The Magician’s Land Book Review

The Magician’s Land is the conclusion to the Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman (soon to be seen on Syfy as a TV show). If you missed it, you should check out my reviews of book 1: The Magicians and book 2: The Magician King. Beware of Spoilers ahead!

23398891Cast out of Fillory, Quentin Coldwater returns to the place his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. All too soon, however, his past comes looking for him, and Quentin sets out to face his fears and put things right—or die trying. Filled with riveting battle scenes as well as intriguing new characters and the return of beloved favorites, The Magician’s Land brings Grossman’s epic tale to its magnificent conclusion.
(source: Goodreads)

Grossman broke a little with tradition on this one and didn’t split it into four parts. I kind of missed it, but the flow was still pretty nice. It still switched between POVs though, namely the one of Quentin, the people in Fillory and new addition Plum. Also, there were a couple of chapters that were a story within the story and I quite enjoyed how everything just seemed to come together in the end. It was one of those everything and everyone is connected in some way.

So, Quentin really grew into himself and by now I actually cared about him and even liked him, which was just extremely difficult in the beginning. I am so glad he finally did get his Discipline, even though Minor Mendings seems pretty underwhelming at first. I love that they brought back Alice and that she and Q didn’t just go back to how everything was before – they actually have to start over which seems realistic after what they went through. A lot of the characters are still pretty crazy (especially Janet), but not everything is doom and gloom like it was in the Magicians. In hindsight, I have the feeling that the first book is not the best representation of the series and with its weird pacing and mood it probably put off a lot of readers from continuing with the trilogy.

It wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t show you the map of this book as well (unfortunately I didn’t find it coloured anywhere like the others were):

magician land

Fazit: 3.7/5 stars. It was funny and a great conclusion to the series. However, I am still not sure I would want to revisit it because it’s not one of my favourites.

In the end, my personal ranking of the books would be as followed:

  1. The Magician King
  2. The Magician’s Land
  3. The Magicians

Another book to scratch off my September TBR. What are your thoughts? Have you read the series as well?

The Magician King Book Review

I’ve done it! I’ve finally continued with the Magician Trilogy by Lev Grossman and can cross of the first book from my September TBR, namely the second book in the series: The Magician King. Despite my worries, I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than the first part! So, since I already reviewed the the first book The Magicians spoiler-free (click here to read it), this review will obviously contain Spoilers!!

10819920Quentin 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.
(source: Goodreads)

As I mentioned above, I liked this book better than the first one. The characters were a little less miserable or at least slowly figuring out what makes them happy. Also, the pacing wasn’t as terribly off, even though the structure of this book was very similar to the first one, separating it in 4 major parts as well.

Part 1: The gang (Eliot, Janet, Quentin and Julia) have ruled in Fillory for a while now and Q is getting restless. It’s time for an adventure.

Part 2: Q messed up, because his quest only brought him and Julia back to earth and that’s the last place they want to be. With the unexpected help of Josh and an Australian girl named Poppy they manage to get back to Fillory.

Part 3: A year has passed since Q and Julia left Fillory and Eliot took on what should have been Q’s real quest all along. He wants to be a hero, unintentionally ends up in the destroyed Neitherlands, but actually finds out what the quest to find the 7 golden keys is really about.

Part 4: Having all the keys, the gang saves the day by keeping magic from getting extinct. But Quentin has to pay the ultimate price for being the hero – never being able to return to Fillory while leaving all his friends behind.

The Magician King offered a detailed account of what happened to Julia while Quentin was in Brakebills and I have to say that I could’ve easily done without some of the chapters. I get that it was important for her overall journey, to really understand how the events of the book and her change came about, but I am not one to dwell in the past (at least not in books). Often I just wanted to keep reading about what happened in the present, but the Julia-chapters were strategically positioned to be in between cliffhangers. It’s not that her story wasn’t interesting, I just wish her chapters were even more succinct and on point. (even though I will give them that they were shorter than normal chapters) I guess I just really didn’t like to read the rape-scene towards the end …

This time around there were a lot of characters I would’ve liked to hear more about. I was really glad that Q took Benedict on the journey and even more devastated when he died. I think that character would have had so much more potential and then they just had to leave him behind in the Underworld. Also, for some weird reason I wanted Q to take the children with him (Eleanor and Thomas) even though that would’ve been a terrible idea. Questing is no place for kids! Still, I have hopes of seeing Eleanor again in the story and poor Thomas should get to go on an adventure as well!

There is another map in the book, I am glad they keep putting those in! (As I said, maps are always a plus!!)

magician king

So, ultimately there was a lot more excitement and action in The Magician King and I started to like Quentin a little better. In the end I just felt really sorry for him and it actually made me want to continue reading the series, which I am going to do right now.

Fazit: 3.8/5 stars. I am slowly warming up to Quentin and now I want to know how his story ends!

P.S. I have a hard time imagining any of the content from Book 2 in the upcoming Magicians TV show …

The Magicians Book Review

Despite my fears, The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman actually arrived in time for me to still read at least the first book and let it count for my August TBR. So, let’s talk about the first part of the trilogy!

magiciansLike 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.

(source: Goodreads)

Disclaimer: I want to say up front that this book isn’t extremely explicit, but it does include sex, drugs, violance and profanities.

I have a hard time expressing how I feel about this book. It was a bold move by Grossman to put 5 years worth of story in only 400 pages and I am not sure it paid of entirely. The book is split into 4 parts and without really spoiling anything I can tell you they are as followed:

  • Part I: It’s basically Quentin’s discovery of magic and his entire (!!!) 4 years at Brakebills, the magical university he attends. That part takes about half the book only.
  • Part II: Is the brief period after graduation and not knowing what to do really.
  • Part III: It’s the quest Quentin and his friends embark on.
  • Part IV: The time after the quest and the set-up for the next book in the trilogy.

Calling the Magicians a mix between Harry Potter and Narnia is somewhat accurate, although it is a lot more on the Narnia-side. Quentin has this obsession with Fillory, a magical land from his favourite childhood-book-series. A lot of what happens in Fillory happened in Narnia as well if I remember correctly and there are just a lot of similarities that can be drawn.

I think my major issues with the novel were the pace and the characters.  I would have liked to see more of the university rather than breezing through the semesters and just hearing about Quentin studying. There were really only two or three interesting scenes in that part of his life and it dragged a bit to read about it. Also, it didn’t actually make Brakebills that appealing. I mean after reading all that, I have no desire to go there and actually think I would fail the entry exams big time.
Then the characters. The only ones I kind of liked were Alice and Eliot (when he wasn’t drunk). But everyone was just so miserable ALL THE TIME. It didn’t make them very likable and it was just generally a downer … for me to truly embrace a series, I need to actually like the people in the book.

However, I did love that there was a map in the book (always a plus!) and in the end there were a couple of things that surprised me and I enjoyed it getting more fast-paced in the later parts. I am going to read the other books as well, but I doubt they’ll ever become one of my favourite series.

fillory

Fazit: 3.4/5 stars. I wasn’t overwhelmed but I can see why it would appeal to some people.

P.S. Stay tuned for my first thoughts about the Magicians TV show that will be airing on Syfy 2016!!