Downloaded book 3 before even done. I can't wait to see what happens next for Quinten and the whole gang.
The Magician King was an imaginative, enjoyable conclusion to the Magicians series. For the most part, I was satisfied with the main characters' development, the unexpected plot twists and turns and their resolutions.
The main character, Quentin is written relatably (though I imagine, not to some readers), The entire series is a coming of age story, and his particular development through teen angst to adult ennui in the context of a magical world is pretty compelling. Themes of never appreciating what you've got and always searching for the next best thing runs through the entire series. And while some readers may find this narcissistic, I thought it was an honest statement about maneuvering through young adulthood and learning to grow up.
Mark Bramhall was a weird choice for this series. His posh English accent at times made it painful to listen to his attempts at the colloquialisms of American youth. It was like listening to Jeffrey affect street slang on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air - except a lot less funny, and way more annoying. Bramhall's Aussie girl accent (for Poppy) was the vocal equivalent to nails on a chalkboard. A lot of the side characters (notably, Josh, Julia) were performed as overly simplistic caricatures. It was easier to imagine these characters convincingly fleshed out while reading the text myself, rather than listening to this depiction of them.
Yes, the pacing was good, always exciting with lots of unexpected and imaginative plot points.
The entire story line is good. Adult version of The Chronicles of Narnia at its finest.
All of them!
Yes. Julia's sacrifice.
No. I don't want to spoil anything.
To the author...please keep this going.
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
This series just does not deliver on any of the possibilities. This story is about a bunch of assholes who continue to be assholes and feel sorry for themselves because they are misunderstood assholes. It is tiresome.
I might listen again. I loved the stories.
I loved them all. They were all so different.
I don't know that I had a favorite. I did have a least favorite though. The performance of Poppy was horrible.
This trilogy was awesome! One of my favorite set of stories in a long time. The reader was a little slow for my tastes but once I figured out I could speed it up it got a lot better.
A university specializing in magic is the setting, but the true essence of the novel involves the relationship between students. Interesting parallel between our educational systms and the ranking of normal magicians and gifted magicians. Reminds me at times of The Tallisman by Stephen King, one of my favorite novels or all times. Some people have thought of this novel as an "adult Harry Potter" but I disagree. if you want a book that can take you way and maintain credibility and believability, you will like this one.
The conclusion to this anti-Harry Potter, anti-Narnia, disenfranchised youth series took us a long time to finish listening to, but was worth it in the end. Both the first book and the second deal with the concept of what does it really mean to be heroic. The protagonist in these books is not the anti-hero of the Thomas Covenant series and not the reluctant hero (Frodo) of the Lord of the Rings. Quentin is a disenfranchised youth who wants to be Harry Potter or Prince Caspian. Maybe even more like a video game hero.
While the first book takes the reader through the Harry Potter and Narnia-like fantasies, the second book becomes more of a Homeric hero's journey. Through out the series, no matter how many times you've been bitten, you almost believe Quentin when you hear the familiar phrase, "This is it! This is what I'm meant to do!" Maybe this really is it!?!?
You are also told the story of Julia, Quentin's old crush. A story of having to lose everything to eventually find herself.
Grossman pulls no punches, but ultimately everything means something. There isn't anything gratuitous. Everything is there to explore the question of what does it mean to be a hero. His humor, mostly nods to modern culture and popular fantasy/sci-fi, keeps the dialog clever. All well performed by the reader, Mark Bramhall, who seemed to fully embody the disenfranchised youth voice.
Not a book for everyone. It's a book that dares to insert reality into fantasy. Not something that is always welcome.
I was somewhat surprised to realize how much I was enjoying this return to the adventures of the Brakebills grads. Though still young, Quentin and his cohorts have grown. They are no longer so self-absorbed and have shed some of the angst and arty cynicism of their student days. Quentin seems even to have developed empathy, compassion and a certain sense of responsibility.
Filori still resonates of Narnia, which I took as a deliberate homage, down to the Talking Animals--but Narnia was never like this. Quentin, Julia and some Filorians (including a Talking Sloth named Abigail) set off on a voyage reminiscent of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," thinking they are sailing to a remote Filorian island to enforce taxation. Instead, Quentin finds himself on a quest to save magic itself from destruction at the hands of the old gods.
Some of the scenes are horrific, and in the tradition of this series, quite disturbing if you are more used to the gentle adventures of the Pevensey children. But the Filori stories are not for children; Grossman is unrelenting in his insistence that if magic is real and people can do magic, then magic is also going to be violent and terrifying at times, just as people sometimes are.
I found "The Magicians" an even better read than the first book in the series. The more mature characters were more sympathetic than their teenage selves. Because there was a clear purpose to Quentin's actions (he wasn't just thrashing around in self-destructive teenage misery), the story was more engaging and interesting. I'm looking forward to reading the next Filori book from Mr. Grossman (and hoping there IS one!).
Great if you like the magicians.
The book wasn't as much about the King as it was one of the Queens...I thought that was the only disconnect.