Archives for magic

Book review: The Magician’s Land

Thrown out of Fillory and back in the non-magical world, Quentin Coldwater retreats to his former magical university in Brooklyn. Brakebills. He becomes a professor where he teaches his discipline, described as ‘mending small things’. Remember this, it will be important later. This is the final book of the trilogy by Lev Grossman and like book two, The Magician King, this final instalment is action-packed. The story moves between present and past, Fillory and earth, above ground, in the air and underground. Seeking adventure, and money, Quentin meets a new group of underground magicians and accepts a task for payment of $2m. On the team is Plum, who admits she once attended Brakebills too. In parallel we get the stories of Quentin, Eliot [still in Fillory] and Plum. In order to understand the threat in the present, we have to go back in time to fill in the real story of what happened to the Chatwin children [whose true adventures inspired the novels of Fillory]. And it becomes plain that the Fillory known by Quentin from his childhood love of those novels, is incorrect. The novels were fictional and Fillory is not what it seems. Depending on them all, is the very
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Categories: Book Love.

Book review: The Magician King

Quentin is now living in Fillory. And he is king, or a king, one of four human kings and queens who rule this magical land. In the first book of ‘The Magicians’ trilogy by Lev Grossman, we saw Quentin accepted at a magical university in New York and finally find his way to Fillory, which he thought was a fictional world from a children’s book. He is living his childhood fantasy, but he is bored. Life is like living in a 20-star hotel and he is getting fat. Then one day, out hunting the Seeing Hare, one of the Unique Beasts of Fillory – this world is full of magical beasts which can talk or have special powers – a new adventure starts. The big difference for me from book one of the trilogy is that the action starts straight away. All the setting-up has been done, the background is in place, Fillory is understood, key characters  are established. Most intriguing is the presence of Julia, who was Quentin’s love interest in the non-magical world, briefly at the beginning of the first book. Quentin was offered a place at Brakebills, the magical college. Julia wasn’t. But now she is a
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Categories: Book Love.

Book review: The Magicians

In the first sentence of The Magicians by Lev Grossman, Quentin Coldwater does a magic trick with a nickel. A human version of magic. Another series about magic, I hear you ask? Well this is nothing like Harry Potter. Quentin is due to sit an entrance exam for Princeton when he wanders into the grounds of a mysterious school in upstate New York. In a large room full of unknown teenagers, he sits the oddest test he has ever known. Then he is told he has passed and is accepted at Brakebills, a school of magic. For the first few months his best friend is a glass marble on which he practises his magic. This is an adult tale. Brakebills is not Hogwarts and Quentin is a young man on the cusp of adulthood, with lingering adolescent depression and lack of confidence. The teenage magicians practise their magic, get drunk and have sex. At his ‘youngest’ moments Quentin remembers the magical tales he loved as a child about a land called Fillory. When he is down, he wishes he could escape to Fillory. And at first, he thinks Brakebills might be Fillory. But it isn’t because Fillory, of course, is fictional. There
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Categories: Book Love.