June 1, 2010

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians by Lev Grossman is a fascinating tale perfect for anyone who believes in magic, or perhaps got lost once (or twice) in a series of magic books themselves.

Book Description
The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world

”Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined. Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world-where good and evil aren't black and white, and power comes at a terrible price.”The Magicians

Want more? Read an excerpt from The Magicians by Lev Grossman here.

My Thoughts
The Magicians is based around Quentin Coldwater – an absurdly smart almost-adult set to embark on ridiculously hard classes at an Ivy League University. However, he instead ends up going to Brakebills - a college of magic.

Brakebills is not like any magic school in previous books I’ve read. The students there have to study insanely hard to get their spells right and have to memorize all kinds of conditions and exceptions to even cast a single spell. Even while attending a school of magic though, Quentin isn’t happy. He goes through emotions many college kids do, drinks, has sex, etc. This is no Hogwarts. It is much darker.

Quentin was obsessed about a series of books that took place in a magical land called Fillory. Even after he sees for himself that magic is quite real, he still wants to be in Fillory. Maybe then everything can be better. Perhaps the phrase that suits this best is, “be careful what you wish for.”

The Magicians is a page turner that sucks you in – be prepared to stay up all night reading to see what happens next.

Honestly, I was a bit undecided how I wanted to take this review. I liked the novel, I liked the characters, the story – mostly. I’m not going to give away the ending, but I will say that I don’t really like where the book went. Maybe the sequel: The Magician King (set for Summer 2011 release) will perhaps make some things right again in Quentin’s world in Fillory and Earth.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Magicians, Plume for providing me with a copy of this book for the review. All opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I was thinking about picking this up, think I will now, thank you.