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Deep Secret por Diana Wynne Jones
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Deep Secret (original 1997; edição 2001)

por Diana Wynne Jones (Autor)

Séries: Magid (1)

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1,6723810,318 (4.16)102
Rupert Venables is a Magid. It'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 forever. Unless... What if he could round them all up in one place? Simple!… (mais)
Membro:MabelPevensie
Título:Deep Secret
Autores:Diana Wynne Jones (Autor)
Informação:Harpercollins (2001), Edition: edition
Coleções:Para ler
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Deep Secret por Diana Wynne Jones (1997)

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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 little more sympathetic, 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 even more awful 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 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'!

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.

( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
A very readable and after a measured start, absorbing multiple world fantasy. The characters are over all a bit high on the quirk scale, but there are reasons. Some of the scenes at PhatasmaCon are screamingly funny, although there is a mild fat phobia on display. ( )
  quondame | Jun 22, 2023 |
I've read this book at least a dozen times, but never entered it into GR before. So it totally counts towards my goal of 52. Sue me. :) I still return to DWJ at least once a year, and her books always hold up to rereading. ( )
  caedocyon | May 8, 2023 |
I love this book so much and its a must read if you are as in love with DWJ as I am... On a different note, whenever I read this book I get an intense and somewhat unsettling déjà vu type feeling from the final chapter, as if Ive meet the people described somehow. Clearly this is ridiculous but in any case please send me a message if you have experienced this also.

Edit for 2021 reread: Maree is one of my all time favorite characters but the way I relate to her has definitely changed now that I'm a good ten years older than her. She is a feral baby and I love her. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Diana Wynne Jonesautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Bell,JulieArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mennim, PeterArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vess, CharlesArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Magid (1)
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In the year E.K. 3413, the following files were secretly obtained from the Magid Rupert Venables and, at the Emporer's personal request, deposited in the new archive at Iforion.
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I may as well start with some of our deep secrets because this account will not be easy to understand without them.
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Rupert Venables is a Magid. It'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 forever. Unless... What if he could round them all up in one place? Simple!

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