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The Merlin Conspiracy (Magids #2)

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  3,998 ratings  ·  234 reviews
This story is narrated by two very different teenagers, in extraordinarily different worlds. Arianrhod's world (or Roddy, as she prefers to be called) is one of magic, pageantry and ritual, while Nick's is much more familiar. But Nick keeps slipping sideways into other worlds, including Roddy's.
Paperback, 473 pages
Published 2004 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Evelyn
The first time I read this book I was ten and I did not like it at all. Things have changed.

10-year-old me: Computers? In my fantasy book? Sacre bleu!

14-year-old me: Magic + technology = pretty damn cool. Refreshing.

10yom: Multiple magic systems? Booooo.

14yom: Multiple magic systems? Awesome layering effect.

10yom: Roddy and Nick are both unheroic heroes who whine!

14yom: It's interesting how characters who are perfectly sympathetic when viewed from within their own POV can seem difficult or annoy
...more
Pauline
Oct 10, 2011 Pauline rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans, middle grade to adult; kids with dyslexia
In Diana Wynne Jones' "multiverse," a series of parallel universes, a couple of kids discover a conspiracy to take over the magic of Blest, a key world in the multiverse -- but of course, none of the adults believe them. In the course of unraveling the conspiracy, Roddy discovers strange things about her family, takes on a painful magical heritage, and summons a magician from another world to help her, only to find that it's just a boy scarcely older than herself, and far behind her in magical k ...more
Kaion
I hated The Merlin Conspiracy when I first read it in 2003. On re-read to decide whether or not to give my copy away, it's not as bad as I remembered. Maybe that's because now I've read the book it's the loose sequel to (the hilarious Deep Secret)?

But I'm inclined to think it's not so bad because, well, I don't find The Merlin Conspiracy to be much of anything. It's action-packed and while I didn't take much of a shine to the characters (not even Nick who I enjoyed in the preceding book!), neit
...more
Chris
My previous acquaintance with Diana Wynne Jones was through her The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (Vista 1996), a thoroughly enjoyable tongue-in-cheek encyclopaedic tour of the conventions of post-Tolkien fantasy writing. This outing for the much-published children's writer includes much of that irreverant humour (we meet an elephant called Mini and a coffee-addicted SF-detective writer called Maxwell Hyde, for example, whose name seems to be a compound of a well-known instant coffee and a literary ...more
Amanda
The Merlin Conspiracy was a romp, although I didn't find it to be as clever as some of her other books. The back and forth first person narration made it difficult to get a real feel for the main characters of the book, and some of the relationships seemed forced and one dimensional. However, the author's true gift is the way she can create other worlds and drop you into them seamlessly, without all the tiresome introductions. This was certainly a book that highlighted that strength, pulling mul ...more
Jack
I read the book sometime when I was in High School - there everyone would start guessing just how old I am. It's quite funny to think of that. Anyway. This is definitely my favourite genre. Fantasy and magic. Well, I am one of those who does have her head in the clouds and not afraid to actually admit it. I loved every character by the time I was finished with each line. Sure Nick was comical at some point I wanted to stab him, Roddy was being too weird for me and there was several time I really ...more
Siria
Wynne Jones is one of those authors I suddenly heard about from everyone when I first came to LJ. An author that everyone I know seems to love and adore, and that I had never even heard of, since I grew up in a town which had a library approximately the size of my bedroom, and one bookshop that was smaller again.

My sister got a copy of this in a second-hand shop the other day, and when she'd finished with it, I decided that I might as well see what all the fuss was about.

Do I get kicked out of f
...more
Adobe
In a neighboring universe, two children discover that their king's traveling court has been subverted from within. To rescue their country, Roddy and Grundo will have to muster strange powers through the aid (and occasional hindrance) of their scattered families, along with Nick, a boy from Earth who has magical ambitions.

It seems weirdly reductive to summarize the plot of The Merlin Conspiracy, because the book feels like dozens of tiny episodes nestled together. This impression is further exag
...more
ThrowsBookAtWall_WHY
Did anyone else see the faces on the cover?

Alright, that aside this was a brilliant book. I really enjoyed the characters, who were both very distinct in the way they narrated and the actions they took, and they both were really relatable. It wasn't one of those books where the characters are too perfect, or too well-liked. They were actually real people. The time/world travel was well thought-out, and I loved the idea of a writer writing about his own world and then publishing it in another. I'
...more
Beth E
I really like this book. It has a very elaborate and intriguing plot. I could not put it down when I read it.

