January 16 2012

The Magician King

The Magician King by Lev Grossman is the sequel to The Magicians. It picks up two years (or thereabouts) after the events in the first book. I’ll presume you have read the first book for the rest of the review.
We rejoin Quentin, Juliet, Elliot and Janet in Fillory where they have settled down as kings and queens and are currently merrily hunting a prophetic rabbit. Things quickly become more complicated and Quentin continues to be not quite satisfied. He still wants an adventure. One main thread of the book then is involved with Quentin’s adventure(s) and the consequences thereof.
The second major thread (told in not quite alternating chapters) concerns how Julia was able to get magic. Thus, these threads happen in the time-span of the first book. As you know Bob, in the first book Julia had failed the exam to get into Brakebills. Unlike most of the test takers who failed, Julia remembered some of the experience and it gnawed away at her. She then delves into the seedy world of underground magic in a journey of discovery of both magic and herself–and the consequences thereof.
The fact that all of these actions have consequences–good and bad are what sets these tales apart from the “imaginary” Filory (and Narnia) books. You don’t just get to return to your comfortable life in England.
Quentin’s thread seemed to lag a bit at the beginning, but by the end everything ties back to that beginning and so it works out quite nicely as a reading experience. Julia’s thread was very interesting stuff–well told and (I thought) engrossing.
I thought this was a very well done sequel. It had a very good story all of its own and wasn’t just a bridge book to a future volume. If you liked the first book, then you should enjoy this one. Nicely done.

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Posted January 16, 2012 by user in category "Book review

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