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The Magician King: A Novel (The Magicians Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Lev Grossman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (300 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.62
You Save: $7.38 (46%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians, from the author of the #1 bestselling The Magician’s Land.

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.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2011: This second volume in Lev Grossman’s celebrated series picks up just after the events of its 2009 prequel The Magicians. Quentin, Eliot, Janet, and Julia are now the High Kings and Queens of Fillory, a fantastic realm not unlike Narnia, and they pass their days “deliquescing atom by atom amid a riot of luxury.” To ease his royal boredom, Quentin embarks on a quest with Julia. Despite his romantic visions of heroic feats and easy accolades, the quest goes horribly awry, and they find themselves back in the depressingly real world of Chesterton, Massachusetts. With the help of seedy underground magicians, a dragon, and a young boy named Thomas, they undertake a desperate journey back to Fillory. Grossman’s writing here is sharp and self-aware, and the characters feel like people you actually know, but cooler: they are delightfully profane and dripping with irony, they are arrogant and shallow, they are finding their way in a magically perfect world that somehow still lets them down, and they are learning to fight for the things they love. The Magician King is a triumph of (and an homage to) modern fantasy writing, and a must-read for grown-up fans of Narnia and Harry Potter. --Juliet Disparte

Review

“Hogwarts was never like this.”
(-George R. R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones )

“A darkly cunning story about the power of imagination itself.”
(-The New Yorker )

“This serious, heartfelt novel turns the machinery of fantasy inside out.”
(-The New York Times Book Review )

The Catcher in the Rye for devotees of alternative universes. It's dazzling . . . A rare, strange, and scintillating novel.”
(-Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune )

The Magician King is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy.”
(-The Boston Globe )

“A spellbinding stereograph, a literary adventure novel that is also about a privilege, power, and the limits of being human. The Magician King is a triumphant sequel.”
(-NPR.org )

Product Details

  • File Size: 2092 KB
  • Print Length: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XFZ8X2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
119 of 129 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After the "Ever After" August 9, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Can it possibly be only two years since I read Lev Grossman's The Magicians? If you asked me about that novel, I would immediately tell you that I loved it. Apparently, that's about all I could tell you. Having just read Grossman's engaging follow-up, I regret not having reread, or at least brushed up on, the first novel. References to prior events were plentiful, and rather than jog my memory, they highlighted just how fallible it is. Hopefully yours is better, or you will take the steps I didn't prior to reading the sequel. Oh, and it goes without saying that if you haven't read the first novel, don't start with this one.

Nonetheless, my inexact memory did not keep me from enjoying the latest adventures of Quentin Coldwater et al. Even I recalled that at the end of The Magicians Quentin, Julia, Elliott, and Janet had left our world to become the co-queens and kings of the magical (and not fictional after all) land of Fillory. The end. I thought that was the end. It was a good ending, and I didn't expect any more. As we catch up with Quentin and co., they are living their "happy ever after." It's glorious. It's perfect. It's boring. To some degree, this has ever been the issue of life in a magical world.

Quentin is itching for a quest, but this is countered by the reasonable fear of screwing up a perfect life. When a safe-looking mini-quest comes along, Quentin goes for it--and screws up his perfect life. The mini-quest evolves into a major-quest with the highest of stakes. While this primary drama is unfolding, there is a second story being told in reflection. The Magicians recounted the education and coming of age of Quentin, Elliott, and Janet. Finally we learn what "hedgewitch" Julia was doing all of those years, and how she learned her craft.
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74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Characters didn't love, fight or hate August 22, 2011
By RRZ
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not as good as The Magicians. This book felt rushed to publication, as the author seemed to default to "the item magically appears so that quest could be completed..." theme over and over and over. My impression of the first book was that the reader would come to that same conclusion (that fortuitous events mystically occurred occasionally in order to move the quest along), but in the first book, such intervention of "fate" seemed indirect and subtle. In the sequel, the appearence of the missing items doesn't surprise the reader (or the characters within the story) and appeared to be the norm and not the exception.

I still love the author's books and his numerous references to modern events and terminology, but overall, the book was mildly disappointing. The first book seemed so "meaty," with exhaustive portions of the story containing riveting explanations of unusual people, places, events, emotions and relationships. (Who didn't love the development of friendships and antagonistic relationships at Brakebills?). The sequel, on the other hand, seems rushed, with very little for us to sink our teeth into. In the first book I found myself loving (and rooting for) many of the main characters and I empathized with so many of the characters in so many of the scenes. Who wasn't heartbroken when primary and secondary characters died in the first book?

