Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones

The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne  Jones
Release Date: January 1, 2003
Pages: 473
Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ
Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository

When the Merlin of Blest dies, everyone thinks it's a natural death. But Roddy and Grundo, two children in the Royal Court, soon discover the truth. The Merlin's replacement and other courtiers are scheming to steal the magic of Blest for themselves. Roddy enlists the help of Nick, a boy from another world, and together the trio must take down the conspirators.

It has taken me 4 years to read this book. Not 4 years of continuous reading but 4 years of trying to get into this book and failing. But I'm glad that I persevered.

This book was a fun and easy fantasy to read; it was much easier to get into than some of the YA fantasy that is being released at the moment. It had a feeling similar to that of A Darker Shade of Magic but if it had been written for younger children. There is the same idea of alternate dimensions that have different levels of magic in them, and even some that have different types of magic in them.

Although this book was a textbook fantasy novel (magic, a main bad guy and a lesson about magic) there was one defining feature that made it stand out: technology. In both of the worlds we explore, Blest and England, technology seems to be a big part of the world. Roddy uses a computer to look things up, the Kings Court travels by car and guns are used in fights. It was also set in modern times, which is pretty rare for fantasy, so it pretty interesting to see how magic interacted with skyscrapers and factories and all sorts of modern things.

I loved the characters in this book and it was surprising how much character development Diana Wynne Jones managed to achieve in such a short space. Roddy and Nick are so cute and I loved that they hated it each other at the start but slowly managed to become friends. It was also nice that the POV kept on switching between them so you got to see how everything intertwines.

The Merlin Conspiracy is definitely a good introduction to fantasy because there isn't a complex magic systems you have to remember. It also works as a stand alone, although there is another book before it, so you wouldn't even have to remember the magic system over several books. It's a fun, magical read that I would highly recommend to people who love magical realism.

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