- Series: Magicians Trilogy (Book 3)
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Viking; First Edition edition (August 5, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670015679
- ISBN-13: 978-0670015672
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 980 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Magician's Land: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 5, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2014: In The Magician's Land, the third book in Lev Grossman's Magicians series, Quentin Coldwater returns as a jaded, slightly humbled, white-haired 30-year-old whose life hasn't turned out exactly as he thought he would--exiled from both the magical land of Fillory and then fired from the magic school Brakebills in quick succession. The series, infused with heavy doses of Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, and Lord of the Rings, used these fantasy tropes in the first two books to explore adolescent alienation and twenty-something excess. Now, Grossman ushers the sarcastic, pretentious, and flawed cast of magicians into a painful maturity. Traumas from their youth tinge their life with regret, love lost doesn't stay lost, and magic--which despite making almost anything possible--doesn't simplify the complexity of adulthood. This is a book about grown-up fantasy nerds for grown-up fantasy nerds, but it's also a page-turner with some serious literary ambition. Adult readers longing for that lost childhood sense of awe that can only be found in make-believe will feel it here, the best and most mature book in the series. --Matt Kaye
*Starred Review* The third and concluding volume in Grossman’s epic Magicians trilogy finds former High King Quentin ejected from the magical kingdom of Fillory and, in short order, given the boot from a too-brief teaching stint at his old alma mater, Brakebills. What is Quentin to do? At loose ends, he joins a ragtag group of magicians—including Plum, an expelled Brakebills student—on a quest to find a mysterious case, contents unknown but presumed to be invaluable. Meanwhile, it appears, amid intimations of apocalypse, that Fillory is coming to an end, and the novel’s action begins bouncing back and forth between the kingdom and the real world, where Quentin and Plum are now living in a New York town house, with Quentin determined to use an arcane spell to create a new magician’s land. At this point, Quentin’s former inamorata Alice shows up; but wait! Isn’t she dead? Hmm . . . there is much more to the story, but suffice it to say that it is endlessly fascinating and always proceeds apace. In sum, this is an absolutely brilliant fantasy filled with memorable characters—old and new—and prodigious feats of imagination. At one point, Quentin muses, “Magic and books: there aren’t many things more important than that.” The Magician’s Land is ineffable proof of that claim. Fantasy fans will rejoice at its publication. --Michael Cart
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Join that with a glorious fantasy adventure and you have a recipe for success unequalled since Philip Pullman’s somewhat similar His Dark Materials trilogy. Neither Pullman nor Grossman espouses a world where bravery, virtue and a positive outlook resolve all. Rather, they appropriate the materials of epic adventure and the excitement of magic to write high adventures that feature heroes and heroines we could conceivably see as us, though more magicked of course.
All of the characters of the first two books come back in this one. Eliot, now High King of the magical kingdom of Fillory, formerly gay but more than that snide, is now responsible and much more human: he truly cares about the fate of Fillory, which is going through a crisis –well, not a crisis, more like Armageddon, the End, the alt-world’s final Running Down. Janet, bitchy as ever, is there to help him, but so are Poppy and Josh, and Julia, always problematic, hovers around the edge for part of the story. There are new characters as swell, most notably Plum, about whom I won’t say more than that there are surprises in her past that feed directly into the story and history of Fillory.
There is an even more startling twist to this story but you’ll have to read it to find out what it is.
There is a lovely but almost throwaway paragraph forty pages into the book that captures its essence: Quentin is back in Brakebills, ten years older and no longer king of Fillory, just a very junior and temporary junior instructor there.
"Pacing the aisles of a silent classroom, surveying the exposed napes of rows and rows of students bent over their fall exams, he realized he’d lost his old double vision, the one that was always looking for something more, somewhere else, the world behind the world. It was his oldest possession, and he’d let it slip away without even noticing it was gone. He was becoming someone else, someone new."
That’s what this book is about ultimately, growing up and becoming someone else, someone new. But en route the author tells us a rousing good story. These three novels are among the very best fantasy novels and also among the most grown up.
In reading other reviews, I feel that this book ends the series in a way that satisfies me and wraps up a few things we were wondering about. After blundering about for three books, Quentin gets to be a hero of sorts and restored Filliory with the help of Julia who has almost become a god. I thought she was gone after book 2 and I was glad to see her in this one. Perhaps the best part of this book, at least for me, was getting to known Janet a whole lot better. Prior to this book, she showed strength but seemed whiny and self absorbed. She still is but showed a resourcefulness that we had not seen before. Made her much more interesting.
Quentin, Elliot, Janet, Alice, Julia and Penny figured prominently in this book and at least for me it was nice to see them all together if even for a minute.
One thing I can truly agree with as far as the other reviewers are concerned, SyFy really screwed the pooch as far as the TV series is concerned. The show appears to have little or no correlation with the books. Sad, the books are so much better.
So, I enjoyed the books....mostly. I would advise anyone interested in this series to read the books first and only then watching the SyFy program, if you must.
Unfortunately, some of the major elements that carried the first two books were missing from “The Magician’s Land.” Mr. Grossman’s incredible description had dwindled to a shadow of its previous power, and an increase of vulgarities did nothing to fill the gaping hole. At times, it was almost as if someone else had taken the reins and had written the third book, especially where this spilled over into the dialogue between characters. On more than one occasion, Quentin or Eliot or Janet would say something that conflicted with the characters I had come to know. The overall effect was jarring.
What saved the book for me was the plot. The author created two separate storylines, each straining to reach the other before the last page was read. The ending was nothing short of epic, and not anywhere close to what I thought it might be. Even so, it had the satisfaction one feels when slipping the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle into place.
Perhaps I had expected too much, although once you show me how good something can be, I’m going to expect it to be as good, if not better, when I return. Although the plot kept me reading, the presentation was not up to the level I had enjoyed in the past. There are some fantastic moments here, but not enough for me to raise “The Magician’s Land” higher than three stars.