Diana Wynne Jones’s “Deep Secret”


(Published 1997)

Rupert Venables is a Magid – one of a group of people with magical powers, who provide guidance to the worlds of the Multiverse. Although Rupert lives on Earth, he also has responsibility for several other worlds, including the worlds of the Koryfonic Empire.

When Rupert’s mentor Stan dies, Rupert has the job of choosing a new Magid, to make up the numbers. Stan has left him a list of candidates, so Rupert casts a magic spell, which will draw them all, unknowingly, to a science fiction convention hotel, so he can evaluate them. One of these candidates is Maree Mallory, a girl who has had an unhappy life, and whom Rupert initially finds quite irritating.

In the meantime, the Koryfonic Emperor is assassinated, but the paranoid Emperor had kept all his heirs secret, so Rupert must help the General find the heir to the throne, who not only is unknown, but could be hidden on any of several worlds.

While Rupert is trying to handle both these tasks, he senses sinister magical opposition from unknown sources. He also suspects that his mysterious superiors have a hidden agenda. As events develop, he wonders whether it may be necessary to make use of the Babylon secret.

I found this book engrossing, with an intriguing and a suspenseful plot.


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