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The Magician King: A Novel (The Magicians)…
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The Magician King: A Novel (The Magicians) (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Lev Grossman

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1,319955,901 (3.83)120
Member:CalvinBoesch
Title:The Magician King: A Novel (The Magicians)
Authors:Lev Grossman
Info:Plume (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Magician King by Lev Grossman (2011)

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This, the second book in 'The Magicians' series tells of Quentin and his friends in the imaginal world of Fillory. Some of the characters have come about their magical skill and knowledge via the channels of academia, while come about theirs in a more illicit manner -- learning from the magical 'underworld', if you will. Together they work to find the source of magic that is Fillory, without which it will cease to exist, and that very source is under attack. As with the first book, 'The Magicians', the tone of this story is dark, the energy is primordial and raw. There are things that can go dreadfully wrong, and they do.

Caution: Swearing and strong language throughout (unnecessary, in my opinion). ( )
  MomsterBookworm | Jul 14, 2014 |
This sequel to The Magicians is definitely not a stand alone book. You have to read the first one to understand the characters & their back stories. However, for the first time, we get to see Julia's back story, dark & sad as it is, as well as her evolution into something much more than the mere girl she started out as. Harry Potter these books are NOT. They are dark, full of choices & regrets, but also full of magic, wonders, & quests. Quentin is the tragic hero of the book, & even though I was really bummed at the ending, it left me mentally screaming UNFAIR, but then again, it drives home the hard life lesson that life itself isn't fair either. It did leave me hopeful for a third installment, to see what Quentin can do next, as well as what Bingle & Julia find on the Far Side of the world..... ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
I did not like this one as much as the first book, but it was still entertaining. Sequel to The Magicians, it got a little weird at the end with the god-complex thing, and I did not feel like the ending addressed the whole book. Really love his writing style though, funny and full of 'fucks'.
( )
  wluce12 | Mar 19, 2014 |
Sequel to The Magicians.
This review contains spoilers for that book.


As one of the four rulers of the Narnia-esque kingdom of Fillory, Quentin Coldwater has fulfilled a treasured childhood dream. His quest for meaning, though, remains unfulfilled. Quentin eagerly grabs the first adventure he can find, even if he’s only chartering a ship to visit a remote part of the kingdom to collect back taxes. While there, he hears a fairy tale about seven keys, and decides that he might as well try to collect them. His quest goes awry and suddenly, Quentin and his fellow ruler Julia are dumped back on Earth with no way to return to Fillory. As they plow into their new quest – get back to Fillory as soon as possible! – a parallel story in alternating chapters tells more about Julia’s life before Fillory, and her painful, grueling magical education.

One of the things that I love about this series, and especially this story, is the way that it turns many of the tropes of children’s fantasy on its head. Every good fairy tale may end with “happily ever after”, but as Quentin quickly learns ever after is both longer and duller than you’d expect. Chasing magical beasts and ruling a magical kingdom don’t really fulfill him anymore than sex, wealth and drugs did when he lived on Earth. Poor Quentin. He’s just another spoiled narcissist, and it’s a struggle to like him. But by the end I did find a soft spot for him, because all his life Quentin has believed that heroes get the glory and the honor, but he finally learns that he’s wrong: the hero is the one who makes the sacrifice.

Julia’s journey is also…interesting. Sorta. It has its moments as a grittier, darker way of learning magic, a sort of “street” version of the polished college education Quentin enjoyed in The Magicians. But after a while, it got to me. A large chunk of her story seems to involve Julia trading sexual favors for magic, and something in me rebelled and complained, “Why do women always get stuck using their bodies to get ahead? Why couldn’t Julia be the one who went to the preppy college and let Quentin be the one whoring himself out?”

The story also seems to go on just a little too long. Quests are certainly a valuable storytelling element, incorporated into many great works of literature, but in this novel, where one quest follows another and yet another, the story starts to drag and by the final third it’s really sluggish. ( )
  makaiju | Mar 1, 2014 |
this series feels like such a secret special treat. loved this better than the first. although this book did not have prose as flowery as the first...but the whole story seemed stronger. would love a third. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lev Grossmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Sophie
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Quentin rode a gray horse with white socks named Dauntless.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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?

(legallypuzzled)

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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)

(summary from another edition)

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