There's wizardry over midtown Manhattan...
Thirteen-year-old Nita Callahan’s life in the New York suburbs is mostly a misery because of bullies at her school who just won’t leave her alone. She’s sure there’s no way this situation will ever change until one day she happens on a strange library book that claims to be an instruction manual in the art of wizardry. At first Nita doesn’t dare believe the book's claim that she too can become a wizard if she's willing to take the Wizard's Oath and undergo every wizard’s perilous initiation, the Ordeal.
But it all turns out to be true, and while practicing her first spells, Nita meets Kit Rodriguez, another fledgling wizard. The two join forces to build spells that will solve their problems… but without warning those problems get a whole lot more complicated. Kit and Nita find themselves caught up in a desperate hunt for the lost and mystical Book of Night with Moon, which must be found quickly if dire things aren't going to start happening to the Earth.
Their quest for the bright Book leads Nita, Kit, and two unusual chance-met allies into a dark and deadly alternate Manhattan. But even if they manage to find the Book hidden there, can they keep it out of the clutches of the Lone Power, the ancient darkness cast out long ago from the heart of the worlds?...
So You Want To Be A Wizard is the kickoff volume of a classic series praised for nearly four decades by critics and readers alike. This New Millennium Edition has been revised and brought up to date for the next generation of Young Wizards readers, and establishes a new timeline for the rest of the series, also available exclusively at Ebooks Direct.
“A fandango of urban renewal, talking cars, and evil lurking beneath the streets of an alternate Manhattan. Fun, funny and very clever.” (New York Times)
“Duane is a skilled master of the genre. …Reminiscent of the work of Madeline L’Engle… but Duane has a lighter touch and carries her fabrication to greater imaginative heights.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“The book is funny, nicely scary, and enlivened by Duane’s love for the ‘real’ Manhattan, where monsters and wizardry stay discreetly on the sidelines… most of the time.” (Locus)
Magic and danger in the depths of the sea...
Vacationing on the South Shore of Long Island over the summer, Kit and Nita come to the aid of a wounded whale off Fire Island...and abruptly become two wizards in deep trouble.
The whale is a wizard named S'reee, and she has problems of her own that make nearly being eaten by sharks look minor. The undersea wizards are about to perform an ancient and potentially dangerous ceremony called the Song of the Twelve -- a wizardry that keeps land and sea apart, and serves other, more secret purposes. The Song must be performed soon, but the whales are a couple of wizards short of the needed Twelve, and S'reee asks Nita and Kit to help.
They agree, and shortly find themselves involved in a complex and increasingly difficult game -- turning into whales to help the undersea wizards complete the the Song, and (at the same time) trying to keep Nita's folks from finding out what's going on right under their noses. But events seem to conspire against them as Nita's bratty little sister Dairine keeps snooping around to find out what Nita and Kit are doing. And Nita discovers, to her dismay, that the role of the "Silent Lord" in the Song of the Twelve is going to pose challenges she never expected... deadly ones.
The ancient ritual goes forward in the dark depths of Hudson Canyon off New York City. But the greatest danger to Nita and Kit turns out not to be the Song itself, but its oldest, most mysterious celebrant -- the gigantic Master-Shark, ed'Rashtekaresket, who only understands one thing: blood in the water...
“There is a seamlessness about the book, and a growing power that grips the reader and refuses to let go. …The novel is deeply resonant, provocative, and moving.” (New York Times: featured review)
“The sheer effrontery of the plot — coupled with the gritty charm of the characters and the sprightly dialogue of these credible siblings — makes for enormous fun.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“…Unusually believable characterization and fine-tuned balancing of the plausible with the completely unexpected. …That rarest kind of sequel: a book that surpasses the previous tale in both its level of craftsmanship and the sheer power of the story itself.” (White Dwarf)
Magic doesn't stop where the atmosphere does...
Don't take shrewd, eleven-year-old Dairine Callahan for just any bratty younger sibling. Impatient for adventure, knowledge, and recognition, maybe even a little jealous of her wizardly older sister, Dairine comes across Nita's copy of the Wizard's Manual and reads the Wizard's Oath aloud....
Disappointingly, nothing seems to happen. But when her family's new computer arrives, Dairine discovers that it's come with a whole lot more than the usual bundled software. The computer contains a "beta" version of the new online edition of the Wizard's Manual. Wrapped up inside it is a whole world's worth of spells, secrets and magical knowledge...and it's all hers to play with.
Never the kind to do anything by halves, Dairine launches herself into a reckless, cross-universe, high-voltage magical conflict with the Lone Power. It falls to Nita and Kit to track Dairine down before she gets into trouble so deep that not even her precocious brains can save her.
But by the time they catch up with her, it's already too late. On a bleak and empty world, Dairine has already become the wizardly godmother to a brand new life-form. And the relentless Enemy of all new life is even now hot on her trail, intent on ending the threat Dairine poses... permanently.
"The sheer effrontery of the plot -- coupled with the gritty charm of the characters and the sprightly dialogue of these credible siblings -- makes for enormous fun." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Duane is tops in the high adventure business... This rollicking yarn will delight readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"There's a pacing that doesn't let up from the very beginning. And even more than that, there's a Heinleinesque affection for the characters. Duane writes about people you can really care about, with lots of quirks and endearing traits that feel real in a way most writers don't manage. High Wizardry is... high entertainment." (Locus)