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Deep Secret

(Magids #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  6,077 ratings  ·  364 reviews
All over the multiverse the Magids, powerful magicians, are at work to maintain the balance between positive and negative magic, for the good of all.

Rupert Venables is the junior Magid assigned to Earth and to the troublesome planets of the Koyrfonic Empire. When the Emperor dies without a known heir, Rupert is called into service to help prevent the descent of the Empire
Paperback, 416 pages
Published December 16th 2014 by Tor Books (first published 1997)
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Margaret I read the second one about 10 years ago and only just found out about this one now, so I think you're okay either way.…moreI read the second one about 10 years ago and only just found out about this one now, so I think you're okay either way.(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,077 ratings  ·  364 reviews

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Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adorable. It’s a DWJ book, so it’s all multi-universe wizards who end up solving their problems while attending a scifi convention, also baby animals. It is sweet and silly and one of those stories where every plot thread converges in a charmingly improbable bow with built in deus ex machina. But it’s DWJ, so it is also wryly observed, a little dry, a little piercing. But still kind. I mean, it’s set at a scifi convention in all the embarrassing/awesome/exhausting spectacle you’d expect, and she ...more
Pam Baddeley
I'm a great fan of Diana Wynne Jones' work and came to this book with high expectations. It is obviously pitched at adults and YA rather than the younger children a lot of her other work is aimed at, given the focus on two main characters in their twenties and the occasional sexual reference and one instance of f*** in dialogue, which I've never seen in her other work. However, I was left a little disappointed although there is a lot of good writing and interesting set pieces, possibly because h ...more
I love fantasy. I love stories about parallel universes or the multiverse. I love Diana Wynne Jones. So why, exactly, did I not hear about this book until February of last year? (Which is when Goodreads tells me I added it to my stupidly enormous to-read list.) I can only fathom that a Magid was at me, maybe effing around with my fate-lines or something.

Oh, what's that? You don't know what I'm talking about? Well, I have a pretty easy way to fix that. It's called reading this book.

Deep Secret is
Robin Stevens
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite comfort reads, and one that never disappoints. This is so funny and on-point about writers, fan communities, conventions and love (and of course magic, multiple universes and all of the problems associated with trying to run a galaxy) and I think I get more from it every time.
Book Riot Community
I’m back on a comfort reading roll, and when that happens, I always turn to Diana Wynne Jones. I’d already exhausted the usual suspects, like Howl’s Moving Castle, so I finally picked up Deep Secret. I’d forgotten how unabashedly weird and delightful it is: Multiverses, conventions, and centaurs. There is so much going on, and it is so good.

— Jessica Yang

from The Best Books We Read In January 2017:
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Fantasy. Wikipedia is quick to point out that this book was "marketed to adults." I expected a little bit of romance, or maybe some salty language. What I got was the gruesome death of several characters, including three children, a passing reference to an orgy in a stairwell, and a plot that's more tangled than usual.

From the very first page this was a struggle to read. Not only is it missing Jones' normally transparent prose, I didn't care about any of the characters, could not keep straight
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Theobroma
I read this at the same time as Fantasti*Con due to the fact they were both set around conventions. Maybe not a good thing as I sometimes was confused between the two conventions wondering where certain characters were. But in the end I separated and enjoyed them both.

This novel is set in an alternate (or perhaps not) universe where they are a group of people known as Magids whose job is, well it's a bit unclear. They help their assigned worlds with various issues and help maintain the magical e
Well this was entirely not what I expected.

That's a good thing and a bad thing all at once.

The pacing was very odd, but I did like how we (the reader) are thrown into the middle of everything without much explanation, and the world just builds itself up from there.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
LOVED rereading this!
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whew, I sorta feel like I've been betrayed by my own fairy godmother, but that was good. ...more
Personal Raiting: 8.2/10
General Raiting: 7.5/10

I've enjoyed this book so much! The idea of Magids and the multiverse is amazing and so well done. I'm really looking forward for The Merlin Conspiracy!
I loved the characters, each and every one of them so weird, unique, and realistic all at the same time!
And I don't know why but now I am obsessed with centaurs.
The book has hidden messages and a subtle and exquisite humour. Plus, magic is everywhere. If you love magic and secret magic societies, the
Lis Carey
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
The senior Magid responsible for Earth and the adjacent Koryfonic Empire (which is considerably more magic-infested than Earth) has died, and his successor has to recruit a new junior Magid, while dealing with the total disaster that the Koryfonic Empire has become in the aftermath of the assassination of the Emperor, who had m ade sure that his heirs were completely safe from being located and used against him while he was alive. Careful consideration of his problems yields the useful discovery ...more
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book 9 times, and it's still one of my favorites of all time. When someone complains to me that all fantasy is starting to get too similar, I whip out my copy (always on hand) and force them to listen while I read to them my favorite passages. While it takes a good re-read in order to catch all of the cul de sacs and crannies in the plot, I enjoyed this book more than most, and just as much as the rest of ms. Jones's novels. ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How many miles to Babylon?
Five score and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight?
Aye, and back again.
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book by Wynne Jones that I've read. The previous one, Howl's Moving Castle, was fantastic. My daughter and I just loved it and I was looking forward to this one. I was disappointed. It is supposedly pitched to a more "adult" audience, but the author seems to think that means throw in a little sex, esp. references to the male narrator's tastes and observations, rather than exploring deeper or more complex philosophical ideas. Also, the plot just didn't seem well put together. ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf

This is not happening right now.

