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A Wizard Alone (2002)

by Diane Duane

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wizardry Universe (6), Young Wizards (6)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5232011,150 (3.91)26
While Nita mourns her mother's death, teenage wizard Kit and his dog Ponch set out to find a young autistic boy who vanished in the middle of his Ordeal, pursued by the Lone Power.
  1. 10
    The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon (2wonderY)
    2wonderY: Protagonist is autistic. Variations on viewpoint and choices.

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
First off I want to emphasize that the favorable rating I gave this book refers to the new millennium edition, not the original novel.

The depictions and information about autism in the old book were not only factually a mess, but also really offensive. When I first read the book I didnt really understand this, but I checked some passages from my old copy while I was rereading the revised edition and found it pretty upsetting. Im so glad the author revised this story heavily to change this while still keeping the original feel of the book in other areas. Its not perfect, but it is a big improvement and good to see an author I love and admire learning and changing her words accordingly.

This book is a little more serious as far as the series goes, but still a good read and a needed emotional follow up to the previous novel. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
auuuuuggghhh the ableism I may vomit

At the beginning, I was really excited about this book, because I thought it would have a positive take on how an autistic person could wield magic and fight ultimate evil in his own way. I also liked the description of how Nita dealt with grief. I thought this was going to be the best book in the series yet.

Wow, was I disappointed. The depictions of autism got worse and worse as the book went on, and by the end I was gnashing my teeth in rage. Autism does not make you a saint or an otherworldly power. Autistic people are fully aware that other people exist in the world, so it's not solipsism, thanks. Most importantly, most autistic people who are able to articulate their own desires and choices would not, if you gave them the opportunity, choose to be "cured." Autistic people aren't broken. They have a different way of seeing the world that people who don't share that view don't understand. But that doesn't mean they can't live happy lives and even value the way their alternative neural wiring reveals the world to them.

Magical cures for neurodivergent and disabled people are an old, old trope that needs to die. Maybe instead of obsessing over how to get rid of these types of difference, we should think about how to accept them. I love Diane Duane, but I was deeply disappointed by this book. ( )
  dreamweaversunited | Apr 27, 2020 |
Kit Rodriguez is having a rough time. While he and his wizard partner Nita are more or less reconciled, Nita is still sunk deeply in grief from recent events. Kit is spending more and more time with his unusual dog, Ponch, who has begun to display what appears to be the power to create, enter, and alter universes.

Then Kit is given a very special assignment by his local Senior wizards. A wizard has gone missing on Ordeal, which isn't unusual by itself. But it turns out the young wizard, Darryl, was autistic. And in order to find him and discover what went wrong, Kit and Ponch must use Ponch's newfound abilities to journey inside Darryl's mind, where they will encounter a stunning visual landscape created by Darryl's autism. Meanwhile, Nita is beginning to have lucid dreams told in bizarre metaphor, dreams involving robots, knights in armor, and circus clowns. Do these strange dreams have anything to do with Kit's quest?

With her unique brand of magic and science, Duane creates an amazing sci-fi/fantasy. With references to the world that people with autism might indeed experience within their minds, she follows both Nita and Kit through their individual pathways, so we see each one operating independently, before they finally come together, to face the ultimate battle together.

( )
  booksong | Mar 18, 2020 |
I liked this, but less than a lot of the others in the series. Still continuing with the series, reading them to my 8-year old.

This one took place mostly in the mind of a young kid with asperger’s syndrom. This “going into the world of someone’s mind” was a new idea introduced in the last book in the series, and I like it less than a lot of the other wizardry the folks in these books can do. I hope it’s not a continuing trend, frankly. ( )
  livingtech | Mar 18, 2020 |
Goed boek om te lezen Nog steeds zijn er momenten die niet helemaal boeien, maar het verhaal was zeer goed te volgen zeker met de moeilijkheden die Kit had. ( )
  EdwinKort | Oct 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diane Duaneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andrews, VaughnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChristinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stahl, TrinaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swearingen, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Footsteps in the snow
suggest where you have been,
point where you were going:
but where they suddenly vanish,
never dismiss the possibility
of flight...

-Book of Night with Moon, xi, v.3

more than just being alive (and worth the pain)

but hurts:

fix it


keep it growing

wants to stop:

remind / check / don’t hurt

be sure!

One’s watching: get it right!

later it all works out,


meantime, make it work

(because now is all you ever get:


—The Wizard’s Oath, excerpt from a private recension
For all the friends from Payne Whitney
For all the friends from Payne Whitney

and all the other voices newly heard
First words
In a living room of a suburban house on Long Island, a wizard sat with a TV remote in his hand, and an annoyed expression on his face.
Last words
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Wikipedia in English (2)

While Nita mourns her mother's death, teenage wizard Kit and his dog Ponch set out to find a young autistic boy who vanished in the middle of his Ordeal, pursued by the Lone Power.

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Average: (3.91)
1 3
1.5 3
2 10
2.5 2
3 58
3.5 14
4 116
4.5 10
5 74

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