I’ve never heard of the “Young Wizards” series before. Is it an imitation of the Harry Potter books?
Diane Duane began the construction of the Young Wizards universe in 1981, and wrote the first Young Wizards novel, So You Want to Be a Wizard, in 1982. It was first published in the USA in 1983, when J. K. Rowling was just entering Exeter University — nearly fifteen years before the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone / Sorcerer’s Stone.
New books in the YW series were published every few years or so until the mid-1990’s, at which point the books moved to a new publisher (the Magic Carpet Books imprint of Harcourt Trade Publishers, now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and started a new publication schedule. At present there are more than three million copies of the Young Wizards books in print around the world in English and various other languages. See the full publication history for cover images and more details about the various English-language editions.
How many books are there in the series? How many are there going to be?
Ten Young Wizards novels have been published so far. Unlike “closed” series like the Harry Potter books, the Young Wizards series is open-ended — and DD has said she will keep writing YW novels “until she doesn’t feel like writing them any more.” Book 10, Games Wizards Play, came out in February 2016: more information about the book and events surrounding its release can be found at the Games Wizards Play website.
More books are in the works. Read further for more details.
What order should I read the series in?
The order in which the books were published. That is —
- So You Want to Be a Wizard
- Deep Wizardry
- High Wizardry
- A Wizard Abroad
- The Wizard’s Dilemma
- A Wizard Alone
- Wizard’s Holiday
- Wizards at War
- A Wizard of Mars
- Games Wizards Play
Can I start reading anywhere in the series?
While each book theoretically stands on its own, as the series progresses the plotlines and relationships between the characters become more complex — so for maximum appreciation of what’s going on, it’s probably a good idea to start at the beginning, with So You Want to Be a Wizard.
Is Games Wizards Play the last book in the Young Wizards series?
No! Book 11 of the Young Wizards series is completely plotted and in progress as of Q1 2021: book 12 is in development. So far no information has been released about the plots or character lineups in any of these, but as soon as there’s news, it will appear here on the Young Wizards website and on the Young Wizards discussion forums.
Is there any truth to the rumors about a Young Wizards movie?
The YW novels have been optioned for film numerous times over their publication history, with DD several times being involved in the development process, but so far none of these efforts have come to fruition. That said, the landscape of filmed adaptations has been changing quickly over the past half decade or so… and there are now more promising venues for YW than feature film. When there’s news about this worth sharing, you’ll hear about it here.
Does Diane Duane ever do book signings / autograph sessions? Does she ever speak at schools?
To both questions, the answer is “yes”. Book signings and school visits happen mostly around the time a new book is released, or when DD is scheduled to attend a nearby science fiction convention or other event in the USA or Europe. Speaking engagements can be arranged via Diane Duane’s literary or screen agents. Interested parties can be put in contact with her agents via email@example.com. (And with the pandemic upon us, she also does appearances via Zoom. Inquire at the above email address if interested.)