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

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Length: 418 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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: 2388 KB
  • Print Length: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Publication Date: 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,084 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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80 of 95 people found the following review helpful By RRZ on August 22, 2011
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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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Astralwolf37 on 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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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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