Customer Reviews for

The Magician King (Magicians Series #2)

Average Rating 4
( 160 )
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(64)

4 Star

(53)

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(23)

2 Star

(10)

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(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Terrific, in spite of the shortsided reviews...

Grossman's world(s) of magic have the gritty texture of reality: rough, true, at times simultaneously horrifying and hilarious. While I understand other reviewers' repulsion for the tragic bits, I have to completely disagree. The first book, perhaps, borrowed from Har...
Grossman's world(s) of magic have the gritty texture of reality: rough, true, at times simultaneously horrifying and hilarious. While I understand other reviewers' repulsion for the tragic bits, I have to completely disagree. The first book, perhaps, borrowed from Harry Potter in that it was about a school for magic; the similarities end there. Somehow Grossman has created a world where magic is believable, hard, and accessible to the naturally inclined and the completely driven. The characters may be self interested, but if you've ever been aroudn the acedemically elite, you'll find this to be a completely believable portrayal of people obsessed with knowledge and power. Their faults are what seperate them from the glittery world of Harry Potter, where the good guys are perfect and the bad guys are evil. In Grossman's world, the answers are not so simple. This is a satisfying answer to questions left unanswered from the first book. I highly reccommend it for anyone who wanted realllllyyyy badly to like Harry Potter, but couldn't get over what a perfect little snot he always was.

posted by dWeng on January 6, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

Absolutely Awful

If this is anything like it's predecessor it is just terrible. The fact that they are comparing it to Potter again is an absolute travesty. The main character is completely self involved to the point of pain. The magical people in this book are the elite of the elite an...
If this is anything like it's predecessor it is just terrible. The fact that they are comparing it to Potter again is an absolute travesty. The main character is completely self involved to the point of pain. The magical people in this book are the elite of the elite and you couldn't possibly dream of one of them lowering themselves enough to be concerned with someone else.

In The Magician's they have no reason or desire to make any use of themselves in the world post school (magic and a large inheritance from the school pays for everything) so they sink into this drug induced stupor and only leave it when they discover an opportunity to go to Fillory (the knock off of C.S. Lewis's work) where they get in so far over their heads that the only slightly redeeming character is killed but then they just abandon another because he is injured.

They then decide that they are going to be the Kings and Queens of this world not because they deserve it, but because they can. There is no personal growth and not a deserving personality in any of this. I only tortured myself through this for a book club and only received satisfaction out of the read by discussing with the other readers how horrible it all was.

I normally don't revel in things like that and don't usually say bad things about others, but this is just that bad. The main character goes through the entire book which takes up a few years getting wonderful opportunity after opportunity but still continues to wallow in his own self pity deciding that the next big thing will finally make him happy. I can normally understand how someone can enjoy the things that I don't but the fact that this has been popular absolutely astonishes me.

posted by Curtisbk on September 12, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 161 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 9
  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Witty, Dark, captivating

    I was a huge fan of the first book and this was just as good. Trippy, mystical but with an irreverent edge that makes for some very fun reading. I loved the sloth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    Great!

    The sequel is just as great as the first volume! I finished this in one sitting. An excellent antidote to Harry Potter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Great sequel

    Absolutely fantastic and was a wonderful sequel to the original! Like the first, it had my mind reeling after I finished it and I can't wait for the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Okay read

    It was not a book that grabbed me and I had to read. It was just okay.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    A pure joy to read.

    I loved this and The Magicians. Both are great stories, wonderful, goofy, interesting characters. So much like our reality and our fantasy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This book picked up right where the last left off, and dove deep

    This book picked up right where the last left off, and dove deeper into the life of Julia. This was an aspect of the book that I really liked because you got to know all of her background that we never knew from the first book. At times I got frustrated because the chapters would switch from the current story and back to Julia’s past and sometimes I just wanted to keep reading the one story instead of the other. Also at times, especially during the beginning of Julia’s story, it was very slow but it always picked back up. Overall I did really enjoy this book probably more than the first just because there was more details. However I was angry again with the ending again, and wish the author would stop making such aggravating endings. I would recommend this book to people who think that they are too old for the Harry Potter books and want that same sense of wonder, but presented in a more sophisticated way. 




