A fantasy adventure about saving the universe one world at a time from Diana Wynne Jones. The companion novel to the bestselling The Merlin Conspiracy.
Magids look after all worlds, steer them towards magic, and keep history happening. But Rupert Venables’ mentor has just died, and as the junior magid on earth he has to find a replacement while also trying to find the lost heir of a collapsing empire, worlds away.
Rupert interweaves the fate lines to get all the candidates together at a sci-fi fantasy convention, and havoc ensues as they all converge on a very strange hotel, where everything is always linked, the walls keep moving, people are trying to kill him, and nothing is as it seems...a magical, epic story from the Godmother of fantasy.
“....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)
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A great interpretation of a favourite DWJ story
This is one of my favourite DWJ stories. There's a lot going on in it, it is clever, in a subtle way, rather than being in your face. It stretches across worlds with a narrative that unfurls slowly, revealing things as it goes along. One of the best things about DWJ characters is that they are believable... they are not perfect and you like them in spite of or even because of their failings. The central characters, Rupert and Maree are beautifully drawn. I wasn't sure about the performances initially, but they really grew on me. One slight annoyance is that the sound level of Chris Webster's performance varies a bit too much. You can suggest whispering or shouting without doing it. Apart from that, it is a great performance of all the voices and I liked Harriet Carmichael too, although I tend to think Maree's voice is a bit lower than she plays it. I particularly liked that they both seemed to have worked together to make their character voices similar but without overdoing it. This book is like an old friend that is a joy to revisit time after time and I'm pleased that now I can revisit the audio version as well as on the page. Also a relief to get an unabridged version. Whoever thinks that DWJ needs abridging is frankly nuts - she's never wastes a word, so why would you cut them?
- Marie O'R