The Magician King: A Novel

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The Magician King: A Novel

by Lev Grossman

Viking Adult | July 23, 2013 | Hardcover

The Magician King: A Novel is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.
Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians

Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they''d hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia''s illicitly-learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 416 pages, 9.54 × 6.43 × 1.33 in

Published: July 23, 2013

Publisher: Viking Adult

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670022314

ISBN - 13: 9780670022311

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A terrific novel gets an equally terrific sequel In 2009, Lev Grossman combined an intense fervor for the fantasy genre with a talented imagination to his novel The Magicians, an ode to the Harry Potter/Chronicles of Narnia books sheathed in adult post-modern sensibilities. Following his fallible young 'hero' Quentin Coldwater through the rigours of (for lack of a better description) magicians college Brakebills, Grossman posited a finely-hued world made up of the realities of today and the possibilities of true magic. It ended on a note of melancholy, as Quentin — older, slightly wiser, and hardened through combat — re-entered the fictional world of Fillory to find what he sought: true adventure. It was a bold, absorbing work that left as all good novels of the genre do, on an uncertain note, as if there are further exploits to tell. Two years later, and here we are, presented with The Magician King, an immensely worthy follow-up that expands upon the themes of the original while further laying out a world many will desperately yearn to be true. If the Potter fanatics, now grown, are looking for a new sensation to whet their starving imaginations, this is the series to do it. King begins where most fantasy novels end: Quentin and his friends are kings and queens of the land of Fillory, growing fat, lazy, and bored. Unsatisfied, Quentin decides to explore beyond the limits of Fillory, to the rarely visited Outer Island, which was owing his new kingdom in back taxes. "It wasn't the Fellowship of the Ring, but then again he wasn't trying to save the world from Sauron, he was attempting to perform a tax audit on a bunch of hick islanders." Taking a cue from The Voyage from the Dawn Treader, Quentin commandeers the ship Muntjac, and sets out with Julia (his friend from Magicians who was denied entry to Brakebills) to see how far the limits of his royal powers can take him. To better keep the story grounded for the reader, Grossman also relates the tale of Julia, a secondary character in Magicians who proves herself a darker and arguably more interesting specimen than Quentin. Julia, denied a proper magicians education, takes to the back alleys and side streets of the world to learn magic the hard way. Her adventures, grim, gritty, and sexual, balance against the wondrous fantasy world which (as my experiences with Ed Greenwood have proved) can be a bit of a chore to read after a while. As always, the subtext of maturation weaves through the stories, Quentin coming to understand that wisdom and maturity do not simply come with age. The ending, as fantastical in setting as it is emotionally devastating in impact, comes through Grossman's expert handling of character (from my perspective, a true rarity in such novels). The Magician King is a work of maturity as well, an acceptance that there are gray areas to the human experience that cannot be resolved either through magical summonings or acts of heroism. Its only drawback is that I will now have to wait years for the promised finale.
Date published: 2011-09-01

– More About This Product –

The Magician King: A Novel

by Lev Grossman

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 416 pages, 9.54 × 6.43 × 1.33 in

Published: July 23, 2013

Publisher: Viking Adult

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670022314

ISBN - 13: 9780670022311

About the Book

"The Magician King" is a grand voyage into the dark, glittering heart of magic--an epic quest for the Harry Potter generation. It also introduces Julia, a powerful new voice whose angry genius is thrilling. Once again Grossman proves that he is the modern heir to C.S. Lewis, and the cutting edge of literary fantasy.

From the Publisher

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians

Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they''d hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia''s illicitly-learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

About the Author

Lev Grossman is a senior writer and book critic for Time magazine. He is also the author of the international bestselling novel Codex, the creator of the Time blog Techland, and a graduate of Harvard and Yale. He lives in Brooklyn. Visit levgrossman.com and techland.time.com.

Editorial Reviews

“Lev Grossman’s The Magician King is a fresh take on the fantasy-quest novel—dark, austere, featuring characters with considerable psychological complexity, a collection of idiosyncratic talking animals (a sloth who knows the path to the underworld, a dragon in the Grand Canal), and splendid set pieces in Venice, Provence, Cornwall, and Brooklyn.”
—The Daily Beast

“In this page-turning follow-up to his bestselling 2009 novel The Magicians, Grossman takes another dark, sarcastically sinister stab at fantasy, set in the Narnia-esque realm of Fillory.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“The Magician King is clearly the middle book in a trilogy, but it’s that rare creature that bridges the gap between tales and still stands on its own. And just as the first book showed that growing up is hard no matter how much power you have, it shows that becoming an adult involves far more than just reaching the right age.”
—The A.V. Club

“Fabulous fantasy spiked with bitter adult wisdom—not to be missed.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Fans of The Magicians will find this sequel a feast and will be delighted that a jaw-dropping denouement surely promises a third volume to come.”
—Booklist