Summary and book reviews of The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones

The Merlin Conspiracy

by Diana Wynne Jones

The Merlin Conspiracy
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2003, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2004, 480 pages

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About this Book

Book Summary

A masterful weaving of mystery, intrigue and magic into a complex plot that's full of twists and surprises. In this astonishing novel, the characters' actions have unexpected consequences, and nothing in the multiverse is as it first seems. Ages 10+.

The islands of Blest keep the balance of magic in half the multiverse. If something goes wrong with the magic on Blest, it will have a ripple effect on many other worlds. Something is about to go wrong …

It all begins when the Merlin of Blest dies of a heart attack. Or was he murdered by sorcery?

Two friends, Roddy and Grundo, suspect a conspiracy, but no adult will believe them. When a boy from another world, Nick, blunders into the trouble on Blest, Roddy tries to enlist his help. But what can three children who are just discovering their magical talents do against the new Merlin, the Earthmistress, and the dark powers they’re calling up? The dangers are great, and if Roddy, Grundo, and Nick fail to stop the conspirators before they disrupt the balance of magic, the results will be far more far-reaching and destructive than they can imagine.

Diana Wynne Jones masterfully weaves mystery, intrigue, and, most of all, magic into a complex plot that's full of twists and surprises. In this astonishing novel, the characters' actions have unexpected consequences, and nothing in the multiverse is as it first seems ...

Chapter One
Roddy

I have been with the Court all my life, traveling with the King's Progress.

I didn't know how to go on. I sat and stared at this sentence, until Grundo said, "If you can't do it, I will."

If you didn't know Grundo, you'd think this was a generous offer, but it was a threat, really. Grundo is dyslexic. Unless he thinks hard, he writes inside out and backward. He was threatening me with half a page of crooked writing with words like inside turning up as sindie and story as otsyr.

Anything but that! I thought. So I decided to start with Grundo -- and me. I am Arianrhod Hyde, only I prefer people to call me Roddy, and I've looked after Grundo for years now, ever since Grundo was a small, pale, freckled boy in rompers, sitting completely silently in the back of the children's bus. He was so miserable that he had wet himself. I was only about five myself at the time, but I somehow realized that he was too miserable even to cry. I got up and staggered through ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Washington Post - Alice K. Turner

Diana Wynne Jones has delivered a thumping-good adventure yarn with dozens of twists and turns. It's a mystery as well as a fantasy, with plenty of comedy for fun and a touch of horror for scares. A novel as dense and complex as this one gives especially good value, as nearly all readers will want to go back to see what they missed the first time around.

School Library Journal - Beth L. Meister

Gr 7 Up-This title from one of the masters of fantasy shows the author's signature style and imagination.....A fine, challenging read for seasoned fantasy readers.

Kirkus Reviews

Overstuffed and over the top, but a delicious romp.

Booklist - Sally Estes

Gr. 6-10. Jones' convoluted, alternate-world fantasy is put together like a four-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, including time, a dimension in which the puzzle pieces don't quite fit together.....Nevertheless, the story, infused with humor as well as exciting adventure, makes compelling reading.

Publishers Weekly

Whimsy, invention and the chilling sense of a world gone topsy-turvy characterize this grandly outsize fantasy.....Cities personified, hordes of smuggled salamanders and a pair of astonishingly bratty twin sisters are just a few of the delights to be found here. Ages 10 up.

Author Blurb Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline
Diana Wynne Jones is, quite simply, the best writer of magic there is, for readers of any age.

Reader Reviews

Nick

My Age:15

Anyone who is into fantasy/adventure will love The Merlin Conspiracy. The only downside to it for me was that it was a bit complicated to understand at the beggining. Otherwise this is a very good read and I would highly recommend it.   Read More

Reading Macina

Its ok
It is not quite Dianna's best work though was very enjoyable. There could have been more magic used but overall it was pretty good.

Grace Chan

The Merlin Conspiparcy is confusing
The Merlin Conspiracy is a book that is extremely complicated and confusing. I tried reading it several times but i did not understand it.Perhaps Diana Jones should put more information about the characters in it?

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