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

The Merlin Conspiracy

by Diana Wynne Jones

The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones X
The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

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

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

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 ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

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?

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Merlin Conspiracy, try these:

  • Enchanted jacket

    Enchanted

    by Alethea Kontis

    Published 2013

    About this book

    It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday's only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true...

  • The Water Mirror jacket

    The Water Mirror

    by Kai Meyer

    Published 2006

    About this book

    More books by this author

    A bold, original fantasy that conjures up a land of magic and menace as Merle and Serafin begin a journey to unimagined realms in the extraordinary world of Dark Reflections. Ages 12+.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Prophet
    by Michael Koryta
    Hot diggity! How can you lose by reading a gritty whodunit about football, even if you're not a ...
  • Book Jacket: Dog Flowers
    Dog Flowers
    by Danielle Geller
    In Dog Flowers, Danielle Geller tells us what is wrong with her family: heavy drinking, abandonment,...
  • Book Jacket: The Sea Gate
    The Sea Gate
    by Jane Johnson
    In Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, set in England, readers are introduced to Becky, a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from Suffragette City
    Stories from Suffragette City
    by M.J. Rose, Fiona Davis
    Our First Impressions readers were fascinated by the historical fiction from a range of authors ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Narrowboat Summer
    by Anne Youngson

    From the author of Meet Me at the Museum, a charming novel of second chances.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    At the Edge of the Haight
    by Katherine Seligman

    Winner of the 2019 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Moment of Lift
by Melinda Gates
How can we summon a moment of lift for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.
Who Said...

Books are the carriers of civilization

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T M T C, T M T Stay T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.