The Magician King: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy)

by Lev Grossman | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0452298016 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 6/16/2017
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, June 16, 2017
I found this good-condition softcover on the charity-sale shelves at a local Hannafords, and nabbed it for another release copy. [There's a very good mini-series adaptation that I've been enjoying.]

I initially went into this book knowing nothing about it save the jacket-blurb, so I was vastly amused to find that it seems to be a darker take on Narnia, with a touch of Hogwarts in the back story! The book opens with four characters, Quentin, Eliot, Julia, and Janet, all kings and queens, riding through the woods in their magical kingdom of Fillory. There are notes in the text about how they'd come from the real world, where Quentin had assumed that Fillory was only a fictional land in a favorite series of books - until he'd studied magic at the secret school Brakebills, and eventually wound up as one of the four kings and queens of Fillory. "It wasn't what they expected. Fillory was a darker and more dangerous place in real life than it was in the books..."

The story takes Quentin through temptations - should he undertake what is clearly a new quest, or turn aside? - and eventually to a series of quests that at first echo Voyage of the Dawn Treader in ways delightful, hilarious, and increasingly dark. There are sudden trips back to the real world, with panicky attempts to find a way to return to Fillory, and an escalating series of tasks that must be done if Fillory - and perhaps the rest of the universe! - isn't to be demolished by the powers-behind-the-scenes...

Quentin is the main character here, and we spend most of our time with him, though the story interweaves with the VERY dark back-story of Julia, who was rejected from the exclusive magic school and learned her magic the hard way as a "hedge witch". This has led to amazing power - but to a loss of a treasured part of herself. We get glimpses of previous events regarding Quentin's lost love Alice, and the way in which Eliot (a delightfully snarky gay man who debated whether he should be a king of Fillory or a queen) and Janet (one of the original children from the Fillory books) all met, and wound up on the four thrones.

There's a talking sloth, quite the reverse of Narnia's dashing mouse Reepicheep - the sloth doesn't appear often, but has a key role to play late in the story. There are obvious nods to many other Narnian aspects, including a ram-version of Aslan, and the Neitherlands instead of the "wood between the worlds". The Neitherlands are key to this story, as it happens - their gradual destruction reveals how serious the threat to reality has become, and another character, Josh - who'd hoped to find a way into Middle Earth to hit up some elf chicks {wry grin} - winds up more heavily involved in trying to help Quentin and co. save all of existence.

There's plenty of action, puzzle-solving, relationship issues, tormented pasts and iffy futures, with prices to be paid for every choice that's made. It definitely makes one think twice about wanting to live in a fantasy world!

[There's a TV Tropes page on the trilogy and on the mini-series.]

Released 4 yrs ago (6/16/2017 UTC) at Daniel Webster Highway (See Text For Details) in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I left this book on a bench in the entrance of Not Your Average Joe's restaurant; hope the finder enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2017 TV Series release challenge. ***

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