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Deep Secret
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Keeping the multiverse in balance requires MagidsÄpowerful magicians who are sensible, pragmatic and often very busy. One such Magid, Rupert Venable, is sorting out a crisis in the Koryfonic Empire while, on earth, he must locate the proper replacement for a recently deceased fellow-Magid. The Empire needs Rupert's talents to help locate missing heirs, and good Magid candidates are hard to track down. These plot strands tie neatly at a fantasy/SF conventionÄthe fictional PhantasmaCon in the equally fictional Hotel Babylon of Wantchester, England. Anyone familiar with such "cons" will appreciate Jones's accurate and wryly fond depiction. The setup works admirably as the plot thickens, for the con hotel is situated on a magical "node" of power; the appearance of a handsome wounded centaur brings little more than comments like "Fantastic costume!" As readers are hurtled toward a conclusion involving the guest of honor's speech, Imperial troopers and a bush-goddess, what might first be perceived simply as mere embellishment and rich detailing prove to be adroitly handled story elements of an intricate plot. Throughout, Jones (Charmed Life, etc.) combines strong writing, high fantasy heroics and delightfully dark humor to sparkling effect. (Apr.)

As the junior member of the society of magids (or mages) who oversee the affairs of the Multiverse, Rupert Venables assumes the task of finding a replacement for his dead mentor while simultaneously trying to locate the unknown heir of the decadent Empire of Korfyros. Both tasks come together during an sf convention in Britain, with wildly unexpected complications for Rupert and his fellow magids. The author of A Sudden Wild Magic (Morrow, 1992; Avon, 1994. reprint) displays a marked talent for lighthearted, engagingly written fantasy filled with tongue-in-cheek dialog and intriguing characters. A good selection for fantasy and YA collections.

YA-A romp through "the Multiverse," where reality, symbolized by the infinity symbol, contains numerous worlds ranging from "ayewards" to "naywards" and back again. The Multiversal balance between positive and negative forces is maintained by a small and unchanging number of Magids, powerful magicians able to cross the boundaries of worlds at will; still, though possessed of extraordinary talents, Magids are "only human." At the nexus of the Multiverse sits a politically backward Empire, and it is the misfortune of the most junior of all Magids, one Rupert Venables, to be assigned to oversee the Empire and all its worlds. As a new crisis is erupting, Rupert's mentor on Earth dies and, under a strict deadline, he must replace him. Attempting a sub-rosa interview of the people on his short list, he inadvertently brings them all together at a science-fiction convention that soon reels out of control. The best candidate for new Magid proves to be a young woman who irritates and upstages Rupert at every turn. Maree and her sidekick cousin, Nick, are eccentric, gifted, and plucky adolescents who should be familiar to teenaged graduates of YA fantasy novels; the two first complement and then prove instrumental in solving Rupert's problem with the Empire in a splendidly entertaining adventure. This should be a popular choice among readers of humorous fantasy and science fiction, and it will be a special treat for those who have already dipped their toes into the world of SF-fantasy fandom.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"An orchestrated riot, with tangled plots, bizarre doings, headlong pacing, and foaming wit."--"Kirkus Reviews"
A "lighthearted, engagingly written fantasy filled with tongue-in-cheek dialog and intriguing characters." --"Library Journal"

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