The Magician's Land - Lev Grossman


Okay, I'm not totally sure if this is just because I'm such a fanboy of Grossman, or because it really is that good (most likely both!!!), but I really love The Magician's Land.

This is the conclusion to The Magicians series. I don't totally know how to comfortably describe this series other than that it seems to be a combination of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, only with more swearing, sex, and raw magic. I think that sounds like a good thing. Right? In any case, I mean it to sound like a positive thing!!
Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.
To me, Quentin Coldwater is a character who, unlike Harry Potter, I can actually feel connected to, as he is completely flawed, misunderstood, and entirely held accountable for his own actions. Quentin, Plum, Alice, Eliot, Poppy, Penny, and Josh, are wonderfully realized characters throughout the series and are no less integral to the plot of this final instalment than they were in the first two novels in the series. Quentin's character development is fully fleshed out over the course of the series, and the realization of his flaws and his ability to move beyond these flaws really shines in this novel.
Even though he was almost thirty he was a lot younger than most of the faculty, and he was having a hard time connecting with them. Maybe it was the age things, or that he hadn't properly paid his dues yet, which was true. Maybe they figured he wouldn't be here that long, so what was the point. The politics of the senior common room were byzantine and involved a lot of power struggles to which he, as low man on the the totem pole, just wasn't very relevant.
Grossman's writing style is complex and intricate, combining elements of a thriller, a mystery, a fantasy, and a science fiction story. Though there are magical elements to the story, Grossman does his best to bring the magic to life and explain it as much as is possible throughout the course of the trilogy. The magical creatures, the land of Fillory, and the land of Brakebills are beautifully realized in such a way that readers will find themselves just as invested in the world of The Magicians as they may have ever felt with Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia.
Fresh tobacco. Black currants. God, it was so good. She kept it in her mouth for a count of ten before she swallowed. If there was any magic in this world that was not magic, it was wine.
This is a stunning conclusion to the series, and Quentin's magical prowess shines through with unimaginable depth and radiance so that Grossman's audience will be unable to forget the series for a very long time to come.

Highly Recommended

P.S. I love this line: "It didn't matter where you were, if you you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home."


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