I know what you’re thinking. And no, the book isn’t about that. This isn’t a conspiracy of Arthurian legend.

In this case, “Merlin” is an office title in an alternate-universe Britain (The Isles of Blest), and the conspiracy centers around that.

This is technically a sequel to Deep Secret, and picks up with one of the secondary characters from there as well as introducing a new character from Blest. However, there’s no real need to read Deep Secret before this one, though I’d say it was a bit more fun as a novel. Like the other, this book features an alternating pair of point of views, and I kind of think that stylistic choice was what made this a “series” for DWJ. This time however, it takes a while for the two separate stories to converge, but they do, and do so very well.

As is typical for a young-adult novel, we have a few teens who have stumbled into something big that the adults around don’t believe or worry about, and thereby hangs adventure. However, we do have a fairly good secondary cast of adults who are not helpless, as well as ones enmeshed in the conspiracy’s machinations.

The main trouble is that the plot does take a bit to get going properly. Thankfully, we have some good characters, and there is action right up front. It just doesn’t cohere into a single plot for a while. Once going, the book picks up pace nicely, and comes to a typical climatic ending with a lot going on all at once. Certainly not her best book, but if you enjoy her books, do read it.