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The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones
Diana Wynne Jones's latest young adult novel, The Merlin Conspiracy, centers around the islands of Blest, a place where the balance of magic is kept stable for all the universes that radiate from it. Blest's magic is tended by a Merlin and he dies of an apparent heart attack. Or was it murder? Two friends, Roddy and Grundo suspect an evil conspiracy is afoot, but the adults won't listen to them. Roddy casts a spell to seek help for another world, but that in itself could upset the delicate balance. The plot involves intrigue, mystery, magic, and a trio of children doing their best to save their universes. The Washington Post says of The Merlin Conspiracy, "It's a mystery as well as a fantasy, with plenty of comedy for fun and a touch of horror for scares. A novel as dense and complex as this one gives especially good value, as nearly all readers will want to go back to see what they missed the first time around."