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The Magician King: A Novel by Lev Grossman

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

by Lev Grossman

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1,4911024,980 (3.84)135
Title:The Magician King: A Novel
Authors:Lev Grossman (Author)
Info:Viking (2012), Edition: eBook, 362 pages
Tags:fantasy, fiction

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The Magician King by Lev Grossman (2011)



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English (101)  French (1)  All languages (102)
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Follows from [b:The Magicians|6101718|The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)|Lev Grossman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1313772941s/6101718.jpg|6278977] by the same author. Still feels a bit like Narnia meets Catcher in the Rye. The plot and the fantasy are just fine (for reference, I am also a fan of [a:Steven Erikson|31232|Steven Erikson|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1219169436p2/31232.jpg], [a:Guy Gavriel Kay|60177|Guy Gavriel Kay|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1218804723p2/60177.jpg], [a:China Miéville|33918|China Miéville|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1243988363p2/33918.jpg]), but it is the exploration of human character that makes this book.
  david_c | Jan 24, 2015 |
The Magician King, by Lev Grossman is the second book in the Magicians trilogy. So, how would I describe it?

Only slightly more optimistic. Not that that says much. In the first book, not much good happens. In this case, Quentin Coldwater—our stalwart hero—learns exactly what the hero of the story gets, absolutely nothing.

Compared to other trilogies I’ve read, The Magician King doesn’t suffer nearly as much from being the middle child as you’d expect. The story is self contained and wraps up fairly nicely at the end. In fact, if The Magician King had ended up being the end of a two part affair, I would have been satisfied with the ending. Far more than I enjoyed the actual ending to the trilogy.

Full Review:
http://sypherhawq.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/book-review-grossman-lev-the-magician... ( )
  sypherhawq | Nov 1, 2014 |
Wow, if I'd have written this review halfway through the book, which I regularly make the mistake of doing, it would have read a lot like my review of The Magicians: "Very entrancing read with some great innovations in the genre, but with crap characters that I only want to see suffer."

Grossman is growing as a writer and I think the Magician King is head and shoulders above The Magicians in many ways.

Quentin and Julia are much more well rounded characters than they or anyone else was in the first book and we see suffering lead to growth and a complexity of response to the world that was missing from the first.

I'll probably never share Grossman's elitism and he'll probably always write like an unbearable snob, but this is some of the most entertaining unbearable snobbery that I've come across.

By the time Grossman is middle aged or older, I think he'll be able to write some really impactful stuff, and I'm looking forward to reading the path he takes to get there. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
It has been several days since i finished reading The Magician King and I still can’t decide if I liked it more or less than The Magicians. I suppose I liked some of the things in this book more than in the other, but I also liked other things less.

Right after beginning the book you can tell that Quentin in going to be annoyingly depressed throughout the novel again. He became a king of the magical world from his childhood and he still isn’t satisfied with his life! It seems that no matter what he gets to experience, nothing is good enough for Quentin. Despite this drawback, I believe that some of the characters were slightly more developed. Quentin for one, and especially Julia since we spend a lot of the book with her. I really liked reading about what happened to Julia while Quentin was at Brakebills, and how she managed to learn magic. Her story was interesting, and I enjoyed her flashbacks and learning more about her. However, her character in the present still irritated me because she wasn’t much of one. Since the book doesn’t spend much time with Eliot and Janet, they weren’t developed any more than they were from the first novel. However, it was exciting to see what happened to Penny and Josh! I also liked Poppy!

The relationships between the characters in both of these books are much to be desired. It felt as if they are always confused about who they love or hate, and none of their relationships ever seemed to develop.

I thought the plot was pretty interesting, but it took awhile to get into it since it seemed like it wasn’t going to be very good. It was well paced and not overly complicated or predictable; definitely more developed than the previous novel. I loved that there wasn’t as much drinking and sex as there was in The Magicians. It felt like that is all that was talked about in the first book!

I was disappointed in this novel because Fillory wasn’t explored or discussed as much as I was hoping for. Most of the book is spent on Earth and the outer reaches of Fillory, which was interesting, but I was hoping to learn more about Fillory and its inhabitants. I think this just explains Grossman’s lack of talent for world building. Maybe in the next novel Fillory is more thoroughly discussed.

I have to say I liked the plot better in the first novel, but I liked the characters and other content better in this book mainly because it didn’t feel like everyone was always drinking and having sex, and Quentin wasn’t quite as depressed. I just liked certain aspects from each book, which makes it hard to decide which one I really enjoyed more.

Overall, it was a good book, and I would highly recommend reading it if you have read the first one even if you didn’t like it. You may like this one more. I can’t say that these books are anywhere near the top of my favorite list or that I would read them again, but they are worth reading once. I believe there is another book coming out soon, and I will be reading it just to see how the trilogy concludes, especially after reading the ending of this book. ( )
  AshleyMiller | Sep 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 101 (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 editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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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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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)

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