The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, now an original series on SYFY
“The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this.”
—George R.R. Martin
“Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy.”
“A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre.”
“The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I’ve read this century.”
“This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them . . . an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story.”
—The New Yorker
“The best urban fantasy in years.”
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he’s secretly fascinated with a series of children’s fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .
The prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician's Land, The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Readers who’ve aged out of Harry Potter are psyched to encounter Quentin Coldwater: a Holden Caulfield-like teenager with budding magical powers. In Lev Grossman’s bewitching The Magicians, Quentin is plucked out of his Brooklyn adolescence to attend a secret and exclusive school named Brakebills. Unlike Hogwarts, Brakebills comes across as a posh boarding school, where alcohol, sarcasm, and raging hormones coexist with spells and wonderment. Grossman also teleports us to the realm of Fillory—think Narnia with more blood and guts and less Turkish Delight—where we’re launched on a clever, unpredictable, and dusky-dark adventure and coming-of-age fantasy.
Harry Potter discovers Narnia is real in this derivative fantasy thriller from Time book critic Grossman (Codex). Quentin Coldwater, a Brooklyn high school student devoted to a children s series set in the Narnia-like world of Fillory, is leading an aimless existence until he s tapped to enter a mysterious portal that leads to Brakebills College, an exclusive academy where he s taught magic. Coldwater, whose special gifts enable him to skip grades, finds his family s world mundane and domestic when he returns home for vacation. He loses his innocence after a prank unintentionally allows a powerful evil force known only as the Beast to enter the college and wreak havoc. Eventually, Coldwater s powers are put to the test when he learns that Fillory is a real place and how he can journey there. Genre fans will easily pick up the many nods to J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien in the climactic battle between the bad guy and a magician. 5-city author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Brilliant and enlightening
This is a truly brilliant piece of literature. It pays respect to prior fantasy works while criticizing them at the same time. The Magicians is ultimately a novel about the dangers of escapism and the misery it brings. The central message is live the life you have, you might not be happy, but running away from life always leads to misery.
Another central theme of the book is the link between language and magic. Grossman explicitly draws out how magic exists in the real world, it is just through words. The most transformative moments in the book are the results of dialogue between the central characters, much more so than any spell. Words can create love, sadness, destruction, and all other sorts of actions associated with magic. The wonderful writing and the choice of the fantasy novel genre to transmit this message is perfect.
Slow and depressing
The book is slow, not much happens. Plus, none of the characters are good people, or even like able.
A rather sad cross between C. S. Lewis and J. K. Rowling with none of the originality of either. Way too much teenage sex without any depth of emotion. I was bored silly with the ridiculous angst and "woe-is-me what is my purpose in life?". Sorry that I bothered with this one and won't read more of this author. Life is too short to waste on bad books.