My good friend Barry has been urging me for months to read this book. As a long-time fan of fantasy, I was eager to give this one a read. It’s been a few days since I finished it, and I still find myself digesting this really incredible book.
Quentin Coldwater is a high school student who feels like his life is going nowhere. His only pleasures in life are learning magic tricks and a series of fantasy books called Fillory and Further, about the children of the Chatwin family discovering a Narnia-esque world. On the day of his interview to Princeton, he gets transported to Brakebills, a college for magic. Although Quentin falls in love with Brakebills, he quickly discovers the darker side of magic.
Let me start out by saying that this is not Harry Potter by any means. True, there is a school of magic that the main character gets mysteriously transported to in order to learn that magic is very real. Quentin is like Harry in that he thinks of himself as just an ordinary nobody who is not special in any way. However, unlike Mr. Potter, Quentin never becomes a hero in this story. The Magicians is like taking the wonder of Harry Potter and throwing in more than a dragon’s share of real life angst.
The concept of finding a magical place has occurred in many fantasy stories. However, Grossman succeeds here in taking these expectations and turning them completely around. There are dark secrets at the heart of Quentin’s beloved Fillory. Also, all the characters are true to life and have very real flaws. I liked that about the main character is not a special hero. He’s just an ordinary person who is thrown into this magical life. Sometimes he makes very bad choices. There are no magical solutions. No happy “everything is fixed” ending. As a result, Lev Grossman has created a refreshing take on the fantasy genre.
This is the first book in a trilogy, so I’m really hoping to find the others. I would love to get some feedback from my dear readers. What did you think of The Magicians? Are the other books in the trilogy worth reading? Share your thoughts below and thank you for reading my blog.
“For just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever.”