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Deep Secret (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Paperback]

Diana Wynne Jones
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Dec 2003 GOLLANCZ S.F.

All over the universe, Magids are at work to maintain the balance of magic, using their own talents to push the right people into doing the right things at the right time. And on Earth, the Magids are working hard to coax the world into its rightful place Ayewards, towards magic.

Rupert Venables has been the junior Magid here for only two years when his sponsor dies; it's up to him to find a replacement. Trouble is, the most promising on his list of five names, Maree Mallory, doesn't want anything to do with Rupert Venables. And while the junior Magid is trying to track down the other four, the fatelines are becoming dangerously entangled on more than one world and magic starts getting out of hand . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (4 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575602236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575602236
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 11 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 787,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones is recognised internationally as a major writer of fantasy and in 2007 received a LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at the World Fantasy Convention. She has also won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (twice) and the Guardian Award for CHARMED LIFE. Her books have been translated into more than eighteen languages, and her novel HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Diana lives in Bristol with her husband, a professor of Early English literature.

Product Description


“…Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones’s most outrageous plots to her readers’ hopes and fears…”
Publishers Weekly

“Diana Wynne Jones ought to be crowned with coloured garlands because she is the best writer of magical fantasy for children in this country ” Evening Standard

“Diana Wynne Jones could teach Stephen King and JK Rowling a thing or two … [she] has a skill for inserting just the right amount of detail in her written words, leaving you satiated but not stuffed.” SFX

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

When the fatelines of several worlds become entangled, chaos ensues and Something Must be Done: a hilarious fantasy from a 'British National Treasure' (Locus)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I may as well start with some of our deep secrets because this account will not be easy to understand without them. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter magic worlds 26 July 1999
By A Customer
Deep secret is a book that allows you to enter magic worlds. I always feel that I can 'get inside' Ms Wynne Jones's stories, and this one is no exception. It makes you wonder about the world around you and I feel that it allows you to wonder about magic around you in a completely realistic way. Probably one of the elements that adds to this effect is the convincing and realistic deccriptions, e.g. of the appearance of the centaur or the strange and monstrous sweaters that one of the ladies wears. These are books that I tend to read as slowly as possible, never skipping anything. I even divide it up in chapters per day, so as to prevent myself from reading it all in one go. Wonderful stuff!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply enjoyable 13 Jun 2005
Fantasy and fun in a superbly imagined multiverse, this is undoubtedly one of DWJ's best books, and deserving of its stars. This story is full of laughter and doesn't take itself or the whole realm of fantasy/scifi too seriously. Any science-fiction fans with a sense of humour will delight in her hilarious description of a convention!
The key characters are delightfully engaging and you will find yourself wanting to know more of their escapades. The good news is that a second book (not strictly a follow-on, but set in the same worlds) called "The Merlin Conspiracy" is also available.
The only criticism is that the ending feels a little drawn out and seems to ramble. However, this would only knock off half a star rating at most, and the rest of the book is well worth the reading. Although aimed at 'adults', there is nothing in this book unsuitable for children, and it will also be enjoyed by younger readers with a good grasp of the genre or familiar with her other fantasy books.
Recommended to many friends, all of whom loved it. One of my personal favourites!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Rupert Venables is junior Magid,responsible for overseeing the balance of power - on earth and throughout the Koryfos Empire. Thrust into a political conflict spanning many worlds, he finds himself battling Good vs Evil - and in love! A Sci-Fi to delight adult readers, who grew-up relying upon the fantastic writing and amazing inventiveness of Diana Wynne Jones' childrens' books. Not to be missed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 15 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This was the first book I had read by Diana Wynne Jones and from the back cover I wasn't too sure what to expect.
Pretty much by the second chapter I was hooked and loving it. The characters were very *real* and funny! The whole british roleplaying convention 'scene' while being hilarious, was such an accurate caricature!
I couldn't put it down til I'd finished and then was still chuckling!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books 9 Sep 2006
You know all those conspiracy theories about secret societies running the world? Well, as it turns out they have a basis in fact: the Magids are a group of magicians who answer to the mysterious "Upper Room" and whose job it is to maintain the balance of magic, keep an eye on magic-users in a myriad of worlds across the galaxy and, every now and then, give certain people a little nudge or two to get them (and events) going in the right direction. "Deep Secret" is the story of one Magid on Earth, Rupert Venables, and his attempt to find a successor for his recently deceased mentor Stan. It shouldn't really be a problem - there are a number of candidates, and all Rupert needs to do is pick the most suitable. So he gives fate a helping hand in order to bring all five candidates to a hotel in Wantchester, where he can interview them.

