Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Magids, vol. 2
My rating: 4.5 of 5
All her life, Roddy’s been bussed across the country in the king’s massive traveling retinue of attendants, courtiers, and–most importantly–official wizards (of whom her parents are two). Actually, Roddy and her best friend Grundo are two of several children in the court who have magical abilities . . . meaning they get dragged into even more boring court functions. Ugh. Worlds away–literally–Nick has been dragged to a dead-boring writers’ conference by his dad when he finds himself shoved off into another world (a feat he never can seem to manage on his own) and started on a bumbling journey through multiple worlds. Little could either Roddy or Nick know that Roddy would uncover a conspiracy that could destroy her world–or that Nick just might be the key to saving it.
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 context as wizards and traveling courts. But I feel that the off-ness of this is intentional; that’s the world Roddy lives in, and it’s a world that’s distinctly different from our own. Overall, this is a wonderful story that I’d definitely recommend to any fantasy lover.