- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: William Heinemann (September 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 043402080X
- ISBN-13: 978-0434020805
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 792 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,003,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Magician King Paperback – September 1, 2011
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""The Catcher in the Rye" for devotees of alternative universes. It's dazzling . . . A rare, strange, and scintillating novel."---Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Lev Grossman was born in 1969, the son of two English professors, and grew up in a suburb of Boston. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in literature and went on to the Ph.D. program in comparative literature at Yale, although he left after three years without finishing a dissertation. After Yale, Grossman worked for a string of dot-coms while writing freelance articles about books, technology and culture in general for numerous magazines, newspapers and websites, until he was hired by Time in 2002 and became the magazine's book critic as well as one of its lead technology writers. He is also the author of international bestseller CODEX.
Top customer reviews
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Almost nothing is easy (even though, at times, some things seem disconcertingly so: mostly they're not, but sometimes, by grace, they are). Nothing is black-and-white. No one is immune, and everyone changes who can change. Those Who cannot change are Themselves, irrefutably, in ways that are not always convenient.
I'm rereading Grossman's trilogy because I feel like I'm in one of those parts of my life that fairy tales sum up as "ever after," but which shockingly never are forever and have a tendency to transition from the "after" of the last tale right into the "once upon a time" of the next. Grossman understands what it is to reach what looked like your "happily ever after," only to discover that it doesn't quite work like that. Deftly and surely, with rather a keen insight into human nature, he reveals that he understands.
The story dragged quite a bit. Yes, it's a long novel. I expect a little bit of drag. Not, however, the impending doom I felt every time I opened the book to reread the same few sentences over and over trying to keep anything in my head.
Our same band of extremely unlikable characters continues in Fillory, a wonderful world that's mostly a gory rip off of Wonderland and Narnia. Our antihero Quentin is now one of two kings of Fillory. And still not really worth a damn regardless.
Magical prowess beyond wonders, and he goes off the deep end over his ex, then screws an annoying secondary character that's around for a blink and gone.
The dual storylines between Quentin in the present and Julia in the past is the only thing that kept me reading, besides that I didn't want to waste money. Julia's past resonates with any person addicted to anything, she will do whatever it takes to get magic. However, the ending of the book was disappointing and underwhelming, and though I've been trying to chug through the third, since I purchased them all, it's been put on the back burner.
Lev Grossman's novels seem to be for people who enjoy reading dictionaries for fun. You can describe things to absolute death; description and entertaining writing are unfortunately two very different things.
I like this book much better than the first book. Quinton is older and the story has lost the comparison to Harry Potter and Narnia that the first book had. This protagonist has grown and matured.
He spends a lot of time being flung unexpectedly out of Fillory and trying to find his way back into the magic land. In his quest for seven keys, he seems to spend as much time out of Fillory as in it. While out of Fillory his path crosses once again with Julia. She has spent her time becoming a master hedge witch and her magic skills are equal to Quinton. She has her own regrets. She spends time with Free Trader Beowulf with tragic results.
She helps Quinton complete the quest for the keys, but the result is what neither of them expect.
Along the way, in interstitial chapters, we learn the back story of Julia. Denied entry into Brakebills, but remembering instead of forgetting, she charts her own course into the world of magic. And it is a far darker and more gritty journey than Quentin took. With far greater loss and heartbreak.
With extraordinary skill Grossman narrates a story that is best enjoyed if you are an adult and have lived a bit of a life already. This isn't a childhood journey of childhood discovery. This is instead more of a bildungsroman, where both Quentin and Julia complete spiritual journeys and we are invited along for the ride. Shotgun!
This second book is about a quest. Quentin and some of his companions are searching for seven golden keys, and their search will take them to the ends of the Earth— or of Fillory, rather. The writing is beautiful and poetic (I found myself reading whole paragraphs aloud to my wife, who is not a fan of fantasy but who appreciates good writing).
This cannot be read as a stand-alone novel or out of order and still make any sense. With that major caveat, it’s
Most recent customer reviews
and royalty being the complaint. Adventure being the cure. I am not a fan.