Mark Reads ‘Deep Secret’: Chapter 4

In the fourth chapter of Deep Secret, Rupert attempts to break through the magical protection of Timos IX’s secret. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Deep Secret.

Chapter Four


  • Okay, let’s first acknowledge how great it is that as soon as Rupert goes home, he doesn’t take care of his deplorable hygienic state: HE PUTS THE DISKS IN THE SAFEST PLACE POSSIBLE WITH TONS OF MAGICAL PROTECTIONS ON THEM. Bless. Bless.
  • As sad as it is sometimes, it’s kind of refreshing that Jones is portraying Stan’s experience as one of boredom. It’s certainly not what Stan expected from getting another year on earth, but he’s confined to a single house for the entire year! That… that sucks, y’all. I’M SAD.
  • Despite this, Stan is still super polite as a disembodied house guest. He helps Rupert out! He asks if his music is too loud!
  • (He reminds me of Dennis from Angel just a little bit.)
  • But this does make me wonder what it was that those Up There want. Throughout this chapter, Stan constantly warns Rupert that he needs to stop getting involved with the Empire. It needs to fall apart, basically, and anything that Rupert does might push events in the wrong direction. But why? I mean, I can guess that those beings of Up There saw all the corruption and immortality and want the Empire to disappear, but what about those left behind?
  • This is why I enjoy that Rupert refuses to give up his sentimentality for Jeffros, Dakros, and Alexandra. They still matter to him, and he sympathizes with what they’ve had thrust upon them.
  • But before he spends three days decoding the disks he managed to get copied at the palace, Stan makes him send out letters to the potential new Magids. I’m guessing that Mallory is going to be the one who replaces Stan, since both he and Rupert are fairly excited about the possibility. Plus, she’s the one person they’ve made the most headway with.
  • That “Stanley diet” line is COMEDY GOLD.
  • After sending out the letters, I got to discover JUST HOW RIDICULOUS RUPERT’S POWERS ARE. Okay, so Magid’s can manipulate matter??? How exactly does this work? Obviously, he’s using magic, so “IT’S FUCKING MAGIC, MARK” is as good enough of an explanation as I deserve. But this dude reforms physical matter into other forms and the re-forms it to what he wants with his mind. HIS COMPUTER PROGRAMMING IS MAGIC. And I actually do like that Jones acknowledges that Rupert uses his Magid powers in his everyday job. If he can do this sort of work for the Magids – changing an Earth computer into an Empire one with magic – then it stands to reason that he’d use his powers for all sorts of everyday tasks.
  • Still, Timos IX is so much more clever (and paranoid) than Rupert ever believed, and at nearly every turn, Rupert has to contend with the fact that he isn’t winning. The first computer and disk MELT.
  • At least he’s somewhat consoled by a reply from Maree Mallory!
  • “Graceless.” YOU SHUSH, RUPERT. SHE IS WONDERFUL. It’s your fault you came up with the terrible “legacy” story.
  • I’m fascinated by the use of technology in this book, because I’m so used to fantasy novels not having much of anything modern in them at all. (Which isn’t commentary on the genre at large. I’m just inexperienced with fantasy as a whole and haven’t read much of anything that has an intersection of these two things.) Rupert is a programmer, and he uses that knowledge in trying to decipher the magical protections on the disks, and IT’S SO COOL.
  • Jones also uses this to hint at something to come, and I’m begin vague about it because I have no idea what’s happening. For example, Timos IX’s password ends up being “Babylon,” which is “one of the deep secrets of the Magids.” Do they mean the REAL Babylon or is it a codename? WHY IS IT A SECRET?
  • Jesus, there’s just so much information given to me. Who is Knarros? Why must you go through him to get to the heirs? What is Lixos? Does the oldest of the nine heirs get called on first? Where is Babylon?
  • Y’all, I love when I get to start new books. It’s so exciting.

The original text contains the words “stupid” and “mad.”

Part 1

Part 2

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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