Deep Secret (Magids #1)
by Diana Wynne Jones
What is it about:
All over the multiverse the Magids, powerful magicians, are at work to maintain the balance between positive and negative magic, for the good of all.
Rupert Venables is the junior Magid assigned to Earth and to the troublesome planets of the Koyrfonic Empire. When the Emperor dies without a known heir, Rupert is called into service to help prevent the descent of the Empire into chaos. At the same time, the senior Magid on Earth dies, making Rupert a new senior desperately in need of a junior. Rupert thinks his problems are partially solved when he discovers he can meet all five of the potential Magids on Earth by attending one SF convention in England. However, the convention hotel sits on a node, a nexus of the universes. Rupert soon finds that other forces, some of them completely out of control, are there too....
What did I think of it:
Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones is one of my all time favorite books, so when I was asked if I wanted to read and review Deep Secret I jumped at the chance.
And this is a really fun book.
It is clear Jones must have loved the idea of multiverses. She used the idea in her Chrestomanci series, and uses it in this book as well. And I must say I love the idea of there being lots of worlds out there, some of them resembling our world, others being very different. I really enjoyed reading about the whole multiverse principle and how it's regulated by Magids.
Rupert is a relatively new Magid. He has the knowledge, but not the experience. He tries to make the best out of a difficult situation, but soon gets in over his head. He's a bit of a nerd, so I immediately connected with him and wanted him to succeed.
There's also parts of the book written from the point of view of another character: Maree. I had more difficulty connecting with Maree, I will confess. Part of it was how she was introduced from Rupert's point of view, part was her actual personality, which is a bit flaky. Luckily she grew on me. I very much liked her younger cousin Nick though.
The story is complex, and seemingly unrelated events later turn out to be connected, making this a read where you have to keep paying attention to what's going on. It's suspenseful, funny and full of action.
If there's one thing I can say against this book, is that a lot of stereotypes are being dragged out. Now of course this book is set largely at a SF convention, but in my opinion a SF convention is more than all the stereotypes that are paraded around here.
But it's a small grumble: overall I very much enjoyed this book, and can recommend it to everyone who likes a fun and good Fantasy read.
Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Fantasy read.