The really genius part is that the narration is split between Nick, a boy who lives on Earth although he wasn't born there, and Roddy, a girl who lives on another world called Blest. It is interesting to see events from both of their eyes, and it means that both girls and boys can read this booth.

I especially love the elephant character, named Tiny. She is so much fun!
Devon
Interesting to read this against Lewis's That Hideous Strength--there is some of the same material running through both: a conspiracy to take over England and seriously shift the power relationships between land and people, and an arthurian regeneration. DWJ holds up beautifully against Lewis, and certainly has a more comfortable approach to gender for a contemporary reader. Lewis, on the other hand, does have Mr. Bultitude.
Rebecca
I enjoyed this book a lot more than its predecessor, Deep Secret, and I think it's a really fun stand alone mystery/adventure. Unfortunately, I think that it doesn't explain some things about Magids, etc, which might be confusing if you read this without having first read the other. I also think that the switching narrators worked a bit better this time than the last time. I loved the different worlds Diana Wynne Jones created, as well as the multiple magic systems and new wrinkles she built ont ...more
Courtney Johnston
An expert bit of YA fantasy. Well paced, well plotted, appealing (and repulsive) characters, and all the threads nicely tied off at the end - which might be why I liked, and not loved, the book. Maybe that's one of the things that differentiates the adult-me reader from the child-me; I'm happier now with a more ambiguous ending.

I'm not sure I'll become a DWJ fan, but I'm certainly an admirer.
Collin
This is by far the longest Jones book I've read, unless The Dark Lord of Derkholm was quite this long. I don't expect it was. A lot happened in this book and, with traditional Jones flair, it was really complicated. The length of the book makes her plotting both much more impressive and much harder to understand. It's the kind of story that could bear at least two rereads, I think.

(Unless you're just smarter than me, or read slower. I'm not especially great at following complex plots and I read
...more
Kandice
I loved this book. Wynn Jones is every bit as good as Rowling at showing us different worlds and making them believable and accessible. I was left wanting more. This is my first book of hers, and from what I hear, all of her books will leave me this way. I can't wait to try my next one!
Jenn DeMent
I absolutely love Diana Wynne Jones! Chrestomanci was my introduction to her work, and she's not disappointed with any of her other works.
If you've never read DWJ before, be aware that you can NEVER underestimate her imagination! It is limitless! As a Dickens fan, I love that DWJ also has multiple storylines running which inevitably fall together near the end and combine to blow your mind.
The Merlin Conspiracy is a crazy, twisted story with incredibly lovable characters. DWJ made these storylin
...more
Lesley
Once again, Diana Wynne Jones has written an entertaining novel where magic feels so implicit in the world that it is easy to accept it as reality. Great interweaving plot, and fun characters. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, though. The climax escalated extremely fast, and the aftermath was more sketched in than I would have liked.

As a note, I did not realize this was second in a series when I read it. I'm interested in going back and reading the first one. But I never felt like any backstor
...more
Ana
Roddy and Nick are two teens from different worlds destined to save the magic in Blest and the other worlds surrounding it.

This book is the second book of a series, and maybe that's why I didn't like it so much--because I couldn't really understand everything that was going on since I didn't read the first book. Although, when I looked at the blurb of Deep Secret, it had different characters, so maybe I didn't miss that much. I really liked this author's other books though.

Anyway, back to this b
...more
Kate
Good adventure story, I liked it. I actually got the audiobook that David Tennant co-reads. I highly recommend his sexy Scottish voice whispering in your ear.
Julia Reynolds
I had just finished The Coldest Winter Ever and needed a fluffy detox. So I picked up an old childhood favorite. If you didn’t grow up reading Dianna Wynne Jones, you are severely deprived. She was one of the greatest children’s literature authors of all time. She wrote Howl’s Moving Castle, which is excellent and nothing like the stupid Miyazaki remake. She also wrote so many other novels that you could potentially fill an entire child’s bookshelf with them. My personal favorites are Dark Lord ...more
sharon
Just okay. Felt too scattered and random to me. The split narration between Nick and Roddy, while necessary to the story, caused the plot to really lag for much of the book. There were a few too convenient (view spoiler) moments, and in general lots of telling over showing. I wasn't aware that it was the second book in a series, though, so perhaps I would have ...more
Rachael
My review in a nutshell: hmmmm....

