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Whew, I sorta feel like I ve been betrayed by my own fairy godmother, but that was good. I m back on a comfort reading roll, and when that happens, I always turn to Diana Wynne Jones I d already exhausted the usual suspects, like Howl s Moving Castle, so I finally picked up Deep Secret I d forgotten how unabashedly weird and delightful it is Multiverses, conventions, and centaurs There is so much going on, and it is so good Jessica Yangfrom The Best Books We Read In January 2017 I m back on a comfort reading roll, and when that happens, I always turn to Diana Wynne Jones I d already exhausted the usual suspects, like Howl s Moving Castle, so I finally picked up Deep Secret I d forgotten how unabashedly weird and delightful it is Multiverses, conventions, and centaurs There is so much going on, and it is so good Jessica Yangfrom The Best Books We Read In January 2017 #FREE DOWNLOAD ⚟ Deep Secret É Rupert Venables is a MagidIt s a Magid s job to oversee what goes on in the vast Multiverse Actually, Rupert is really only a junior Magid But he s got a king sized problem Rupert s territory includes Earth and the Empire of Korfyros When his mentor dies Rupert must find a replacement But there are hundreds of candidates How is he supposed to choose And interviewing each one could take foreverUnlessWhat if he could round them all up in one place Simple One of my favourite comfort reads, and one that never disappoints This is so funny and on point about writers, fan communities, conventions and love and of course magic, multiple universes and all of the problems associated with trying to run a galaxy and I think I getfrom it every time. I read this at the same time as Fantasti Con due to the fact they were both set around conventions Maybe not a good thing as I sometimes was confused between the two conventions wondering where certain characters were But in the end I separated and enjoyed them both.This novel is set in an alternate or perhaps not universe where they are a group of people known as Magids whose job is, well it s a bit unclear They help their assigned worlds with various issues and help maintain the magical e I read this at the same time as Fantasti Con due to the fact they were both set around conventions Maybe not a good thing as I sometimes was confused between the two conventions wondering where certain characters were But in the end I separated and enjoyed them both.This novel is set in an alternate or perhaps not universe where they are a group of people known as Magids whose job is, well it s a bit unclear They help their assigned worlds with various issues and help maintain the magical equilibrium around the great Infinity I think It s not exactly clear One of Earth s Magids, Rupert, is tasked with finding a new Magid after his supervisor passed away There has to be the same number of Magids at all time At the same time as trying to check all potential trainees Rupert is called upon by the Korfyros Empire, a PITA he also assists, after a dramatic upheaval threatens to destroy the whole thing Throughout the book these two plots intertwine and inevitable become one It was a good book and quite enjoyable but the pacing suffered at times Sped up then slowed down then sped up then slowed down The book starts in Ruperts POV then abruptly shifts to the other main character, Maree, then forward and back I liked the way it showed both sides of what was going on but it did sometimes make things feel a bit repetitive I wasn t a fan of Nick and I think the characters of Rob and Andrew needed a bittime, same with Nick s mother My main issue was with the ending It ended rather quick and there was no closing POV chapter from Maree, instead we had the first and final chapter from Nick It made the book feel unfinished and left me a little disappointed Overall not a bad book though I think I will take a break from Diana Wynne Jones for a while now Fantasy Wikipedia is quick to point out that this book was marketed to adults I expected a little bit of romance, or maybe some salty language What I got was the gruesome death of several characters, including three children, a passing reference to an orgy in a stairwell, and a plot that stangled than usual From the very first page this was a struggle to read Not only is it missing Jones normally transparent prose, I didn t care about any of the characters, could not keep straight Fantasy Wikipedia is quick to point out that this book was marketed to adults I expected a little bit of romance, or maybe some salty language What I got was the gruesome death of several characters, including three children, a passing reference to an orgy in a stairwell, and a plot that stangled than usual From the very first page this was a struggle to read Not only is it missing Jones normally transparent prose, I didn t care about any of the characters, could not keep straight what was going on with Iforion due to the jerky pacing, and felt uncomfortable with the way fans and fannish behavior were viewed by outsiders I did like how Jones folded actual fantasy elements into the convention, and I loved the imagery surrounding thornlady, the disagreeable bush goddess, simple, yet menacing, the way the best enemies are.This has some nice moments in it, but the fantasy elements are of the type that use Capital Letters in place of actual explanations, and it just didn t feel real Also there was something REALLY WEIRD going on with the eroticisation of the teenaged centaur ALSO, when the main character picks up the almost lifeless body of his female companion, he describes it as one of the most sexual experiences he has ever had Seriously Yuck.Two stars I m calling this one a dud Well this was entirely not what I expected.That s a good thing and a bad thing all at once.The pacing was very odd, but I did like how we the reader are thrown into the middle of everything without much explanation, and the world just builds itself up from there. LOVED rereading this I m a great fan of Diana Wynne Jones work and came to this book with high expectations It is obviously pitched at adults and YA rather than the younger children a lot of her other work is aimed at, given the focus on two main characters in their twenties and the occasional sexual reference and one instance of f in dialogue, which I ve never seen in her other work However, I was left a little disappointed although there is a lot of good writing and interesting set pieces, possibly because h I m a great fan of Diana Wynne Jones work and came to this book with high expectations It is obviously pitched at adults and YA rather than the younger children a lot of her other work is aimed at, given the focus on two main characters in their twenties and the occasional sexual reference and one instance of f in dialogue, which I ve never seen in her other work However, I was left a little disappointed although there is a