On Tuesday, the tenth book in Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series was published. It is not for casual readers. It is really just for fans.
Games Wizards Play concerns a competition called “the Invitational,” which takes place every 11 years and is explicitly compared to a science fair, but with wizardry instead of science. Nita, Kit, and Dairine are all assigned as mentors to (slightly) younger wizards hoping to win a year’s apprenticeship to the “Planetary” wizard.
As world- and universe-ending as the events of other books have been, the focus on the Invitational in Games Wizards Play is a welcome respite. Duane uses it as a chance to explore the characters and how wizards in other families with other backgrounds work. It builds on the world of wizardry that’s mostly on Earth, which is nice and a good vehicle to give depth to everything that’s gone before.
Games Wizards Play brings back everyone and everything from the previous nine novels. If there is a character still alive, they warrant at least a mention. If there was a plot thread dangling, it isn’t by the time this book wraps up. At over 600 pages, this thing is a continuity bomb. Some series are connected but easy to pick up or put down. This is not one of them.