regime Change

Strategic Withdrawal

Catastrophic Success


Customer Reviews

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Wizards at War: The Eighth Book in the Young Wizards Series 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I admit the character list can be a bit daunting at first glance but the seven books before it work to develop the characters so you get to know each one . By the 8th book you feel as though you know the characters and it is easy to tell who is who. I thought the book was amazing even though it raised as many questions as it answered. oh well that's just her style! =]
Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite book ever! I've read it twice and I'm willing to read it again. Though, I wanted to cry for Dairine at the end. It's totally awesome and a definite two thumbs up from me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The latest installment in the Wizards series was as good or better than the previous stories. I loved the way the author brought back characters from many previous novels. It was like a big reunion! The plot is exciting, with humor, romance, and sadness sprinkled throughout. My personal favorite characters were Dairine and Roshaun, who get to know each other better in this book (wink). Fans of the series, like me, will love this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been reading this series since the fourth grade- and i'm a sophmore now! I am impressed with Duane's ability to keep a series alive after all these books. She continues to offer quality books and i can't wait for the next one. One thing about this series is that its realy complicated if you don't read from the begining, but its definitly worth it. Alot of people think its a rip off of harry potter, but its the farthest thing from that. The biggest differance in the two series is that in Harry Potter magic is just something the characters can do, with practice. Just wave your wand and it happens. Duane's magic is much more mature. In this series all wizards have a responsibility to help preserve life, and all magic has a price. Duane's books give Rowling a run for her money. In this book i love Carmela. Ponch, however, is THE BEST. I won't give it away, but you get to learn about the dog's Choice. Also Ronan shows up and i think i'm in love with him! You get to catch up with alot of characters from previous books, and meet new ones, too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am so getting this book for christmas. People told me this series were good has the harry potter series but not like harry potter books. GET THIS BOOK!!!!!! 'Its a Must Have'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful. My favorite part of the story is the way that the author brings back many of the characters from the other novels in the series. This book is just as good as the others in the series, and is a great read for anyone. I salute Ms. Duane!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love it!! This book is the best yet. I cry a lot, especially when I read about Dairine and the mobiles, and I am pretty sure I want to be a wizard myself!! I love all the characters, but I would say that the best overall is Ronan. The part near the end, which I won't give away, involving Ronan and the Spear, is brilliant!! Two thumbs up! (Or five ifyou are an alien!)
littlestar4 More than 1 year ago
If your into science in literature than this series is the perfect book for you ...It always talks about some form of astronomy mixed with lots of magic. A truly enjoy reading this book and will continue as the series progresses. As ive been reading this book since i was young and now am 22 yrs old.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Number 8 in the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane. Nita and Kit have to save the universe. Again.If you haven't read the rest of the series, DO NOT start here. You will be so lost. And it has major spoilers for the previous books too. It does revisit a scene from High Wizardry, so that was fun, and it links closely with the previous book, Wizard's Holiday.So without spoiling it in case you want to read the series and haven't yet, let me say that the universe is in a rather odd crisis. Dark matter seems to be spreading throughout and it's beginning to affect Life on all levels. And the darkness is also affecting the wizards. Soon, all Seniors will lose their magic, and it will all depend on the kids.Luckily, the visiting wizards from Wizard's Holiday haven't gone home yet, and they stay to help in the fight against the Lone One.This one was full of action and some great twists. Lots of character develpment in this one, and some major losses as well. I loved Carmela in this one - she is so funny. Some definite romantic tension as well, but I won't say more!If you enjoy YA fantasy, this series is really worth a try. It is very original and well written. The first one is So You Want to be a Wizard.
Shmuel510 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You may ask, does this book really deserve four stars? And I will answer, no, it really doesn't. There are the usual issues with Duane's conception of the wizarding world never being quite the same twice; there's the usual question of just how many times one can defeat the Lone Power before it loses all sense of epic proportion; there's the matter of our heroes conveniently being the one team present at the fulcrum of universal events; there's the question of why Nita's dad and her school counselor can retain their knowledge of the wizarding world when it's faded from the memories of full-fledged senior wizards; there's the unwillingness to sacrifice a single major character for good; and oh sweet merciful heavens, I don't even want to get into what the author does with Ponch.So, no. I will freely grant that this series jumped the shark shortly after the book with the shark. (Funny how that works out.)So why four stars? Mostly it's because I've been reading about these characters for a very long time now, and I'm perhaps overly fond of them. Even so, I think I'd have bumped this one down to a slightly generous three... if not for Kit's sister. I love Carmela Rodriguez.But if she turns out to have any secret powers in a future book -- be they wizardly or godlike -- I shall be very, very cross.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty good but the series is getting awfully heavy...I wish she'd quit. I _love_ the first three books - first four, really. But Wizard's Dilemma is too heavy - depressing - and none of the later ones have recovered that brightness that was in the first ones, even while they were saving the world/species/universe. The Cat Wizards series is still bright enough - of course, she's only now writing the third one. And a lot of deus ex machina (literally! well, literally deus(s), anyway).
melannen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been trying to finish this book since shortly after I bought it, a year and a half ago. Which is unusual for me, since I usually devour Duane's book on sight.I think the problem is that, for most of WaW, joy is missing. And joy is something that DD in general - and YW in particular - does very well. The joy of discovery, of friendship, and learning, and fighting and forgiving and growing and living -- and there's precious little of that in most of WaW.Mind you, the fact that joy has gone missing is a plot point, so I suppose it can be called a sign of craft - but goshdarnit, I read these books *for* the joy. Perhaps that's why it's so satisfying that the characters who make it all go right in the end are the ones who refuse to say no to joy.
hoosgracie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With the assistance of the visiting wizards from the previous books, the young wizards go to war to recover the older wizards powers and save the universe.
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I started reading this series in my sixth grafe year,couldnt find the sequel,and ditched it. Now that i have been reading them again, I realized what a mistake that was. Wizards at war was the best one of them all. It made me laugh,cry,and feel for the characters. We are lucky to have an author like duane in our midst
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