REVIEW: THE MAGICIAN KING BY LEV GROSSMAN

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Title: The Magician King
Author: Lev Grossman
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult
Pages: 400
My Rating: 5 stars

 

FIVE_CATS

 

“There was more to life than being fat and safe and warm in a clockwork luxury resort. Or maybe there wasn’t more, but he was going to find out. And how did you find out? You had an adventure. That’s how. You picked up a golden key.”

 

I really appreciated the humor in this book. It was present in the first book, but not as much, and it was overshadowed by all the negativity coming from Quentin. This time I was laughing to myself frequently, and it was over relatively random things that were thrown in here and there. Whether it was being told about Quentin’s horse in the very first sentence only to have it exclaim “son of a bitch” pages and pages later (“Dauntless was a talking horse. She just didn’t talk much”) or “Jesus Christ” being the new hip saying of the Filorian youth thanks to their new children-of-earth leaders, there was something funny and clever added in all over the place. Everything that happened in the plot was just bizarre enough to make sense while constantly throwing things at you from left field. You never knew if a moment was just something said or done in passing, or if it would really matter later on in the story.

Pros:
– a functioning telescope that can also see a bit backwards in time, beetles that poop gold, islands that rearrange because they don’t like being put on a map, a makeshift magical transit system (via mirrors)
– a trip to Venice, a trip to an island at the end of the world, dragons that live in canals, an island where no one can tell a lie
– way more adventure!

 

Having the characters spend time on Earth and time in Fillory helped to break the story up a bit, as did the inclusion of Julia’s past. Her “street style” magic and how she learned it was really interesting to me, especially how important and respected she ended up being in that crowd. The introduction of all her internet friends was a bit hard to keep track of, but all in all I enjoyed her POV and getting to see the missing side of everything that has happened so far. There was also a hint of some character progression, not as much as I would have liked, but I have a feeling the foundation is being set for some major changes to come.

 

“You wish to be a hero, but you do not know what a hero is.
You think a hero is one who wins. But a hero must be prepared to lose, Quentin. Are you? Are you prepared to lose everything?”
“I’ve already lost everything,” he said.
“Oh, no. You have so much more left to lose.”

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