Master fantasist Diana Wynne Jones, author of the Chrestomanci books, scores another winner in The Merlin Conspiracy. This absorbing tale of magic and courtly intrigue is told in two voices. In the world called Islands of the Blest, Roddy is a young page who has grown up travelling with her family in the King's Progress, a constant journey around the kingdom. Just after she and her younger friend Grundo spot a growing conspiracy to overthrow the King and change the balance of magic, they are whisked away to visit Roddy's grim and silent grandfather; when they return the Progress has moved on without them. Meanwhile in another world, Nick Mallory, 14, blunders into a dreamlike adventure that leads him to the powerful wizard Romanov and involves him in Roddy's mission to save the worlds from the upset planned by the conspiracy.
The story moves through several precariously linked worlds in vividly imagined episodes told alternately by Roddy and Nick, as their journeys begin to mesh. Part of the fun for the reader is sorting out Roddy's many wizardly relatives from the double perspective and clicking them into place in the plot. Wynne Jones's many fans will pounce on this complex but fast-moving fantasy that features not only 34 characters, but a panther, a goat, a dragon, and an extremely charming elephant. (Ages 10-14) --Patty Campbell, Amazon.com
“The characterisation is first rate, the ideas are fabulous … This is fantasy at its most inventive – canny, funny and far-reaching.” The Telegraph
“A curiosity shop of a book … a pleasure to lose yourself in.” The Sunday Times
“The Merlin Conspiracy is Wynne Jones on top form … [her] powerful narrative and her ability to create extraordinary charachers with real emotions make her more than a worthy rival to J K Rowling.” Financial Times
“A must for all Wynne Jones fans, past, present and future.” Limited Edition