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The Merlin Conspiracy (Magids #2)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,624 Ratings  ·  266 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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Honya I didn't even realize there was a first volume until I checked this page out. The Merlin Conspiracy totally flows and makes sense (in its own weird…moreI didn't even realize there was a first volume until I checked this page out. The Merlin Conspiracy totally flows and makes sense (in its own weird way) completely on its own. First volume definitely not necessary.(less)
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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
Oct 10, 2011 Pauline rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 03, 2011 Kaion rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Deborah O'Carroll
YES TO THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!! <3

I need an elephant. AN ELEPHANT.

Also Romanov. Yesssss.


(I may coherent a review someday.)

May 07, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dwj
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
Sadly only available as an abridged audibook, but fortunately not _too_ drastically abridged.

David Tennant sounds way too old to be a fifteen year-old though.
Aug 07, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 19, 2016 Aelvana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nick desperately wants to travel to other worlds. He's actually from another one, originally, and has traveled to a few. But that was in the (not-so-distant) past. Now he and his adopted dad live more or less peacefully on Earth, and for all Nick's scheming to be a Magid and once more walk the worlds, he seems destined for an ordinary life. Then someone sends him stumbling into a place quite different . . .

Roddy travels with the King's Progress all over England. In Blest, the king, the Merlin, a
Apr 28, 2009 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 13, 2014 Adobe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Roberta Zanella
Sep 21, 2015 Roberta Zanella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stravagante, potente e delizioso. Peccato per la traduzione italiana: puro delirio.
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'
Beth E
Feb 21, 2015 Beth E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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!
Rolly Stardust
Recensione pubblicata su La Biblioteca di Amarganta

A parte che ho scoperto che è il secondo di una serie e, ovviamente!, il primo non è stato tradotto in italiano (Salani are you listening?). Comunque credo che si possa leggere indipendentemente dal primo.
Ordunque. Ritengo che questo sia davvero un bel libro. (Finalmente, direi.)
La storia è divisa in due punti di vista, Roddy (il cui vero nome è Arianrhod) e Nick (che si chiama Nichotodes più un'altra sfilza di nomi). I due passano diversi capit
Jan 06, 2009 Devon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 02, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth, fantasy
Magic users abound in this across many worlds like in the Chrestomanci books. this one focuses on one world in particular having trouble with a conspiracy of ill-informed magic users seeking power but unwittingly threatening to unravel all magic in that world and potentially everywhere.

I like the characters and how she handles magic and the wonderful creatures that inhabit the world but the story itself sort of stalls and sags in the middle. It does pick up by the end but it felt like a hastily
Feb 25, 2016 Dark-Draco rated it liked it
This is a slightly confusing tale, mainly about Roddy, who is a girl, and lives in an alternative England where she is part of the King's Progress, which travels around the country maintaining the magic. And about Nick, who lives in our version of Earth, but doesn't come from here. Roddy and her friend discover a plot to make the King abdicate and bring back magic without rules, while Nick hops around between universes trying to figure out what he wants to be.

The world building is great here, as
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.
Dec 22, 2014 Collin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 10, 2009 Kandice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
The Merlin Conspiracy is a beautiful fantasy novel. It is classic Diana Wynne Jones–most similar (of the works I’ve read so far) to the Chrestomanci books. The two-character perspective is brilliantly done; you get the characters and personalities of Nick and Roddy shining through, while still clearly showing Jones’ own tone consistently throughout. The beginning is a bit . . . I’d almost say unsettling. It threw me off balance to hear talk about computers and dyslexia thrown around in the same ...more
Jenn DeMent
Mar 26, 2015 Jenn DeMent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 04, 2014 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ana A
Dec 30, 2014 Ana A rated it liked it
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
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.
One of my favourite parts of Wynne Jones’ writing is the complex worlds that she creates. On one hand we have Nick’s world, which is rather similar to ours. Then we have Roddy’s world, that relies on magic to the point where it’s part of the political system. Then on top of that, there are multiple other worlds all layered onto these worlds, each with their own rules for magic. Wynne Jones creates rules not only for the magic, but how to move between these worlds, how these worlds depend on one ...more
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
Martina Nix Govoni
Galeotto fu un pachiderma condiviso su Facebook che ha riportato alla memoria di un'amica questo romanzo e me lo ha prestato. Mai elefante mi ha portato più fortuna! E' un piccolo gioiello questo romanzo, da rilettura ciclica. Bella l'idea delle due voci narranti, che fino ad un certo punto non si intrecciano, spingendo il lettore a voler proseguire per appagare la curiosità. Divertenti i personaggi e meraviglioso il parco giochi che è l'ambientazione. E' da riscoprire cercandone le fonti (quant ...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
More about Diana Wynne Jones...

Other Books in the Series

Magids (2 books)
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“Goats," said Maxwell Hyde, "are a special case. Mad as hatters, all of them.” 59 likes
“I am a total zombie just after I wake up. It takes me half an hour even to get my eyes open. Ask anyone who knows me. I can't see; I can't talk properly; I can't do anything without help. The only think I can do properly is think. And I know how to exploit my condition. I've had years of practice.” 38 likes
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