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Deep in the forest of the magical land of Fillory a disturbing secret is discovered, one that could change the course of history and ruin many lives. As acting king, Quentin Coldwater embarks upon an epic mission, visiting the terrifying depths of the underworld, to uncover the key to saving his world
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"Lev Grossman's novel isfull of magic...stupendousurban fantasy ...The Magician Kingis Harry Potter for grown-ups who have learned to hate Harry Potter"
The Guardian||"Grossman's psychologically complex characters and grim reckoning with tragic sacrifice far surpass anything in C.S. Lewis' pat Christian allegory.Fabulousfantasy spiked with bitter adult wisdom-not to be missed."
Kirkus||"Somewhere betweenJuster'sPhantom Tollboothand Narnia, as told by Philip Roth. AndThe Magician Kingisn't just Quentin's tale-he is accompanied by Julia, his childhood crush, who wasn't accepted into magic school and went mad as a consequence. Now, broken and bitter, Julia's story puts the magic ofThe Magiciansinto a larger context, showing us that the orderly, neat magic of Brakebills College and its gentlemanly wizards are just one edge of a much larger, weirder tapestry that spirals off to the origin of the universe and the great powers that lurk there. Flipping back and forth between Quentin and Julia's story,The Magician Kingis at once an existential exercise that angrily shakes escapism by its shoulders and demands that life have a purpose, and a story about extraordinary deeds, heroism, magic and love -- all the stuff that makes escapism go. It's afantastictrick that makes this into a book that entertains and disturbs at the same time"
Boing Boing||"an excellent follow-up to a brilliant first installment. If you haven't read this series yet, I strongly urge you do so. It is a clever and engaging deconstruction of portal fantasy of the Narnia ilk. The characters remain interesting, sympathetic and nuanced. Grossman's writing is well-composed and well-paced. The humour is well-deployed and understated. The magic is interesting and well-devised. A superb follow-up toThe Magicians."
Civilian Reader||"Not since the seemingly never-ending wait for the seventh Harry Potter book have I been so antsy about a release. Lev Grossman's
The Magicianswas my favorite novel of 2009 by a landslide, cleverly combining aspects of classic fantasy with modern literature and pop culture. With the groundwork in place, Grossman takes us back to Fillory withThe Magician King, where Quentin is a powerful sorcerer and a royal monarch-and bored out of his mind. He embarks on a seemingly menial errand to collect back taxes from a faraway island, and stumbles into an epic and momentously important quest to save the magical world. Grossman's trademark eloquent-yet-hip writing style flourishes in this sequel,a creative and entertaining novelwell worth the wait"
Boswell Book Company
Quentin Coldwater is king of the bizarre and wonderful land of Fillory, but the days and nights of royal luxury are losing their appeal and Quentin is getting restless. Even in heaven a man needs a little adventure. So when a steward is murdered on a morning's hunt that is exactly what Quentin gets. But this quest is like no other. What starts as a flight of fancy, a glorified cruise to faraway lands, soon becomes the stuff of nightmares when Quentin is unceremoniously dumped at his parent's house in a decidedly un-magical suburb in Massachusetts.
Back in this grey reality, Quentin has never wanted his magical kingdom more. Fortunately he is accompanied by his old friend Julia, who learned her own brand of black and twisted magic outside Brakebills College at an illegal, underground school in the real world. As they struggle through the paranormal alleyways, past Venetian dragons and fairytale houses, it becomes clear that only Julia's black arts can save them. But there is a greater power at work, one that is threatening to destroy Fillory forever, and to defeat it they must unravel the secrets of Julia's tragic past, and the terrible pact she made to gain her power.
The Magician Kingis a grand voyage into the dark, glittering heart of magic, an extraordinary journey that allows the imagination to run riot and proves Grossman is the modern heir to C.S. Lewis.
Praise forThe Magicians
"Grossman explores the boundaries between fiction and reality with great imagination.... This is a dark, well-written book that takes the wizard genre into thoughtful places."