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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 (401 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.99
You Save: $7.01 (44%)
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.

Books In This Series (7 Books)
Complete Series


  • 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: 2248 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:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,383 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    125 of 136 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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    76 of 90 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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    16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Here, Have Some Long-Winded Rage January 26, 2013
    Format:Paperback
    I loved The Magicians and was eager to gobble up the sequel. I tried to like it, and did at the beginning. True to a writer who theoretically understands form, the first chapter opened up a great story with a mysterious death and a quest taken out of extreme boredom. The plot quickly derails as they go island hopping, Quentin and Julia get stuck back on Earth and you learn about Julia's both obvious and absurd back story. This booked suffered from the lack of a tight plot, keen as well as sarcastic world building, and the character development that made it worth the trip to Breakbills/Fillory the first time around. The Magician King is more of the same hyper snarkiness without the cohesive adventure. The `tude was amusing the first time around, now it's tiresome.

    SPOILERS: Julia's back story is the true reeking turd of literary disgrace in the whole fantasy genre. Here's the gist so you don't have to suffer through it if you don't want to. As boring as Quentin was in this book, Julia was horrible. With Julia you get a first class ticket into the world of the genius IQ, manic depressive stereotype. The Harvard bound, privileged super nerd gets told no once when she fails her test to get into Breakbills and it's a steady descent into madness from there. She writes off her family and breaks their hearts, not once but twice, in the pursuit of magical power purely because she doesn't have it yet. She throws away her future at an Ivy League school and then ignores them completely. Then she sleeps and hands jobs her way around the underground magical community to learn all the magic she can, jumping the hoops and "leveling up" because that's all Julia the super academic knows.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars but I'm glad I read the first one before I tackled this
    This book could stand on its own, but I'm glad I read the first one before I tackled this. It's a cool series, and its primary conceit is that it's really a "what if your... Read more
    Published 11 days ago by David Wise
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book. Less whiny than the first
    Published 12 days ago by The Maverick
    3.0 out of 5 stars Lev Grossman does a great job with the "live action" scenes which are...
    One of the characters is indeed complex and interesting, but the others are generally one-dimensional. Read more
    Published 14 days ago by David
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Enjoyed this series thoroughly!
    Published 16 days ago by Michele R.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and great service.
    I ordered this a few months ago.

    It arrived earlier than expected, within 4-5 days, very nicely packaged and undamaged. No complaints at all. Read more
    Published 18 days ago by Savannah
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Fantastic read and a perfect follow up to the first.
    Published 19 days ago by Chase A. Greenlee
    5.0 out of 5 stars Read the whole trilogy
    Lev Grossman has a terrific ability to describe the magic so that you can almost see it and feel it. Read more
    Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    great reading
    Published 1 month ago by Gary L Melton
    5.0 out of 5 stars All is great, except the end
    I can't believe how incredible the second book in the series is. Quentin is a lot less whiny in this book, but he still has his issues. Loved it all - EXCEPT the end! Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Mommy2828
    3.0 out of 5 stars An overall disappointment
    Overall, this book is a disappointment, though Lev Grossman seems to hand out enough - enough interesting plot points, enough interesting description, enough wry humor - just... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by J. Jackson-Forsberg
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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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