The Merlin Conspiracy
by Diana Wynne Jones
Dont let the title fool you. This story is not set in the age of
chivalry. Its a modern-times, parallel-worlds fantasy, and a sequel (of
sorts) to Deep Secret. At least, one of its two narrators will be
familiar to those who have read Deep Secret, as will the whole idea of
Magids policing the magical boundaries of the multiverse.
Nick Mallory is from Earth but not of Earth. Descended from a line of
Emperors in a far distant world, he has abdicated his claim to the
throne and lives a quiet life with his Dad (actually, his stepfather)
who writes fantasy stories. Dad is a fan of a mystery writer named
Maxwell Hyde, who is about to give the keynote speech at a mystery
writers conferenceanother thing that should remind you of Deep Secret.
Only poor Nick, who would really like to be able to visit parallel
worlds and learn magic, doesnt see much of this conference. He is just
starting to enjoy himself when he is suddenly whisked to another world
and plunged into a whirlwind of magic, intrigue, and danger.
Roddy Hyde is not of or from Earth, but from a parallel world called
Blest. Her world, and in particular her version of the British Isles
(known as the Isles of Blest), are the balance-point of all the magic in
a hundred worlds. And a dreadful conspiracy is afoot to throw that
balance off. Only Roddy and her magically-dyslexic friend Grundo know
about the conspiracy (besides the people who are in on it), and no one
will believe them until...gulp...until its too late.
Oh, and by the way, Maxwell Hyde (the mystery writer) is also Roddys
grandfather (the Magid). So obviously, Nicks and Roddys adventures
collide together. Throw in a twisted world where Prayermasters weave
spells of religious fanaticism to enslave a miserable populace...an
elephant lost in the dark paths between the worlds...a pair of
adolescent murderers...a fiendish trade in illegally-imported
salamanders...a world-hopping goat...a multitude of magical creatures
ranging from the genius of Salisbury to the Welsh Lord of the Dead...a
royal court that eternally rolls around the countryside in buses...the
most annoying pair of twins in history...and a magical free operative
who uses his power, greater than that of 20 Magids put together, mostly
to avoid his ex-wife...and you have a fantasy story that jumps with
brilliant imagery, delicious humor, complex characters, and
Plus, it has dragons.
Cha-ching! Do I have a sale?
Recommended Age: 14+
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