In the sequel, the characters seemed to simply be scenery. They just seemed emotionally checked out and disconnected from each other (none of them seemed to rely on each other for anything in the least). I didn't find myself emotionally invested in the characters in the sequel.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Something went seriously wrong (Spoilers) January 1, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the first book despite its shortcomings and looked forward to reading this sequel. I even paid full price for both. Now that I have read the sequel, I can't say that I feel the same way about its inevitable follow-up.

We start with Quentin and the three people who picked him up at the end of the last book (Julia, Eliot, and Janet) well established as the rulers of Fillory. Like Narnia, which Grossman rips off even more blatantly in this book than he did in the last, Fillory has two kings and two queens. We skipped over exactly why or how this came to be and no explanation is offered in this book. We DO get a detailed explanation for how Julia became a magician without an acceptance to Brakebills. The story is interesting, but I disliked it for personal reasons. I just take umbrage with any person, fictional or non, who blames their failures on other people. Julia's story is filled with whining about how she deserved to get into Brakebills and she blames everyone except herself for flunking the exam that got her rejected in the first place. INCLUDING QUENTIN, which suddenly becomes a major plot point in the last ten pages of the novel. And since Grossman never establishes that she even WANTED to be a magician in the first place, her attitude is even harder to deal with. Why is she so determined to get into a world she never had much desire to join in the first place? She just wants it because she can't have it. And [BIG SPOILER ALERT!!] that story ends with a crazy rape scene that just pops out of the blue with zero warning and zero context or relevance. There's much to be said about a male author who subjects a female character to rape and then tries to use that as some kind of empowerment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written Second Book of a Wonderful Series
Just think this is a wonderful book which very nicely continues the story from the first book in the series. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Thomas Burka
5.0 out of 5 stars Aaaaaamaaazing
Totally brilliant sequel and also phenom stand alone book.... Funny, dark, beautifully plotted, just glorious to read. I'm heartbroken it's over.
Published 4 days ago by Virginia Gay
4.0 out of 5 stars but I like it. Watching the gradual maturation of the magician ...
Unusual take on fantasy, but I like it. Watching the gradual maturation of the magician is completely real.
Published 5 days ago by shopper
3.0 out of 5 stars there is so much really good literature out there
I've now completed all 3 books in this trilogy. I found all three weak in story line as well as character development. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Bernie Storms
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best!
As an author, Lev Grossman is a genius and ever as much a magician as the exciting characters in his books. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Larry S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Super sophomore effort
*Caution - What could be considered a potential spoiler exists in the last paragraph of this review. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Mary Kay Moran
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong voice, strong female lead
If you liked the first book in the series, you'll probably like this one, too.

My main criticism: the shifts in perspective between Quentin and Julia tend to be awkward. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Jacob P. Bentley
3.0 out of 5 stars I am not entirely sure how much I 'liked' the ...
I am not entirely sure how much I 'liked' the book, but I was intrigued that it was different and unique.
Published 14 days ago by T. Eng
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but not great
http://readfantastybooks.wordpress.com

It has been several days since I finished reading The Magician King and I still can’t decide if I liked it more or less than The... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Ashley M.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good read
Published 18 days ago by Jim Autry
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More About the Author

Lev Grossman is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels The Magicians and The Magician King. The third book in the trilogy, The Magician's Land, will be published in August 2014. The New Yorker named The Magicians as one of the best books of 2009. In 2011 Grossman was awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer by the World Science Fiction Society.

Grossman is also the book critic at Time magazine, and he has written about books and technology for the New York Times, Salon, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Lingua Franca, the Village Voice and the Believer, as well as NPR.

He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. He's 43, slightly built and probably wouldn't last long in a post-apocalyptic, eye-for-an-eye world.

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Topic From this Discussion
Could someone confirm the ending?
That was the end in the physical edition as well. I think the point is that he realized that the Neitherlands were recovering and growing in a new direction, and so could he.
Sep 29, 2011 by rcn |  See all 2 posts
Why are certain particularly philosophical segments of my kindle book...
I also bought the kindle edition, and didn't have that problem. I have noticed, I'll occasionally hit something (I'm not sure what) on the Kindle that brings up underlines in any book I read. It's fairly annoying.
Aug 22, 2011 by Catherine |  See all 3 posts
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