Aphelion Review # 20

The Merlin Conspiracy

A Fantasy Novel
By Diana Wynne Jones

Review by Dan L. Hollifield

Type of music/work:

Fantasy novel.


Diana Wynne Jones
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 0-06-052318-2 Trade / ISBN: 0-06-052319-0 Library

General impressions of the album/book:

This was the first of Diana Wynne Jones' books that I've read, and it made me want to rush out and buy more of her work. Great storytelling!


The characters are fully fleshed out and true to life. Each character shines out as a real person. I had no trouble accepting them as beeing as real as anyone I've known. They seemed to fit their own world as well as the other worlds that they traveled through. The background of the many worlds of the multiverse is a delightful playground for the reader's mind. Each different world has a flavor and character of its own. The different societies on the various worlds stood apart as being as individual as the characters themselves. And every character played a part in bring the adventure to life. Each little portion of the adventures are vital and fascinating. As the story skipped from one to another of the leading characters, I got the feeling that I was looking into a wider world, or worlds, than I had known before. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and hated each time I had to put the book down. I didn't know what I was missing out on before I got this book. Now I'll have to find more of Diana Wynne Jones' books.

If there was a flaw to be found in this book, it was that elements of it seemed to imply that there were other adventures that some of the characters have had in other books that sounded to me like things I would like to read also. The book stands perfectly well all on its own, but I think that I would enjoy it even more had this not been my first exposure to DWJ's work. I'll have to remedy that, and soon.

Background info:

Publishing her first book in 1973, Diana Wynne Jones has written over forty more in the years since. She has won numerous awards, a list of which can be found in the "About the Author" section of her website.
Review Copyright 2003 by Dan L. Hollifield

Aphelion Letter Column A place for your opinions.

Return to the Aphelion main page.