Diane Duane’s Wizards at War is the eighth and most recent Young Wizards book. Wizardry itself is in peril now, with the rest of the universe to follow in quite short order; and since the less powerful—that is, older and more experienced—wizards lose wizardry first, our teenaged protagonists find themselves with a universe to save.
Since I complained about this with regard to the prior book, let me say up front that there is finally a payoff with all the stuff with Ponch, Kit’s dog. This is a good thing. We also see quite a few characters from prior books. This makes sense given the setup, and yet it still felt like it fell just on the “self-indulgent” side of the line of bringing series characters back. I had a similar reaction to the ending: almost everything fit (there’s one thing that’s still open-ended that I must, perforce, reserve judgment on [*]), and yet it felt just a little bit too happy.
[*] Somewhat annoyingly, really. I can see leaving the main part of it unresolved, but we couldn’t at least get the meaning of a single sentence in the Speech?
As far as the story itself, I begin to wonder if the moral nature of Duane’s universe isn’t limiting the types of stories that can be told in it. This was a good story, but for all that it dealt with something fundamentally new (as the characters told us), it didn’t feel very new. Overall, this was mostly absorbing while I was reading, but the little things that poked up through my narrative rush bothered me all the more once I put it down. A mid-tier book at best.