lot of good writing and interesting set pieces, possibly because her characters didn t grab quite as much as usual, and there were pacing and structural problems.The book starts with the POV of Rupert Venables who is junior Magid on Earth Magids are wizards who are responsible for keeping the multiverse, of which Earth is a tiny part, in balance Magids have various abilities, a key one being that they can travel from one world to another to get to wherever their services are required Rupert is stuck with the responsibility of helping a particularly nasty Empire world that has a number of other worlds under its thumb Early on in the story he has to attend a trial there, where he is shocked by the Emperor s verdict Soon afterwards, a major incident puts the whole Empire in jeopardy, and over the course of the book, Rupert is increasingly drawn in to try to help those who are fending off a civil war.When he returns from the trial, he discovers that his mentor Stan is dying Stan gives him a list of possible replacements, as Rupert will no longer be the junior Magid and must train the new junior The first candidate he manages to track down is Maree who is completely impossible so impossible that I found I disliked her also and the effect was slow to wear off Another character, a 14 year old boy Nick, is Maree s best friend He is totally self centred so is also rather irritating He goes on to appear in the second Magid story, The Merlin Conspiracy.After the first few chapters the story suddenly switches to Maree s POV, at which point I realised she was going to be important, and we do gradually learn why she is the way she is It did make her a littlesympathetic, but I still wasn t a fan Or of Rupert either, as he is rather bland and boring.Rupert has huge problems tracking the other possible Magids down and resorts to magically luring them all to a science fiction fantasy convention being held at a town which is a node of power where his troubles really begin, as all the other candidates turn out to be evenawful than Maree Someone is making mischief with the power they are drawing from the node And as the story progresses, it s obvious that whoever is behind the problems in the Empire is completely ruthless and will balk at nothing, including child murder Meanwhile, Rupert starts to realise that his feelings for Maree are changing.A lot of the story is about Rupert balancing his two heavy responsibilities finding a suitable person to train, and resolving the problems in the Empire as they escalate Pacing is uneven with the story dragging in places After the pivotal scene where Rupert has to return to the Empire to meet a certain individual with key information about possible heirs to the Emperor, things do swing into high action and it proceeds much faster The book is quite humorous, with the various characters at the SF Fantasy con sketched well and all sorts of farcical misunderstandings where the con goers witness magical events though readers may find the constant jokes about fat people rather wearing There are also clonky wrong notes that bring the reader to a halt with a bump such as when view spoiler Rupert picks up Maree who is, to all intents and purposes, dying and says he is puzzled to discover that, holding her like this, light, limp and frost cold, was one of the most sexual experiences I have ever had hide spoiler The structural problem that really grinds the story to a halt is the very odd decision to include the first person narratives of various characters in a big talky scene at the end, instead of dropping them in at the point where they would naturally occur Presumably this was to leave the fate of certain characters in question for longer, but it could still have been managed without having to shoehorn this whole section in at the end after everything was otherwise resolved, just so we found out what had happened to the rest of them This, added on to a long denouement scene at the convention, made the story reach a rather limp conclusion I love fantasy I love stories about parallel universes or the multiverse I love Diana Wynne Jones So why, exactly, did I not hear about this book until February of last year Which is when Goodreads tells me I added it to my stupidly enormous to read list I can only fathom that a Magid was at me, maybe effing around with my fate lines or something.Oh, what s that You don t know what I m talking about Well, I have a pretty easy way to fix that It s called reading this book Deep Secret is I love fantasy I love stories about parallel universes or the multiverse I love Diana Wynne Jones So why, exactly, did I not hear about this book until February of last year Which is when Goodreads tells me I added it to my stupidly enormous to read list I can only fathom that a Magid was at me, maybe effing around with my fate lines or something.Oh, what s that You don t know what I m talking about Well, I have a pretty easy way to fix that It s called reading this book Deep Secret is about Magids, a kind of practical wizard responsible for keeping the multiverse in balance magically the multiverse, of course, being the idea that there an infinite number of universes connecting in a chain on and on and on forever Magids hop from world to world doing their thing Rupert Venables has only been a Magid for two years when his mentor dies and he suddenly finds himself responsible for not only tracking down his potential replacements who are making themselves very hard to find and choosing one of them to train, but also finds himself in the middle of a burgeoning civil war brought on by the assassination of the Emperor of Koryfos, a set of worlds Rupert is assigned to So now he s got to track down all the Emperor s children that he previously hid where no one, including himself, could find them, because he was a paranoid git.But that s just the summary As I usually find with DWJ books, the real joy is in the execution Her characters have warts, lots of them sometimes literally They make mistakes and get angry for no reason, and they frequently find themselves wrapped up in situations they have no control over They are human in non human circumstances in this case, most of the book is set at a sff book convention It is so much fun Her stuff always has this lovely almost tangible feel to it that makes you want to move in to her books and stay there This is probably my favorite of hers since I read Howl s Moving Castle It wasn t without its flaws it is a bit dated, notably in the way she keeps referring to a certain character as fat , but I feel like it s the kind of book I ll end up coming back to over and over again until I can no longer find anything wrong with it and all that s left is love That s how it was with Howl for me, at least Speaking of, totally excited to re read that series later this year, and finally read the third book that came out in 2008, and that I ve owned since 2010 and have never read