by Diana Wynne Jones
Tor, 1999, ISBN 0-312-86859-6
A book review by Elisabeth Carey
The senior Magid responsible for Earth and the adjacent Koryfonic Empire (which is considerably more magic-infested than Earth) has died, and his successor has to recruit a new junior Magid, while dealing with the total disaster that the Koryfonic Empire has become in the aftermath of the assassination of the Emperor, who had m ade sure that his heirs were completely safe from being located and used against him while he was alive. Careful consideration of his problems yields the useful discovery that he can deal with the problem of recruiting a new Magid by meeting all of the likely candidates at a science fiction convention (Eastercon). It's not that simple, of course, and his problems not only become intertwined, but turn out to have been intertwined since before he became aware of them. Poor Rupert Venables, just trying to do his job, has more troubles than anyone should have in any two lifetimes. Great fun.