But once he gets there, he realises that NONE of them are suitable - and his problems don't stop there. A fantasy convention is logded in the hotel, trouble is brewing in the Koryfonic Empire (one of the worlds he is responsible for), Stan is haunting his car playing Scarlatti tapes, his neighbour Andrew keeps turning up in the most unexpected places, and to make matters worse, the most detested of the candidates Maree Mallory and her cousin Nick are rather inquisitive about Rupert's attempts to keep a lid on things - too inquisitive...

Sound confusing? It isn't when you read the book. Jones is far too good a storyteller for that. She weaves her character's seperate stories into a funny, smart, scary, magical, multi-layered tapestry that is enormous fun to read. A totally original story (no hero quests here, thank you very much!) engaging characters, lots of magic (I loved the Witchy Dance for Luck especially) and a sense of mischievous glee that underlies Jones's writing all combine to make "Deep Secret" totally irresistable.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection - As Usual 7 Dec 2002
Format:School & Library Binding
Deep Secret is another of Diana Wynne Jones' perfect books. (Howl's Moving Castle is the other.) Again DWJ takes a hero with all the ingredients of a first class pain in the gut and makes him lovable. But she doesn't repeat herself, no way! While Howl is a slitherer-outer, vain and a coward, Rupert Venables is a prat. Maree, the female protagonist, is just as unlikely a heroine as Rupert is a hero, and much more unlikely than Howl's Sophie. And yet Maree too carries it off. She doesn't change, but reveals her inner self which is just a prickly as the outer one. As for the plot, it's intricate, elaborate, fascinating stuff. Another book that re-repays re-re-reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Magic ... 15 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The worlds that Wynne Jones creates and her use of magic are beyond compare. The magic always seems credible in the hands of her creations. The plot is rich and sometimes cruel, which is a welcome feature compared to more saccharine offerings from other fantasy writers. Her evil characters really are, not by declaration, but by deed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
Maybe not one of her very best but I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of the magid books.
Published 1 month ago by Suchea
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex Plot, interesting characters.
Extremely well written, as you would expect from a DWJ novel. If you like her other books aimed at a young adult audience such as Fire and Hemlock and Hexwood you are sure to like... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John M Gorman
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep Secret(Magids)
Yet another fantastic book by Diana Wynne Jones . What l enjoy about her writings is the magical blend of science fiction fantasy and the whiff of a detective novel as you... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kathryn Buckley
5.0 out of 5 stars A children's book for grown-ups
I enjoyed this book tremendously. It is marketed as a book aimed at adults, and it does make reference to adult themes such as sex, but essentially it is the usual Diana Wynne... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ms Louise Wilford
5.0 out of 5 stars Another well written Diana Wynne Jones book
Interesting story. Characters likeable. Good adventures without any nasty parts. Each book is different and not put out without thought.
Published 12 months ago by A M S
5.0 out of 5 stars Diana Wynne Jones at her best
great characters, a gripping story told from several viewpoints, lots of humour - set at a fantasy/sci fi conference - just wonderful. I really recommend it.
Published on 25 Sep 2011 by C. Dolan-betney
5.0 out of 5 stars READ IT!!
Fantastic! this was the first D.W.Jones I've read and I can safely say now that it won't be the last. I cared about the characters from the beginning. I laughed a lot. Read more
Published on 1 May 2005 by S. Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars My personal favourite by a favourite author
This is DWJ's first adult fantasy novel, although the only 'adult' thing about it is that the main characters are not children; there's nothing that makes it unsuitable for a... Read more
Published on 12 Dec 2002 by Anica
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK!!
I'm rarley dazzled by books, but Deep Secret has fantastic characters, plot and original touches which captivated and entertained every reader I've encountered. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2002 by Fantasy Fan
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