The Magicians by Lev Grossman
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 44 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, soon to be an original series on Syfy

The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this.”
—George R.R. Martin
 
“Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy.”
—Joe Hill
 
“A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre.”
—John Green
 
The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I’ve read this century.”
—Cory Doctorow

“This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them . . . an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story.”
—The New Yorker

“The best urban fantasy in years.”
—A.V. Club

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he’s secretly fascinated with a series of children’s fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .

The prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician's Land, The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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 May 22, 2009 by Penguin Books. 428 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Action & Adventure. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
1
Want to Read
1
Currently Reading

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Magicians

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Grossman (Codex, 2004, etc.) imagines a sorcery school whose primary lesson seems to be that bending the world to your will isn't all it's cracked up to be.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Harry Potter discovers Narnia is real in this derivative fantasy thriller from Time book critic Grossman (Codex ). Quentin Col

Jun 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

A novel of teenage sorcerers, hormones and all.

Sep 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

Continued on the next page Page 1 — Page 2 — Page 3 — Page 4

Jun 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Examiner

He also writes for the blog Nerd World, where geek culture is king (as well it should be – le roi s'amuse.) But it's Grossman’s latest book, The Magicians, available in the US on Tuesday August 11th, that really got the attention of The LA Books Examiner.

Aug 08 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Examiner

Let’s all be honest: each of us has our choice fantasy novel, a book from our childhood that we think is absolute perfection, some science-fiction tale that spins such beautiful images of an entirely fictional universe, which embeds itself not only in our mind’s eye, but in our heart’s as well, a...

Jan 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Star Tribune

See more reviews from this publication

Bestselling author Lev Grossman hasn’t spent much time in Minneapolis, but he calls it “the homeland.”.

Aug 08 2014 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

It’s unfair to judge something by the way it’s marketed—books by covers, movies by trailers, and so on.

Feb 07 2016 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

A remarkable novel imagines what it would be like to live as grown-ups in our childhood wonderlands.

Aug 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

A remarkable novel imagines what it would be like to live as grown-ups in our childhood wonderlands.

Aug 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

The Washington Post

"No one would come right out and say it, but the worldwide magical ecology was suffering from a serious imbalance: too many magicians, not enough monsters."

Aug 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Slate

They adopt her and spirit her out of the world, and Julia becomes a queen of Fillory, which is a magical other place, made famous by Narnia-esque children’s books on Earth, books stupid Quentin's been obsessed with his whole life;

Aug 04 2014 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

SF Site

Early on in the book, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing something by not having read the Fillory novels, and I spent about five minutes browsing through that site, and being upset that I'd never come across these books as a child, before I realized that they weren't real.) As may be o...

| Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Fantasy Book Review

Fantasy Book Review Book of the Month, July 2009.

Jan 17 2015 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Seattle PI

In each book, the children “find their way into the secret world of Fillory, where they have adventures and explore magical lands and defend the gentle creatures who live there against the forces that menace them.” As he does with the Brakebill/Hogwarts comparison, Grossman leads us along a famil...

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Lincoln Journal Star

Thank you for reading and relying on journalstar.com for your news and information.

Sep 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Vampire Book Club

Quentin, sadly, still doesn’t reach a point where he can formulate what he needs or wants in his life to be happy, and I think it will be something only attained at the end of the trilogy (hopefully).

Jul 10 2014 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

The Book Smugglers

As I said in my review, I hope teenagers won’t read that book because plenty of them are easily influenced and they could learn by reading this to live a desperate live without hopes or dreams.

Nov 27 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Literary Exploration

Not just a coming-of-age novel, Quentin will also discover that the world of Fillory from a children’s fantasy series he obsesses over is very real.

Apr 29 2014 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

http://bestfantasybooks.com

In this book, Week’s spends a good deal of time (more in this single book than the previous books combined) fleshing out and developing the characters.

Dec 22 2014 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

New Statesman

The committee didn’t reject her because she was deficient in accomplishments or her grasp of education policy, but because she lacked “passion”.

Apr 05 2016 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

My Bookish Ways

Where Book 1 is thoroughly magical, with a glittering patina of unreality, Book 2 is still magical, but is painted with the harsh overtones of the decidedly unmagical reality of living outside of the bounds of Brakebills.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

The Ranting Dragon

And The Magicians shows us — truthfully, I think — that the fantasy worlds we know and love in fiction just aren’t possible in real life, with real 21st century people.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Book Forum

Although Quentin has “painstakingly assembled all the ingredients of happiness .

