The Magician King (Magicians Series #2)

The Magician King (Magicians Series #2)

4.0 178
by Lev Grossman
     
 

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Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians, now an original series on Syfy, from the author of the #1 bestselling The Magician’s Land.

Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret

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Overview

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians, now an original series on Syfy, from the author of the #1 bestselling The Magician’s Land.

Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they’d hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia’s illicitly learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] serious, heartfelt novel [that] turns the machinery of fantasy inside out.”

The New York Times (Editor’s Choice)

“A spellbinding stereograph, a literary adventure novel that is also about privilege, power, and the limits of being human. The Magician King is a triumphant sequel.”

—NPR.org

“[The Magician King] is The Catcher in the Rye for devotees of alternative universes. It’s dazzling and devil-may-care. . . . Grossman has created a rare, strange, and scintillating novel.”

Chicago Tribune

The Magician King is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy.”

The Boston Globe

“Grossman has devised an enchanted milieu brimming with possibility, and his sly authorial voice gives it a literary life that positions The Magician King well above the standard fantasy fare.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Grossman expands his magical world into a boundless enchanted universe, and his lively characters navigate it with aplomb.”

The New Yorker

“Grossman is brilliant at creating brainy, distinct, flawed, complex characters, and nearly as good at running them through narrative gauntlets that inventively tweak the stories that generations have grown up on.”

The Portland Oregonian

The Magician King, the immensely entertaining new novel by Lev Grossman, manages to be both deep and deeply enjoyable.”

Chicago Sun-Times

“Readers who have already enjoyed The Magicians should lose no time in picking up The Magician King. For those who haven’t, read both books: Grossman’s work is solid, smart, and engaging adult fantasy.”

The Miami Herald

“Now that Harry Potter is through in books and films, grown-up fans of the boy wizard might want to give this nimble fantasy series a try.”

New York Post

“Lev Grossman’s The Magician King is a fresh take on the fantasy-quest novel—dark, austere, featuring characters with considerable psychological complexity, a collection of idiosyncratic talking animals (a sloth who knows the path to the underworld, a dragon in the Grand Canal), and splendid set pieces in Venice, Provence, Cornwall, and Brooklyn.”

The Daily Beast

“In this page-turning follow-up to his bestselling 2009 novel The Magicians, Grossman takes another dark, sarcastically sinister stab at fantasy, set in the Narnia-esque realm of Fillory.”

Entertainment Weekly

The Magician King is clearly the middle book in a trilogy, but it’s that rare creature that bridges the gap between tales and still stands on its own. And just as the first book showed that growing up is hard no matter how much power you have, it shows that becoming an adult involves far more than just reaching the right age.”

The A.V. Club

“Fabulous fantasy spiked with bitter adult wisdom—not to be missed.”

Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

“Fans of The Magicians will find this sequel a feast and will be delighted that a jaw-dropping denouement surely promises a third volume to come.”

Booklist

The New Yorker

“A darkly cunning story about the power of imagination itself.”

The Boston Globe

The Magician King is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy.”

The New York Times Book Review

“This serious, heartfelt novel turns the machinery of fantasy inside out.”

NPR.org

“A spellbinding stereograph, a literary adventure novel that is also about a privilege, power, and the limits of being human. The Magician King is a triumphant sequel.”

