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The Magician's Land: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy) Hardcover – August 5, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 805 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Magicians, Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From Booklist

*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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Product Details

  • Series: Magicians Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; F First Edition edition (August 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670015679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670015672
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (805 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must agree with an earlier 3-star reviewer that I was not as enraptured with The Magician's Land as I had hoped to be--or as many other readers seem to be. I didn't buy the caper plot that animates the first third of the novel, and I really didn't buy the end-of-the-world scenario that drives the latter half: didn't we just go through that, in The Magician King?? (Grossman permits a clear-headed hippogriff--or was it a pegasus?--to mutter as much, but we flail on.) Any sort of backstory or explanation for the apocalypse--and Grossman had excelled at these, on the fly, in the earlier books--is missing; he seems to have decided that the trilogy needed a big flash finish, so here it is, the end of the world, Filloragnarok. The writing degrades the closer the novel gets to its conclusion. Old characters from other books pop up for meaningless cameos.

I was also disappointed that two of the possibilities I thought Grossman had so carefully set up in The Magician King--the transformation of the Neitherlands and the Far Side of Fillory--were barely touched upon in The Magician's Land. Yes, there were a few gaspable plot turns (cf. NYT review), and in the first half a few of the haunting set pieces that are the hallmark of Grossman's best writing: a segmented secret passage that includes dislocations in time and space; the excursion to Antarctica. We get a sliver of insight into Janet that we hadn't had before. And the object of the caper--that particular Fillorian MacGuffin--is worth it, even if the caper itself makes little narrative sense.

Something else's that's missing: the sense of psychological depth that the development of Julia's story (not to mention her distinctive narrative voice) lent The Magician King.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Finishing this book last night I felt sadness. Sadness because the trilogy had come to an end and my time with these characters and this land had come to an end. And that feeling of sadness is the highest compliment I could pay to this book because that means that the story truly touched me. That's rare for a book to do and speaks highly of how magnificent this story is. I think the last time I felt that feeling was when I finished Deathly Hallows back in '07.

Quentin was no longer a King of Fillory. Much like his antecedents of the Narnia books, he was no longer allowed to remain in Fillory and had to make his way in The Real World (no, not on that MTV show. Is it still even on?). But now he was back at Brakebills and was exploring what it meant to be an adult in the non-Fillory world. For those of you who would have wished for more writing about HP post his school years, then you will find much to make you happy here. Especially if you were a fan of Ocean's Eleven. And here we meet Plum and discover other old friends interacting with Quentin. The first half of the book is a crime caper on the Quentin side of things. But that's just half of the first half. The other half explores the goings on of Elliot and Janet and the rest of the Scooby Gang in Fillory. As an aside, the story of how Janet gets her new axes is one of the highlights of the book. And there we are also treated to a modern version of Narnia's 'The Last Battle'. Think about that for a moment. Let it settle in. You know what that means.

There is a certain sense of irreverence and whimsy permeating the book. There are amusing lines with wink winks to various Fantasy series's fan bases. Things like there being no female dwarfs because they don't exist. The book rewards those who are well read.
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Format: Hardcover
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Attributed (almost certainly erroneously) to Dr. Seuss, that thought sums up my feelings as I turned the last page of THE MAGICIAN’S LAND, the gorgeous final novel in Lev Grossman’s enthralling trilogy about a group of young magicians, their transition into adulthood, and the magical world that exerts an irresistible pull on their lives. “I wanted to see what happens when you take techniques and tropes from literary fiction and transport them, illegally, across genre lines,” Grossman said in a recent interview. Both in this novel and in the arc of this series, he has managed to accomplish that feat with impressive style.

When the THE MAGICIAN’S LAND opens, it’s been seven years since Quentin Coldwater, now age 30, was deposed from the throne of Fillory, the not-so-mythical land whose tales had been a source of fascination to him since childhood. In the real world, he has hit rock bottom. Bounced from a teaching position at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, he is now “just another striver, grim and desperate.” Along with a handful of other misfit magicians, he is recruited to retrieve a mysterious suitcase and promised $2 million in cash or gold if the caper succeeds.

Things aren’t much better in Fillory. Quentin’s friends, Eliot and Janet, the High King and Queen, are warned that “Fillory is dying,” but they’re powerless to arrest its rapidly accelerating decay as they watch the sun “spending its remaining thermal and kinetic energy on destroying itself and throwing stupendous curling gouts and ferns of fire in the air and erecting a vast pillar of steam reaching up to the sky.
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