A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that new readers of this genre may struggle with complex names and concepts. This book makes clear that sacrifices must be made for good to win over evil. It stirs thinking and imagining about societies past and present, and about the natural history of an underwater seascape.
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What's the story?
Dive down deep to an underwater world of wizardry among whales. Nita and Kit change shape, swimming far under the sea to battle the evil Lone Power and save the world from Entropy. Their partners are sea creatures with magic powers in this spellbinding second fantasy adventure in the series.
Neophyte wizards Nita and Kit are vacationing at the beach when they heal a harpooned whale named S'reee, who proves to be a fellow wizard. S'reee needs their help among the Twelve who must rise up against the menacing Lone Power. To aid in binding this evil, Nita and Kit change shape, donning whalesarks, skins of whales that change them into the massive creatures.
There's trouble not only undersea but also at home, where Nita's sister and parents discover the truth about her, and nearly keep her from completing the mission. Yet Nita holds fast, and becomes one of the Twelve who join in a sing to save the undersea world from the reign of the Lone Power, who takes the form of a serpent. Nita faces the ultimate test of trust, and learns the true meaning of sacrifice, when she has to give her power over to the Master Shark.
Is it any good?
Changing shape in an undersea world is intriguing, drawing in fans of fantasy and mythology who may not be as keen on the science fiction aspects of the previous book in the Wizardry series. Diane Duane knows how to spin a good yarn, and this multi-layered tale leaves readers with plenty to ponder about the nature of good and evil, and the role of sacrifice in light of a greater good. The novel raises ethical concepts such as truth, steadfastness, and temptation. Even an environmental angle, the pollution of water and slaughter of whales, is woven into the unusual undersea topography of this complex tale.
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