I loved Howl's Moving Castle so I was expecting to find something else to love from Diana Wynne Jones, but this one is just not for me.

@DeepSecrets and Unkindness of Magicians, how dare you deceive me with your pretty covers. :(
Jannah Cloud Child
Diana's old style and new style feel difficult different in some ways in that clearly this was written for adults and there is more profanity and sleeping around but in other ways she writes as mind bendingly as ever. I'm glad I'm finally getting round to reading her older stuff. This was fun if again confusing at times. It helped me understand the Merlin conspiracy better. A fun romp.
Quincey Turnbull
After seeing all of the raving reviews about this book I feel like my 2 stars deserve an explanation.

I wanted to like this book; at some parts I even did like it, but those were few and far between. Usually when I dislike a book it's for a specific reason but with Deep Secret there was nothing in particular that stands out, or maybe it was just too many reasons to pin down. To preface the negative side of my review I will admit that there is some good to the book; Jones' writing is fluid and ea
Deborah O'Carroll
(Review originally posted on my book blog, complete with book photography...

I've discovered that I'm downright horrendous at writing reviews for books by Diana Wynne Jones. I plan to write one, then I put it off, and put it off, because I know that it's far too complex to do justice to in a review -- and how even do I wrap my head around it all, exactly?? So once again, as I did with Fire and Hemlock, I'm going to need to just start typing and hope somet
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Deep Secret begins with a cryptic message that the following was secretly deposited in the archive at Iforion. I'd pretty much forgotten that by the time reference was made to it late in the book. There's a number of things from early on that circle back into prominence towards the end.

To a certain extent, it is a standard contemporary fantasy novel: Earth is one of a large number of alternate worlds, which have varying amounts of magic, and there is an organization of high-power mages that keep
I read The Merlin Conspiracy several years back and didn't realize it was part of a series until recently. Having liked TMC a lot (the second time I read it), I went in with high expectations that were completely, utterly, exceeded. The combination of fantasy with scifi and contemporary setting was wonderfully executed. Rupert, with all his flaws, was a striking main character - but I confess that once Maree was introduced from her own viewpoint my allegiances switched to her. Diana Wynne Jones ...more
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an awesome, fun, magical, interesting, creative, like-no-other, trope-inverting book. My gosh, some of it took place at a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention, for goodness sake! WHAT A GREAT TIME! Fantastic character development, as well- went from hating the primary main character to adoring him by the end of the book. :)

And here's a thing that is weird- I still don't understand some of what the magic of this book was- it was baffling- but it was so good that this lack of understanding doesn't
Incredibly clever, I adore Maree in all her blotchy sobbing glory, the magic system & the affectionate love with which the convention is described is just... wonderful. There's a really unique quality that all of DWJ's books share - no other author makes me grin quite so much!
The narrator for Rupert sounded a little young to me, but otherwise Deep Secret worked really well as an audiobook.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with anything and everything having to do with Diana Wynne Jones, so this review might be a tiny bit totally biased.
Despite its five stars, this story had a lot of problems and holes in it that were never quite filled in. While DWJ is wonderful at world-building and character development, she has a hard time explaining what's going on; and at any given time a LOT of things are going on (poor Rupert!). The good news is that this story is just so heckin
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, fantasy, 2003, 2019
I loved this book when I read it as a teenager, but there was just too much going on plot-wise for me to easily enjoy it now. I was kinda bored. I'm usually restless when I re-read, but I thought I wouldn't be for this since I didn't remember anything. There's fatphobia in it which of course I didn't like, but it was kinda covert and micro-aggressiony. I was more offended by my boredom tbh. I probs wouldn't have kept reading if Jones hadn't added Maree's POV. Rupert was just too blah as a narrat ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This would have to be one of the best Wynne Jones' books I've read. Full of complications, with a plot that stretches the imagination to bursting point, dozens of characters who are all given plenty of room to do their bit, huge action scenes and plenty of humour.
I'm not sure what age group it's aimed at: it's more complex than the Harry Potter books, and has adult romance and some slightly steamy moments (though not from the main characters). It could be a coming-of-age piece and yet that's on
Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya-books
More of a 2.5 stars but rounded up. This is really a YA book but clearly SDPL got it before we had that category so it is marked J fiction. Addendum: a professional Youth Librarian friend confirmed my original reaction, that it really should have been marked adult. This is about the Magids who are kind of higher level mages, and can do more magical acts than a mere mage. They are supposed to keep a world going on its proper track. Rupert gets the job of picking a replacement magus when his teach ...more
Janna Craig
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Diana Wynne Jones is one of those authors that I’ve intentionally not read several of her books, just so I can know that there are more out there. I’ll read them eventually, but for now, I’m savoring the knowledge that there are “new” (to me) DWJ books to look forward to.

Of her books that I have read, Deep Secret is one of my favorites. I just love Nick and Maree and Rupert and I love the zaniness of the Con. This book is just plain fun, and it’s one I come back to again and again.
Not my favorite of DWJ's books, though also not my least favorite by a long shot. The different plotlines were intertwined very nicely, and there was a lot of stuff I did enjoy: Nick and Maree being basically-siblings, the interweaving of magic and technology, centaurs, worldhopping, the magic, so on. That said, I had more than a bit of trouble keeping people straight, which frustrated me, and it also took longer than I liked for me to get properly attached to anyone. ...more
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Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an ed ...more

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Magids (2 books)
  • The Merlin Conspiracy (Magids, #2)

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