Aug 14 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Between The Covers

From the blurb it sounds like a good read – a more adult version of Harry Potter – something YA readers would appreciate I’m sure.

Jul 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Persephone Magazine

Neatly divided into three parts — roughly school, post graduation, adventuring — The Magicians attempts to push past the fantasy aspect of these fantasy schools, highlighting the danger, the temptations, and surprising apathy of being a professional magician.

Jan 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Chick Loves Lit

The Magicians breathes life into a cast of characters you want to know–if the people you want to know are charismatic, brilliant, complex, flawed magicians–and does what Quentin claims books never really manage to do: “get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better.

Aug 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

http://flavorwire.com

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy is, in essence, a fantasy about the power of fantasy.

Jan 24 2016 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

http://flavorwire.com

I think whenever you go into a fantasy world, you re-encounter the real world there.

Aug 17 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

http://flavorwire.com

Yesterday in The New York Times Book Review, David Orr wrote, “Fantasy of any kind tells us that the world we know is not the only one, nor the most enduring — and that truth can be anything but an escape or comfort.” And yet, magical realism and fantasy have been creeping into our book lists wit...

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

http://flavorwire.com

Yesterday in The New York Times Book Review, David Orr wrote, “Fantasy of any kind tells us that the world we know is not the only one, nor the most enduring — and that truth can be anything but an escape or comfort.” And yet, magical realism and fantasy have been creeping into our book lists wit...

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

The Pacific Northwest Inlander

Humor is sprinkled liberally throughout, from realistic — unsurprisingly, most college-aged students spend an inordinate amount of drinking or trying to shake off the effects of it — to the deliciously absurd — “The faun burst into lame.

Jul 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

http://www.complete-review.com

- Return to top of the page -.

Jan 17 2015 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Buzzy Mag

I think we’ll hear that in the positive as well, but I guess I don’t really worry about it, because THE MAGICIANS as a story is knowingly inspired by HARRY POTTER, so HARRY POTTER and NARNIA are the touchstones of this story, and the point is that we’re telling an adult story about a world in whi...

Mar 21 2016 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Charlotte's Library

I used to live in London when I was very young so I didn't mind that sometimes the author tend to veer off into the history or the architecture of a building or location, rather makes me feel nostalgic especially when I recognised them.

Jan 20 2013 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Buzzy Mag

Subscribe & Never Miss A Post!(No Spam, We Promise).

Jun 03 2014 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Lytherus

It was absolutely amazing, and wonderful to read a book that addresses themes that weren’t addressed in HP, or explores different aspects of them: finding one’s place in an adult world, disillusionment and empty longing, a feeling of distance from one’s peers and friends;

Apr 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

So Misguided

A Canadian book blog: Publishing, marketing, books and technology from a Canadian perspective.

Aug 30 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Her Life With Books

The result is a book that feels very different than a fantasy novel (especially a children’s fantasy), which may put off those actually looking for a “Harry Potter in college” reading experience.

Dec 24 2014 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Staffer's Book Review

He’s secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a kid, about the adventures of five children in a magical land called Fillory.

Jan 17 2015 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

The Mad hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review

I CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL I CAN BUY THE NEXT BOOK, I LOVED , LOVED THE MAGICAN...

Jan 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Far Beyond Reality

The Magicians by Lev Grossman is one of the most frequently reviewed fantasy novels of the last few years, which isn’t surprising because the author is a well known writer (and book reviewer) for TIME Magazine, and the book was very effectively hyped as “Harry Potter with college age students.” T...

Feb 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

http://thealternativeone.blogspot.com

The Magicians is a definite must read and I enjoyed it so much that I purchased the second book in the series so that I could delve back into the world Lev Grossman has created.

Feb 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

https://www.bookbrowse.com

Search: .

Jan 17 2015 | Read Full Review of The Magicians: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Magicians
63%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 2038 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Caitlyn Conboy

Caitlyn Conboy 10 Nov 2016

Is currently reading the book

Sarra Moogski

Sarra Moogski 26 Oct 2014

Added the book to want to read list

×