Saturday, January 16, 2021

On Ordeal: Mamvish fsh Wimsih (Young Wizards), by Diane Duane

Errantry Press, 2016

Readers of the Young Wizards series have several times encountered one of Nita's favorite fellow wizards, the dinosaur-like being, Mamvish fsh Wimsih. This novella is Mamvish's origin story, her childhood up to her Ordeal.

Wimst is in many ways a bleak and barren planet, bleak enough that the sapient species have developed a form of consensual cannibalism. It not only provides increased nourishment to the next generation; it also passes on the learned experience of the eaten to the eater.

Why, yes, this is handled gracefully enough that anyone old enough to read the Young Wizards generally should be able o handle this easily if they decide to. Not everyone will want to, and that's completely fair. However, Duane is clear about what's happening without choosing to focus on gruesome detail.

Mamvish has some experiences in the egg and in the period immediately after her hatching that motivate her to see what's wrong with this bleak world, and to strive to fix the world. She sets off to become the cleverest, strongest, wisest, so that she can fix what's wrong--and along the way, she has experiences, encounters, and meals that change and expand her understanding of what that is, and what she needs to do.

I very much enjoyed this. Recommended, though of course it's not for everyone.

I bought this book.

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