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21 Reviews
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, could be longer
The Merlin Conspiracy is a good basic story, the characters are beautifully developed and the various links and connections between them both compelling and enthralling.
The only problem is it seems to take forever just to build up the story. Don't get me wrong, I've no problem with big build ups, they usually lead to big climaxes.
However, the climax to this...
Published on 3 Mar. 2004 by Ms. Jennifer J. Mable

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The balance of magic
There are so many things that I usually love about Diana Wynne Jones' books and while there is plenty to be marvelled at in "The Merlin Conspiracy", I have to say it isn't a book that I would read again.

The enjoyable parts are that the multi-world universe, the magical and mythological descriptions are beautifully-written. The plot itself; the balance of...
Published on 16 Sept. 2011 by Belochka


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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and more complicated than expected., 2 July 2013
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Author has written books for different ages. This is probably for the older young person although I thought it good even at my advanced age.
Story is interesting and the characters are likeable.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, borrow it, but whatever you do read it., 15 Oct. 2003
I bought this book mainly because I heard really good reviews and because I've liked the author before. Normally I have difficulty reading long books in one go but this book is amazing. I read the whole thing in 4 hours solid starting almost as soon as I was out of the shop. In some ways I would consider the book better for older readers than her previous books because it is more complicated although younger children would enjoy it in shorter chunks, but that is part of its excellence. Whatever you do read it because it really is one of the best books around at the moment in my opinion.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diana Wynne Jones at her best!!!, 16 May 2003
This review is from: The Merlin Conspiracy (Hardcover)
The narrators of this story are two children, Roddy and Nick. Roddy lives in an alternate magical world that is a strange mix of modern day and Arthurian England. It is, in fact, the center of magic of the universe, and so it is rather important that this world remains stable and happy. Things begin to go wrong of course, as Roddy and her friend Grundy stumble on a conspiracy for world (universe?) domination and can't get anyone to believe her. Not so easily thwarted, she summoned help through a magical ritual.
In comes Nick, from "our world" in which magicians practice their craft in secret, who doesn't know any magic, unless you count accidentally walking out of his world into, well, somewhere and having no idea how to get back. A passing old man told him that he need to help three people to get to where he wants, so it looks like he has to help Roddy.
Lively prose, great humour, and a surprisingly intricate plot in which nothing is as coincidentally as it seems, this is the best Diana Wynne Jones book I have read. You won't regret reading it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort, 29 July 2007
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This review is from: The Merlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
This is a really great book that is told from 2 different perspectives, Nick lives in a world like ours but knows that magic exists and works but is hidden, Roddy lives in a Britain where magic is common place and accepted. The book culminates in a fantastic final showdown where all the strands come together.I really enjoyed this book and feel it is well worth the effort. It might be a bit confusing for young readers but if your child is a confident reader I would recomend it. If this is your first DWJ book I would suggest you follow it up with Howl's Moving Castle, Hexwood or if you love Harry Potter try one of the Chrestomanci books instead such as Charmed Life.
I have been reading D.W.J. since I was a teenager and she will always hold a special place in my heart. Much as I love Harry Potter I find that DWJ's work goes so much further, not just one other world beyond ours but several.The breadth of her imagination astounds me. For all the fans of Harry Potter, he would not exist if people like DWJ had not come 1st.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece from One of the Finest, 9 May 2003
This review is from: The Merlin Conspiracy (Hardcover)
The Merlin Conspiracy is an absolutely stunning work representing Diana Wynne Jones at her finest. My 12 y.o. son claims it's possibly the best book he's ever read, and while I wouldn't go quite so far I can see why he thinks so. Diana Wynne Jones brings together lots of themes and ideas from her other books - multiple parallel worlds, Magids gently manipulating the magic of many worlds and the fine balance that must be preserved to keep all the worlds in kilter. In this book, she adds in two strong minded early adolescents Roddy (a girl) and Nick - both of whom are aware of problems and disturbances that the adults who hold power in their respective worlds can't see, and both of whom have to act without being sure how or why to avert universal catastrophe. Grand sweeping themes, lots of suspense and intrigue, great writing - I love it and would recommend the Merlin Conspiracy to any 11+ year old who is into magic/fantasy and to anyone else who comes along. Buy it and treat yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it., 20 May 2015
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Brilliant writer - great story, very well done. Best Fantasy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit weird..., 13 Feb. 2004
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M. Ivanova "i_am_she_wolf" (London, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Merlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
In general I did enjoy this book, but it is a bit childish... usually books for that age, are perfect with me (I'm 24), but this one was definitely like it says on tin, 11-13. Too many bizarre places to be in this book, a lot of begginings of stories about different worlds, and only few of them were finished, bit too messy, but OK, I am in fond of both kids who "wrote" this book as their diary, boy is even better.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a nice surprise to have a familiar character appear, 31 Dec. 2005
This review is from: The Merlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
i liked nick mallory's character when i read 'deep secret' a couple of years ago, a book i still love, so it was a wonderful surprise to find him as one of the main characters in this book too.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the wait, 21 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Merlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
The Merlin Conspiracy is set in the same multiverse as 'Deep Secret' and is narrated in part by Nick Mallory, although this is enjoyable as a great story even if you have never read DS. The book is set alternatly in our Earth and in the Kingdom of Blest - which is almost but not quite britain - modern in some respects but where many of 'our' myths and folk tales are not only true but vitally important. Nick & Roddy (the second narrator, a witches daughter from Blest) are not only the protagonists in an excellent fanasty, they are also complex and imperfect individuals.
The Merlin Conspiracy has all the style and depth that we've come to expect from DWJ - witty, thought provoking and multi-layered.
If you know DWJ's work, this will not disappoint, and if you don't...what kept you?
Buy this. Buy it now.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical but not a patch on Harry Potter..., 5 Jun. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Merlin Conspiracy (Hardcover)
This was the first book by Diana Wynne Jones I read, so I came to it with no expectations. Although I'm not a child any more, I do enjoy reading books such as the Harry Potter series, and so thought this may be a good read while awaiting number 5. And I did enjoy it, but as another reviewer said, it is not quite a 5 star book. If I could, I would give this book 3 and a half stars.
The idea behind it is really good, especially how she makes the magical world connect with the ordinary world through the character Nick (he enters the magic world and is mistaken for a wizard by the other main character, Roddy). However, having said that, the story seems at once big and exciting aswell as quite slow and simple (I know, that sounds confusing but at times I started to wish that the pace would quicken). The two main characters don't actually meet properly until towards the end of the book, so while the story progresses you can see how their stories are going to interweave, there is not a lot of time for actual interaction between them. I think because of this, the characters are not quite so developed as ones in other books of the same kind.
The basic plot of the book is that there is a conspiracy to unsettle the balance of magic in the world of Blest, which would result in all of the magic turning into black magic. Roddy and Nick, through their own means have to try and stop this from happening. But the nature of the conspiracy is that the majority of people who would have been able to help them have been 'bewitched', and so do not believe Roddy when she tries to look for help. I do agree with the other reviewer who said that the ending seemed a little rushed creating an anti-climax. But over-all, this is a good read.
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The Merlin Conspiracy
The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones (Hardcover - April 2003)
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