The Magician King by Lev Grossman

72%

14 Critic Reviews

One of the pleasures of “The Magicians” was seeing the standard devices of the fantasy story...through the eyes of its pop-savvy characters...
-NY Times

Synopsis

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians, now an original series on Syfy, from the author of the #1 bestselling The Magician’s Land.

Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they’d hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia’s illicitly learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.
 

About Lev Grossman

See more books from this Author
LEV GROSSMAN is the book critic for Time magazine and author of the international bestseller, Codex. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published August 9, 2011 by Penguin Books. 14 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Aug 28 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Magician King
All: 14 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 28 2011

Fabulous fantasy spiked with bitter adult wisdom—not to be missed.

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NY Times

Above average
on Aug 26 2011

One of the pleasures of “The Magicians” was seeing the standard devices of the fantasy story...through the eyes of its pop-savvy characters...

Read Full Review of The Magician King | See more reviews from NY Times

Blog Critics

Above average
on Sep 18 2011

Fantasy with a nice healthy sense of realism is a nice change of pace.

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AV Club

Below average
on Aug 10 2011

...a plot that moved from incident to incident with only the barest connecting material.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
on Aug 09 2011

Beyond its sorcerous concerns, The Magicians delivered a sterling coming-of-age tale.

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About.com

Good

...complete with dragons, sword fights, tricksters, and pagan magic.

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Boston.com

Good
on Aug 09 2011

“The Magician King’’ is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy.

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Boing Boing

Excellent
on Aug 09 2011

...The Magician King is at once an existential exercise that angrily shakes escapism by its shoulders and demands that life have a purpose, and a story about extraordinary deeds, heroism, magic and love...

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io9

Good
on Aug 22 2011

...the contrast of Julia's story with Quentin's adds a lot more richness to the second book, and it opens up the world in a really rewarding fashion.

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Fiction Writers Review

Above average
on Jan 19 2012

Grossman’s fictional landscapes are consistent and concrete. The rules and consequences for magic are still absolute, and his fantasy settings retain the patina of the quotidian.

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Full Stop

Below average
on Aug 10 2011

...disappointing plot and occasionally silly clichés in language...

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Escape Pod

Below average
on Sep 04 2011

The overarching plot of the novel felt a bit forced to me — “complete this quest or all magic will go away”...

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Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Excellent
on Aug 10 2011

The Magician King’s interest in the morality of magic and the politics of Fillory is...a wonderful shift that speaks to Grossman’s ability to write a nuanced series that matures realistically at the pace of its main characters.

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The Kenyon Review

Good

He’s totally unashamed of his own sense of wonder and fun—unashamed, but not uncritical. In these books, the reader gets the sense of Grossman engaging every part of his personality.

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Reader Rating for The Magician King
77%

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