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The Magician King by Lev Grossman

The Magician King (2011)

by Lev Grossman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Magicians (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,8531533,201 (3.89)160
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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» See also 160 mentions

English (152)  French (1)  All languages (153)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
This book made a bad first impression on me. The beginning felt like it was horribly tacked on to the end of the last, and Quentin seemed extra-frustrating in the same way that Holden Caulfield frustrates me (though it says something about me that I related strongly to Quentin's what-the-hell-do-I-do-now ennui in the middleparts of The Magicians, particularly now that I am finished with my undergraduate education).

At some point I might give this a longer review. ( )
  prufrockcoat | Dec 3, 2019 |
When sequels change their tone and pacing and - especially - their perspective (for instance, weaving in a side character's back-story), I'm usually annoyed. Particularly when reading the books back to back. The shift is often enough to jar me out of the world and into critique or annoyance. Grossman handles these transitions surprisingly well, however, and I found myself completely pulled in by Julia's story. ( )
  daxjansen | Dec 3, 2019 |
Incorrect page #'s for sure. More than 14.
  magnetgrrl | Oct 15, 2019 |
This is even better than THE MAGICIANS, which I liked. There's a scene of the overtaking of a castle that's probably one of my favorite action sequences ever.

Some of the language is a bit drippy. 'Worlds kissing like cosmic cue balls' or whatever. Silly. And Lev's style of allusion is pretty stupid- he just outright mentions the thing. As a reader, allusion works best for me when I discover it on my own. It adds layers. Just being told something "is like this star wars thing" or whatever reads...lazy? Maybe not lazy, but meaningless (for me). Some rappers do a thing similar in feeling. They rap a line, then just say a noun, just #hashtag the line with a reference. It's funny and it's fine I guess, but I do like metaphor.

I'm criticizing this too much. I like it. I don't foray into 'popular' or 'young adult' fiction often, but I'm really glad I did here.


possible spoiler: does Lev have a human/fox sex fetish? ( )
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
I waited a long time to read this book, even though I loved The Magicians. I waited precisely because I loved The Magicians so much. I was worried that the sequel couldn't possibly be as good. The Magicians had a good enough ending that I didn't feel a sequel was entirely warranted.
The Magician King is good. But The Magicians is better. And just perhaps The Magicians should have been a stand-alone novel. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (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)

» Add other authors

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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Average: (3.89)
0.5 1
1 12
1.5 1
2 27
2.5 9
3 188
3.5 59
4 406
4.5 42
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