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The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones

The Merlin Conspiracy (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Diana Wynne Jones

Series: Magid (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,605418,867 (3.89)68
Roddy and Nick, two teenagers with magical powers they are just learning to use, find that they must work together to save Roddy's home world of Blest from destruction by power-hungry wizards.
Title:The Merlin Conspiracy
Authors:Diana Wynne Jones
Info:Greenwillow (2003), Hardcover, 468 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones (2003)

  1. 40
    Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Shares some of the same characters.
  2. 00
    The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor (bunnygirl)
    bunnygirl: for those interested in another application of the "many worlds" conceit

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English (40)  Dutch (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
The second part of the duology only carried over one character, but had the same frenetic magical universe hopping energy and human eccentricities. I was sad to leave. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
DWJ Book Toast, #15

Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite fantasy authors, growing up and now, and I was saddened by the news of her death. I can't say I'm overcome with emotion - as personal as some of her work is to me, its not like I knew her after all - but I wish I could put into words how I feel about her no longer being out there, writing new adventures and laughing at all of us serious fans thinking so hard about her words when we should simply get on with the business of enjoying them.

And that's...what I'm going to do. She's left behind a huge body of work, a large amount of which I haven't read yet, so I'm going to reread all my old favorites (and hopefully some new).

The sequel to 'Deep Secret', 'The Merlin Conspiracy' is narratively split between 'Secret's Nick, and Roddy, a girl from the world known as Blest. The Isles of Blest, essentially Great Britain and Ireland, are the magical hub of hundreds of worlds in the Magid multiverse. The common tradition of magic on Blest has continued for thousands of years, all of it being tightly interlaced and building off of each other, it's a delicate balance that must be maintained.

Roddy and her friend Grundo are both children who travel with their families in the King's Progress. In their England (Wales, Scotland and Ireland remain independent), magic is guided by the Merlin and the Lady of Governance with a tradition of the King and Court moving constantly across the country as additional protection. Soon after the old Merlin dies unexpectedly Roddy and Grundy overhear conspirators planning on gaining control of the magic of Blest. The only problem is, part of the spell is that nobody will believe it. In desperation Roddy calls up Nick, hoping for a powerful magic-user to help stop Blest's magic from being overturned. Unfortunately Nick has a great deal of talent, but no training to speak of yet.

This was a fun read and a great improvement, structurally, on 'Deep Secret', which had been hampered by being a single-perspective report. Blest is an interesting world, if a bit anglo-centric even for Jones, and she really knows how to write about magic. Some of the peripheral characters I could have done without, the Izzys - seriously?, and Nick was one of the last characters I would have wanted more of from 'Deep Secret', but Jones' writing is a pleasure, especially in cases like this where she rambles and spreads out (almost 500 pages of Jones, yes!). She avoids her usual sequel pitfalls and delivers a satisfying YA novel.


Previous: 'Deep Secret' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I would have never guessed that this was the (loosely linked) "sequel" to, or in any way connected with, "Deep Secret". But that would be because Merlin Conspiracy is not memorable enough to make connections likely to occur, and also because Deep Secret is a few years past being a YA book, more A than Y so to speak, and this one is definitely on the Y end of the spectrum. For me, Deep Secret was memorable enough to warrant seeking out and buying a copy of my own, several years after I first read a borrowed copy, but Merlin Conspiracy (although I very much enjoyed reading it) doesn't earn a permanent place on my extremely overcrowded shelves. ( )
  muumi | Jan 28, 2019 |
Alternating narratives from viewpoints of the girl and the boy, in different universes and time-lines.
The characters and basic story-line are okay, but the flips between worlds and times is unnecessarily confusing.
The events have an "Alice in Wonderland" episodic quality inside a hazy story-arc, which is eventually, sort of, clarified.
It helps to have some knowledge of Celtic myths.
Also, what is it with these supposed "leaders" who don't want to train their juniors (cf. Yoda v. Anakin); it shows up in lots of books and is total baloney.
Jones follows a common route of using Christianity as window-dressing and props, without ever coming to grips with the substance of prayer or priests. ( )
1 vote librisissimo | Aug 19, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tennant, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viitanen, Anna-MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Magid (2)
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To Rowan Dalglish
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I have been with the Court all my life, traveling with the King’s Progress.
That is the unexpected trouble with love affairs, I thought as I made more coffee. You can fancy a girl like mad, but more than just the look of her comes into it. You find yourself having to allow for her personality, too. At five-thirty in the morning.
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Roddy and Nick, two teenagers with magical powers they are just learning to use, find that they must work together to save Roddy's home world of Blest from destruction by power-hungry wizards.

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Average: (3.89)
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