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The Magician King (The Magicians, #2) by Lev…

The Magician King (The Magicians, #2) (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Lev Grossman

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2,9741573,145 (3.89)162
Quentin and his friends are now the kings and queens of Fillory, but the days and nights of royal luxury are starting to pall. After a morning hunt takes a sinister turn, Quentin and his old friend Julia charter a magical sailing ship and set out on an errand to the wild outer reaches of their kingdom. Their pleasure cruise becomes an adventure when the two are unceremoniously dumped back into the last place Quentin ever wants to see: his parent's house in Chesterton, Massachusetts. And only the black, twisted magic that Julia learned on the streets can save them.… (more)
Title:The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)
Authors:Lev Grossman
Info:Penguin Books (2011), Kindle Edition, 418 pages
Collections:Fiction & Literature

Work details

The Magician King by Lev Grossman (2011)

  1. 00
    The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish (charlie68)
    charlie68: Same sort of magic teenage vibe.

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» See also 162 mentions

English (156)  French (1)  All languages (157)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
if you're here from my reviews, this is the other book that's ever made me cry. "That Quentin felt." ( )
  i. | Apr 9, 2020 |
Definitely better than the first one. ( )
  GigaClon | Mar 21, 2020 |
I think this book was beautifully written. It also had a lot of action, and lots of STUFF HAPPENS. But for all that beauty, for all that stuff that happens, it still felt a bit flat for me. Good, but flat. I guess it's not hard to imagine why a book the strongly features themes of clinical depression also feels emotionless and flat. It definitely shares this quality with the first book. Don't get me wrong, it was worth reading. ( )
  livingtech | Mar 18, 2020 |
This was a great way to give us an adventure while, introducing Julia's back story; which helps us to how much Julia paid to learn her magic. It was interesting, but confusing when they split chapters with two stories going at once. ( )
  MrNattania72 | Mar 17, 2020 |
It's Narnia crossed with Harry Potter, with a lot more sex, drugs, and debauchery--add in some David Eddings snark in the dialogue a la the Belgariad and a heaping plate of pop culture references, and you have Grossman's budding fantasy series.

I was not a huge fan of the Magicians. The concept, loved it; I grew up reading Narnia obsessively and was all too ready to identify with Quentin, the lucky boy who actually got to move to his magic kingdom. But the snark was overwhelming, I didn't particularly care for the spoiled-rich-kid characters, and I found the debauchery a bit overdone. The Magician King is MUCH, much better.

For one thing, the characters act like grown-ups. They are not obnoxious kids with too much money. They're royalty. And Quentin is bored. His boredom drives him into a classic Save the Universe fantasy plot, but it's good, it builds well, the characterization is well done, the writing moves quickly and is in spots genuinely lovely. Julia's sub-plot feels genuine.

And thank you, Lev Grossman, for writing female characters who feel like people first and women second, who have personalities, who don't just come on stage to be fucked by the hero and then waltz away again, who actually want power and are independent etc. I like your female characters and trust me, I am not easily pleased in that department, as any friend of mine who has ever listened to one of my fantasy diatribes can attest.

Also, so happy to see genuine subcultures here. If there's one thing fantasy generally lacks, it's complexity; Good is good and Bad is pure evil and there's no mix, and nothing but Good or Bad. Grossman builds a couple of complicted worlds with complictated people in them. In that sense this is much more mainstream or literary fiction and much less like standard fantasy.

But mostly it's Narnia for grown-ups, and without all that tiresome Christian symbolism. If you liked Narnia, read it. I'm looking forward to book #3. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
“Everybody wanted to be the hero of their own story,” Quentin declares, framing the novel’s theme in neat miniature. But by the end of “The Magician King,” he comes to realize that he just might not be. It’s a harsh lesson, and one that, in keeping with the preoccupations and innovations of this serious, heartfelt novel, turns the machinery of fantasy inside out.
added by melmore | editNew York Times, Dan Kois (Aug 26, 2011)
...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, surpassing, I think, the original. I can't wait for the next one.
Echoes from The Chronicles of Narnia [...] 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.
added by melmore | editKirkus Review (Jun 28, 2011)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lev Grossmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We shall now seek that which we shall not find.
—Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur
For Sophie
First words
Quentin rode a gray horse with white socks named Dauntless.
This would be his quest: collecting taxes from a bunch of backwater yokels. He had skipped the adventure of the broken tree, and that was fine. He would have this one instead.
Quentin had an obsolete sailing ship that had been raised from the dead. He had a psychotically effective swordsman and an enigmatic witch-queen. It wasn’t the Fellowship of the Ring, but then again he wasn’t trying to save the world from Sauron, he was attempting to perform a tax audit on a bunch of hick islanders. It would definitely do.
That water must be ninety percent E. coli, and the rest was probably diesel fuel. This was not a body of water intended for swimming in.
Fortunately Poppy turned out to be excellent at this kind of cross-country dead-reckoning navigation. At first they thought she must be using some kind of advanced geographical magic until Josh noticed that she had an iPhone in her lap. “Yeah, but I used magic to jailbreak it,” she said.
When you get to that level of power and knowledge and perfection, the question of what you should do next gets increasingly obvious. Everything is very rule-governed. All you can ever do in any given situation is the most gloriously perfect thing, and there’s only one of them. Finally there aren’t any choices left to make at all.” “You’re saying the gods don’t have free will.” “The power to make mistakes,” Penny said. “Only we have that. Mortals.”
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Book description
Haiku summary
The boy is now king
Happily ever after?
Fate has other plans(Jannes)
How much would you want

to give up after a quest

to be a hero?


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