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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Awesome!!!!

    Hurry up with part three! Awesome series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    Like Harry Potter...all growns up!

    A fast-paced foray into a magical world that runs just outside the visible realm for most of us. A continuation of the protaganist from The Magicians, this is a much more adult look at a university-level magic school and the Narnia-inspired worlds they seek. Not at all appropriate for young readers, as it contains R language as well as adult situations. A great read for magical fantasy lovers, and anyone who wants to see what happens when college and post-graduates have access to sex, drugs, and magic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Wonderful

    Both books in this series are worth your time if you like the fantasy genre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Incredible read

    Incredible read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Not for me

    Unlikeable heros try to save inscrutable magic world but find their own diagreable personalitiesget in the way. Normally this tpye of series would appeal to me but i found this a bit trite and have no desire to read the others. This is not the first so i shoild have read others before but i dont think i would have liked the characters any better.

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    Very Good!

    Lev Grossman writes very well. Sure, the characters he writes about are not people I want to know. And I agree that the comparisons to Harry Potter are not really accurate apart from the Brakebills/Hogwarts comparison. Not sure about Narnia, which I've never read. However, I think this story is about the pathos of young people with the ability to perform magic. They have an exclusive power over the regular folk. The magic is secret and runs deep. I appreciate Lev's imagination at work: the main character Quentin's insecurities and selfishness, his yearning for love and meaning but usually screwing it up. He's inexperienced, searching for meaning and pumped full of hubris. I don't think Quentin is a character you're meant to completely like, a point missed in my opinion by several bad reviews. The only issue I had with the book was a rape scene. I won't drop spoilers, but that particular passage turned my stomach and left me angry the rest of the day. I'm not sensitive or squeamish, but rape is an abomination. I will read a third Magicians book if Lev Grossman writes it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Terrible!

    I read some reviews on this book and thought it would be right up my alley. However, it was unoriginal, I felt like I was reading a demented version of Narnia with some Harry Potter elements thrown in. The characters were un-relateable, self-absorbed brainiacs. The ending was ridiculous, I won't say what happens in case anyone actually does want to read these books, but when I was done, I wanted to throw it across the room. It sets up for a third one, but I don't think I could stomach it. I have had more than enough of this story line.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Good stuff

    I like.

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  • Posted December 1, 2011

    Engrossing and inventive--right up till the end

    Grossman challenges a lot of generic conventions with this series. Building on his "what would happen if they stayed in Narnia?" premise, this book is basically a contemporary "Voyage of the Dawn Treader". It's a fun and easy read, and it's incredibly engrossing. But then suddenly it just... ends. With a world stolen whole cloth from C.S. Lewis, you'd think Grossman would have time for a more satisfying denouement. So be careful on the last few pages, or you might get whiplash.

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not as good as the first one

    Where The Magicians was different with a compelling main character, an anxious, less-well adjusted and more interesting Harry Potter, The Magician King is full and aware of it's own over used fantasy arch types that the first book broke down. Deus Ex Machina abound propelling a largely reactive main character towards a conclusion that left me overall feeling unsatisfied and reaching immediately for something else to read.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    dd

    dd

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    Not as good as the first one.

    This book still had a neat magical plot but I did not feel that it was as good as The Magicians. I did feel that it dragged on quite a bit. The Julia chapters I found myself skimming through and generally disliking. I understand they were important for the plot but it made the story seemed forced. I feel like the open ending of The Magicians was a better ending for the books than this sequel. I'm not sure if there is another that I will read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2011

    Recommended... I liked his previous book....

    I will enjoy this one as much as The Magicians.....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    So disappointed!!!

    This book was recommended on the TODAY show earlier in the summer. I couldn't wait to read it based on the review the critic gave at that time. I am an avid fan of fantasy but this was horrible. Other than the idea of jumping to other "worlds", I was sooooo bored by this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 161 Customer Reviews
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