Keith Donohue
Quentin is no Harry Potter. The other humans in Fillory are not the Pevensie children. This isn't a book for the kids. It's not your father's Narnia or your older sister's Hogwarts. Something sadder and more sinister has entered this fantasy: the modern world.
—The Washington Post
Dan Kois
…[a] serious, heartfelt novel [that] turns the machinery of fantasy inside out.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Grossman's stylish sequel to The Magicians smoothly fuses adventure fantasy, magic realism, and mythic fiction. It's been two years since Quentin, Eliot, Janet, and Julia have become kings and queens of the magical utopia of Fillory, but Quentin is becoming bored with his seemingly idyllic existence. Spurred on by a dark prophecy of the "Seeing Hare," "one of the Unique Beasts of Fillory," he and Julia decide to embark on a trip to a faraway island, but their voyage turns out to be more perilous than expected and they end up back on Earth. With no apparent means to return to their home at Castle Whitespire, they must somehow find a way back to Fillory and save their realm from imminent destruction. Grossman effortlessly injects innumerable pop culture and literary references (Monty Python, Harry Potter, Pink Floyd, the Lorax, the Teletubbies, etc.) into the fantastical storyline. Mainstream fiction and fantasy fans alike will find this fairy tale for adults rewarding. 10-city author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Grossman's sequel to his best-selling The Magicians returns to the magical land of Fillory as Quentin, Eliot, Janet, and Julia enjoy pampered lives as kings and queens. A sudden tragedy pushes Quentin and Julia to volunteer for a sea voyage to a remote island. What was supposed to be a routine trip turns into disaster when they are abruptly returned to the real world, with no way back to Fillory. The thought of remaining there is unbearable to both, so Quentin turns to old allies for assistance. Meanwhile, we see flashbacks from Julia's perspective of the long and difficult road she took to gain magical powers. Grossman's flawed characters struggle for what they want and often lose their way, a refreshing twist. Fillory's pointed resemblance to Narnia gets a bit tiresome, however. VERDICT This is best for readers who like some grit and realism in their fantasy and who have read the first book. [See Prepub Alert, 3/28/11.]—Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib.
Kirkus Reviews

Now a king in the magical land of Fillory, Quentin embarks on a quest to save the universe in Grossman's searing sequel toThe Magicians(2009, etc.).

It's been two years since Quentin assumed one of Fillory's four crowns along with Eliot and Janet, fellow graduates of the Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, and Quentin's high-school friend Julia, a Brakebills reject who managed to acquire magical powers on her own. Truth to tell, he's a little bored with his cushy life at the Castle Whitespire, so he seizes on the excuse of a tax-collecting mission to sail for Outer Island, rumored to be the home of "the key that winds up the world." It's an ugly surprise when he and Julia find the key and it dumps them back in their hometown on Earth. Searching for a way back to Fillory, they learn that something is very wrong in the Neitherlands, the mysterious embarkation point that leads to all other worlds, and that the key they found is one of seven required to fend off an apocalypse. Interspersed chapters flash back to Julia's dark adventures before she reunited with Quentin. She discovered a network of people sharing magical knowledge outside the approved Brakebills framework, and her prodigious skills eventually earned her entrance into an elite circle of brilliant, self-taught magicians seeking "an advance so radical it will take us into another league...we think there's more to magic than what we've seen so far." Indeed there is: The ancient forces recklessly summoned by Julia and her friends provoke a spectacular magical battle, a terrifying transformation for Julia and the loss of everything Quentin has ever wanted. Echoes from The Chronicles of Narnia, in particularThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader,continue to reverberate, but Grossman's psychologically complex characters and grim reckoning with tragic sacrifice far surpass anything in C.S. Lewis' pat Christian allegory.

Fabulous fantasy spiked with bitter adult wisdom—not to be missed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452298019
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/29/2012
Series:
Magicians Series, #2
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
15,975
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

“Lev Grossman’s The Magician King is a fresh take on the fantasy-quest novel—dark, austere, featuring characters with considerable psychological complexity, a collection of idiosyncratic talking animals (a sloth who knows the path to the underworld, a dragon in the Grand Canal), and splendid set pieces in Venice, Provence, Cornwall, and Brooklyn.”
The Daily Beast

“In this page-turning follow-up to his bestselling 2009 novel The Magicians, Grossman takes another dark, sarcastically sinister stab at fantasy, set in the Narnia-esque realm of Fillory.”
Entertainment Weekly

The Magician King is clearly the middle book in a trilogy, but it’s that rare creature that bridges the gap between tales and still stands on its own. And just as the first book showed that growing up is hard no matter how much power you have, it shows that becoming an adult involves far more than just reaching the right age.”
The A.V. Club

“Fabulous fantasy spiked with bitter adult wisdom—not to be missed.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Fans of The Magicians will find this sequel a feast and will be delighted that a jaw-dropping denouement surely promises a third volume to come.”
Booklist

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Meet the Author

LEV GROSSMAN is a senior writer and book critic for Time magazine. He is a graduate of Harvard and Yale, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters. In 2011 Grossman won the John W. Campbell award for Best New Writer from the World Science Fiction Society.

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