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The Magician King by Lev Grossman

The Magician King (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Lev Grossman

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2,1171303,102 (3.87)154
Title:The Magician King
Authors:Lev Grossman
Info:Penguin Group (Usa) (2011), Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing, Hardcover
Collections:Your library

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The Magician King by Lev Grossman (2011)

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» See also 154 mentions

English (129)  French (1)  All (130)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
My feelings about this book; writing from the perspective of teenagers while probably accurate doesn't make for great writing. References while adding colour for the initiated can become tired if over used. If I were to classify the book like a movie, PG-13, for the first part creeping into R territory toward the end. Do I recommend this book? It has good points but it is out-numbered by the bad and annoying. Not sure if I'll read the last one. ( )
  charlie68 | Nov 29, 2016 |
I think I liked the first book slightly more than this one, but this was a very worthy sequel. Captivating, and Grossman nailed the ending. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Some books you race through and wish they were twice as long, even when they are 700 pages, like Harry Potter. Some books you read slow and steady, but even if they are less than 200 pages, feel long enough, like The Ocean at the End of the Lane. And some books you read in furious but short bursts because you know you're going to be sad when it's over, but you can't help reading as fast as possible. The Magician King is such a book.

Any pacing issues or slow build-up to the main plot that plagued the first book (The Magicians) have completely disappeared. There's still a fair amount of "becoming an adult" angst, but even that was less grating since Quentin actually seemed to learn something in the end.

Lev Grossman skillfully weaves traditions and rituals and folklore and literature (etc.) together into something wonderful. Quentin gets off track while on a quest, with disastrous consequences for him, but in the end is able to rejoin the thread his predestined story: that of the titular Magician King. One of my favorite lines, when he finally meets the guardian of the thing he's seeking explains how aware this book is of the weaving together of plots and folklore, Quentin "was part of the fairy tale now, he supposed. He'd crashed through a shared wall into an adjoining story. Enter the Magician King." It's like when Indiana Jones meets the knight guarding the Grail. The mythologies aren't supposed to mix like that. But in this book they do, and it just works. The characters bring folk magic and comparative religion into it too, as well as the merits of institutional versus real-world education.

This book had everything from dryads and dragons to message boards and hackers: both of computers and of something more fundamental. I won't say more than that, only that you should get through The Magicians if for no other reason, than to read this sequel. I am definitely looking forward to the next book. That is the problem with starting a series before it's written: you have to wait for the next one! ( )
  jlharmon | Nov 3, 2016 |
Well, this was rather disappointing, to say the least. Aside from the fact that Grossman kept making blatant references to the fantasy stories he was inspired by (to the point where I was rolling my eyes), this was, for lack of a better word, ridiculous. Quentin's grittiness and cynicism that was refreshing in the first book (in terms of a fantasy series) is amped up to eleven here. It does no good for the story. Julia was the most difficult to tolerate. Her plot started as odd, twisted into obnoxiousness, and ended with bizarre and unnecessary grotesqueness. I won't be reading the third book. It's a shame. The series started out with promise. ( )
  EllAreBee | Sep 19, 2016 |
The adventure continues! I think I liked the first book more... but this one was still super awesome. Loved getting Julia's backstory for her lost years. Diving in to the third one now!


Poor Quentin. And poor Benedict!
Oh and poor Julia getting freakin raped by that crazy fox man god thing. Ew. ( )
  mleivers | Aug 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (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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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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