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A Wizard Abroad (Young Wizards Series Book 4) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Length: 369 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Age Level: 10 - 12
Grade Level: 5 - 7

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8. Nita Callahan, a 14-year-old wizard from Long Island, is annoyed when her concerned parents ship her off to Ireland for six weeks on an enforced vacation from magic-working and her partner Kit?but what's time or space to wizards (see So You Want to Be a Wizard [1996] and its sequels [all Harcourt]). In any case, Ireland is hardly the ideal spot for a magic-free getaway, and indeed Nita soon finds herself involved in big doings. With the ancient harvest festival of Lughnasad approaching, signs point to a major attack from the malicious Lone Power, the very inventor of Death, in its guise as Balor of the Evil Eye. The assembled wizards of Ireland have but one hope: to find or re-create the Four Treasures of the Tuatha de Danaan, said in ancient stories to have helped defeat Balor once before. Moving easily between light, everyday language and the sonorous formality of high fantasy, Duane seamlessly interweaves encounters with creatures from legend with glimpses of modern Irish life and teen culture. Her view of magic's place in the scheme of things is so clever and well reasoned that readers will have no trouble suspending belief. Nita is an appealingly hot-tempered teenager who faces slavering dire wolves and trollish drows with more courage than the dismaying realization that she's gotten "the hots" for young fellow wizard Ronan. Balor's appearance in the climactic battle is all too brief, but against this army of wizards, it never stands a chance. At least in retrospect. An unusually consistent fantasy, rich in details, subplots, and Irish lore.?John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

DIANE DUANE is the author of more then twenty science fiction and fantasy novels, including the seven books in the Young Wizards series. She lives in rural Ireland.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4863 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2005
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,675 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Diane Duane was born in New York City -- a descendant of New York's first mayor -- and worked there as a psychiatric nurse before leaving the profession for the only one she loved better, the business of writing. Since the publication of her first novel in 1981, she's written fifty more, not to mention numerous short stories, comics, computer games and screenplays for TV and film, and has picked up the occasional award here and there. (She's also worked with Star Trek in more media than anyone else alive.)

Right now DD is probably best known for her "Young Wizards" series of young adult fantasy novels, featuring the New York-based teen wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan. The series now enters its third decade with Nita's and Kit's newest adventure: "Games Wizards Play," the tenth Young Wizards novel, is scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in winter 2015/16. Interested readers can find weekly teaser excerpts from the book at the blog at

DD shares a two hundred-year-old cottage in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland with her husband, the Belfast-born novelist and screenwriter Peter Morwood, and various overworked computers... an odd but congenial environment for the staging of epic battles between good and evil and the leisurely pursuit of total galactic domination. (And a lot of ethnic cooking: her own favorite foods come from the cuisines of central Europe and the Mediterranean.) In her spare time DD gardens (weeding, mostly), studies German and Italian, chats with friends and fans on her Tumblr at, listens to shortwave and satellite radio, and dabbles in astronomy, computer graphics, iaido and amateur cartography... while also trying to figure out how to make more spare time.

Her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is a weird kind of Swiss scrambled-potato dish called maluns, she was born in a Year of the Dragon, and her sign is "Runway 24 Left, Hold For Clearance."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of the Wizard series by Diane Duane, and this is definitely the best yet. According to Nita(Juanita)'s parents, she and and her wizardry partner, Kit (Christopher), have been spending way too much time together. Her parents just can't understand that there's NOTHING going on between them, just magic. Nonetheless, Juanita is packed up and sent to live with her aunt in Ireland for six weeks until school starts. Grudgingly, Nita settles in with her aunt, and even starts enjoying a little break from magic, but it's not too long until she realizes how much trouble Ireland is really in, and how one little shift of power in the wrong direction could destroy it. It's up to Nita, Kit, and a few new characters to gather the tools they need and re-enact an ancient battle, or accept their fates. The story is set with Duane's typical magic, melded together with Irish lore to make one of the most creative and thrilling fantasy books of today.
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By A Customer on December 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Three words: I LOVED IT! This is definitely one of the best young adult type books around. One of my all-time favorite books (like the others in the series), A WIZARD ABROAD kept me captivated till the end (an I still want MORE!). With the addition of Dairine, Nita's younger sister, who is my favorite character (sorry, Nita or Kit fans), this and the book before it, HIGH WIZARDRY, are my favorites. Please, read this book! I've had many people turn it down, but those who take my advice are glad! They agree: A WIZARD ABROAD IS THE BEST! ( but read the others first! )
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Format: Paperback
Somewhere between Madeleine L'Engle and Judy Blume is where this book by Diane Duane fits in.

I hadn't paid attention to the fact that this was a 4th book in a series. I was caught by the cover and title and took it home with me. Despite plunging into #4 without any background on the series, it wasn't hard to pick up and follow - the story in this book stood on its own and didn't require a lot of 'flashback' referencing.

The writing is strong enough - and well-suited for the teenage crowd that Duane seems to be targeting. The magical adventures and lore is interspersed with teen angst and qualms, "Not important stuff, like kissing -- how do you do it and still breathe? Is not wearing a bra a come-on?"

Much more adult than the Harry Potter series, Duane goes right into battles with thick descriptions - and death in tow, not shying away from the facts of things. She also takes the time to tuck in the myth, history and lore that flush out the story.

A good read - I'll take the time sometime to go back to #1 and roll forward.

However - the writing here should steer readers to progress toward similarly crafted books by Alan Garner, Madeleine L'Engle, or Ursula K. LeGuin.
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Format: Paperback
"'Aunt Annie, who were all those people out there with the horses?...The hooves were right outside my door, but when I looked, they'd gone away. Didn't take them long,' she added.

Aunt Annie looked at her again as she came over and put Nita's teacup down. Her expression was rather different this time. 'Oh,' she said. 'You mean the ghosts.'

Nita stared.

'Welcome to Ireland,' said her aunt."

- tea with the Callahan family

At a minimum, read SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD (which introduces Nita, Kit, and to a lesser extent Nita's sister Dairine) and HIGH WIZARDRY (which further develops Dairine) before tackling this book. If you haven't read them yet, shoo.

Unlike several of the later Young Wizards books, in A WIZARD ABROAD only Nita Callahan is a viewpoint character, for the very good reason that her parents are behaving as one might expect good parents of a fourteen-year-old wizard to behave. They're worried about this magic thing, worried that their daughter has a very close relationship with a boy her own age (Kit, her partner in wizardry), and they want Nita and Kit to take a break from each other. In short, they're packing Nita off to her aunt in Ireland for the summer, after extracting a promise that Nita won't use any transport spells to visit Kit on the sly.

(In my perhaps jaded opinion, the wizardry isn't the most fantastic element about the story. That honour goes to Nita getting a passport without her having a great deal more advance notice about the situation. A close second would be that Nita's parents don't telephone her regularly.
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By A Customer on March 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I discovered this book earlier this year, and I thought that in comparison to the other books in Duane's Young Wizards series (So You Want to be a Wizard; Deep Wizardry; High Wizardry) this was not as spectacular. If you are into mythology (especially Celtic myth) this is perfect. I had to read this book twice to understand some of the myth, and the magic in this book is very different than the solo/partner efforts of Kit and Nita in the previous books. I wouldn't read this unless you've read the other three books, since there are plenty of references to the other books, and it would give you a better idea of the relationship between Kit and Nita, as well as Dairine and the "Lone Power."
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