Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, hes still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.
He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesnt bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentins fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.
At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil arent black and white, love and sex arent simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.
I loved every page of The Magicians. For anyone who grew up reading fantasy, who started with E. Nesbit or The Chronicles of Narnia or awaited each Harry Potter release, who openly or secretly continued to read fantasy wondering if it was appropriate to be drawn to tales of magic as an adult, this is a perfect read. (Reviewed by Judy Krueger).
Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond.
Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken . . . beguiling.
The Washington Post
While this story invariably echoes a whole body of romantic coming-of-age tales, Grossman's American variation is fresh and compelling. Like a jazz musician, he riffs on Potter and Narnia, but makes it his own.
Genre fans will easily pick up the many nods to J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien in the climactic battle between the bad guy and a magician.
Starred Review. This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would also appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended.
Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided - fantasy for grown-ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed.
Starred Review. Deep fantasy fans can’t afford to miss the darkly comic and unforgettably queasy experience of reading this book—and be glad for reality.
An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting.
The Chicago Tribune The Magicians... blooms with grace and wit and imaginative brio. Grossman has a sense of humor as well as a sense of wonder.
George R.R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.
Junot Diaz, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Stirring, complex, adventurous . . . from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Mj The Magicians I typically love books that offer the excitement and mystery of fantasy adventures. However, I found The Magicians very disappointing. It touched on so many potentially interesting and creative ideas and places like Brakebills and Fillory... but... Read More
Rated of 5
by Katy Lee Interesting...but, a little disturbing too. I love the Potter books - and I have done my fair share of LOTR and CON reading as well - I am guilty as are the characters of this book of wanting it all to be more real than fiction.
The book draws you in with interesting "new" ways... Read More
Lev Grossman's Worlds
Lev Grossman was born in 1969, the son of two English professors, and grew up in Lexington, MA, a placid little suburb of Boston. After obtaining a literature degree from Harvard and working towards a PhD in comparative literature at Yale, he gradually turned himself into a journalist and after a few years as a free-lancer, was hired by Time and became the magazine's book critic as well as one of its lead technology writers.
In 1997 Grossman published his first novel, Warp. It concerns the lyrical misadventures of a Boston slacker who has trouble distinguishing between reality and Star Trek.
Codex followed in 2004 and became a bestseller. It is a literary thriller in the tradition of The Name of the Rose, Possession and The Secret History. It's also an unusual love story, as well as a love letter to the...
Research shows that 90% of Americans value public libraries(Dec 11 2013) According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, about 90% of Americans aged 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an...