Don't get me wrong; the book has its good points:
* Dragons - always cool
* Magic - ditto. I also felt that the way Roddy got her magic knowledge was very innovative and refreshing.
*Multiple universes - a tried and tested idea as seen in series like His Dark Materials and The Chronicles of Narnia (kudos to the author for refering to the latter)
* The split narrative - good to get different perspectives particularly as the two protagonists spent most of the novel i
...more
Ape
2007 bookcrossing journal:

This is my third Diana Wynne Jones book and if I’m honest, it’s my least favourite of the three – this isn’t to say it’s awful or anything though! (The other two being Archer’s Goon and Howl’s Moving Castle). I actually started this book just before I started a new job AND moving so I got a couple of chapters read and then my mind was everywhere and I didn’t have chance to read anymore for a while, so when I came back to it I thought I wasn’t going to get into it and it
...more
Lydia
The story of Nick (also in DWJ's Deep Secret) and Roddy as they fight to save Blest from evil machinations that no one else seems to see.

DWJ is at it again with world hopping and time travel twists galore! Not that it disjoints the story, it actually fits together quite well, but the book did feel like three different books to me. All had the same underlying story (things going wrong in Blest), but the character's growth, location changes and "mini" stories within the tale, let you feel like yo

...more
pinknantucket
The most recent and most disappointing book by Diana Wynne Jones. Wynne Jones has been around for many years and is another of my favourite children’s authors - Harry Potter pales in comparison to her best. However, published in 2003, I get the feeling that this book was rushed out to cash in on the Harry Potter phenomenon and therefore skimped on some essential editing.

Set in a parallel universe to ours (this is a common theme in Wynne Jones’ books) called Blest, the book tells the story of Ari
...more
Myles
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.
...more
Annie
Dec 19, 2010 Annie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers looking for unique ideas to pick up on, readers in search of jumbled plots
This is the first book I've read by this author, and despite the cool cover, it was quite disappointing. I loved the concept of this book, especially the different worlds and the cities/people. The author could have gone far with some of this, but instead it was turned into what felt like somewhat plotless rambling that lacked believability. I would have loved to learn more about how the different worlds work and how their magic is connected. Instead, Jones focuses much of too much of her plot o ...more
Ruhama
Roddy and Nick are both quite magically talented, but neither of them know it until trouble comes to Roddy’s world of Blest, and Nick crosses over from Earth to try to help her. Roddy has discovered that there is a plot to overthrow the King and the Merlin (highest mage in the court) is part of the conspiracy. She enlists the help of Nick, who accidentally traveled to another world, and on his way back to Earth, he runs into Roddy. They each discover their magical abilities as the story progress ...more
J. Ford
This has got to be one of my favorite fantasy books. It is a shame the author died recently. I would have to say it falls in the middle of her lighter style of writing (Howl's Moving Castle) and her darker writing style (The Time of the Ghost).

The story is about a boy named Nick who appears to be a normal boy from Earth who travels through different worlds. He travels to a world called Blest where he meets Roddy, the daughter of two court wizards. Roddy and her friend Ambrose Temple/Grundo disco
...more
Maureen E
So, I could have (and should have) written a whole post on Deep Secret because I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Maybe not quite as much as Howl, which is probably the epitome of Diana Wynne Jones. But Deep Secret…man, I love that book. Hence reading it twice. In one month. Basically Rupert Venables is amazing. And all the other characters are too, but I can’t say much more for fear of ruining it. The Merlin Conspiracy follows one of the main characters (Nick) from Deep Secret. READ IT SECOND. There are huge w ...more
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Diana Wynne Jones was the author of more than thirty critically acclaimed fantasy stories, including the Chrestomanci series and the novels Howl's Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm.

For Diana Wynne Jones's official autobiography, please see http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/aut...
More about Diana Wynne Jones...

Other Books in the Series

Magids (2 books)
  • Deep Secret (Magids, #1)
Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1) Castle in the Air (Howl's Moving Castle, #2) Charmed Life (Chrestomanci, #1) The Lives of Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci, #2) House of Many Ways (Howl's Moving Castle, #3)

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