Book Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman
August 16, 2010
The Magicians is a very interesting read. There are definite overtones of both Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia in it, but The Magicians definitely has an adult edge to it. The main character, Quentin, is 17 when the book starts and probably about 22 or 23 when it ends. There are adult themes, so this is for the adults who liked Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia but want a more grown up version. There is even some fun made of Harry Potter - at one point, a student is confused and keeps talking about quiddich - and Fillory has some distinct similarities to Narnia.
Quentin, a Brooklyn teen, takes a wrong path one day and winds up at a college for magicians. After taking a grueling entrance exam, he is admitted, starting immediately. He leaves behind his parents and friends to start this new adventure. All his life he has been obsessed with a series of books based on the land of Fillory and how the Chatwins became the kings and queens of that land. Quentin is hoping that being a magician will be the start of his own Fillory adventure. However, magic isn't always as pretty, clean, and easy as he has read it to be. It is hard work, much more dangerous and much less fulfilling than he ever imagined. Through the years, there is love, loss, death, drugs, alcohol, and other normal college activities, as well as learning how to be a magician. Once out of college, the magicians realize that studying magic prepares them for nothing in the real world and they are at loose ends as to what to do with their life. Then the impossible happens. They find a way to Fillory. But Quentin and his friends learn that a magical land is not necessarily a good land.
The Magicians is a well written story. Grossman's writing can be a little tough to get around sometimes (he really likes SAT words), but the story is very riveting and the characters are real. They can be annoying and at one time, I really hated Quentin. They are just like friends I had in college, and remind me of the up and down relationships we had back then. I definitely recommend this to any adult who liked Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia.Tags: book review