Like its predecessor, The Magician King follows Quentin Coldwater, now King of the fantastical land of Fillory, as he deals with the existential struggles of being a powerful wizard with a real personality. Subverting your expectations appears to be a favorite pastime of Grossman's two Fillory novels; just when you think you've got the course charted, along comes a fresh gust to blow the story into a strange new direction. This time around, Quentin's friend Julia fills the role of angst-ridden magician in the making, but her story is at once darker and more ultimately uplifting than Quentin's was. The story as a whole feels easier, less fraught, and less self-conscious than the previous book, even though it's arguably a more mature and thoughtful treatment of magic, desire and a person's ability to live with themselves and their choices.
I'm a professional dog trainer who loves to read. I have degrees in English and Adult Ed. I love well written books that take me away.
This magical fantasy had unexpected depth and heart. The characters came alive in my imagination and while I didn't want it to end, I couldn't stop listening. It was even better than the first book - which was very good. And everyone knows how rare it is for a sequel to be better than the original! Worth every credit $! I can't wait for the next one.
I didn’t think that the first book was that great; it was like Grossman was trying to hard to be clever and witty. At best I would say it ended with more promise than it began. On that note I thought I would give the second book a chance. Like most other reviewers have said, this book was much better the first. I still feel Quentin is whiney (though he does grow a little), and the best news is that you don’t hear much from the other characters from the previous book. What makes this book work so well is the story line with Julia. As I don’t want this to be a spoiler, I will leave it at that.
Not to be over looked is Mark Bramhall’s excellent job as a narrator. I could listen to this guy all day.
Married. Mother. Student. Full-time job. 33 years old. Doctor Who fanatic. Not necessarily in that order.
I enjoyed "The Magicians," but this sequel truly blows the original out of the water. The characters seem to solidify and I connected with them more strongly than I did in the first book.
One of the things I enjoyed about this book is it gave a more realistic, grittier telling of a fantasy quest. This book took so many fantasy tropes and turned them on their heads. I also really enjoyed the flashbacks to Julia's life after she was rejected from Brakebills.
The ending blew me away. It wasn't at all what I was expecting and it left me completely satisfied and with a sense of hope for what the future holds for these characters.
I deeply loved Les' first book in this series. It was touching, fascinating, and thrilling all at once. The performance was superb as well. This title is nearly as well constructed, and if it's at all inferior to the first book, it's only because the surprise of the incredibly interesting world The Magicians set-up is already established here and we can't be as thrilled by it. But Grossman creates an alternate world which, while less novel, is doubly more divergent and interesting. It is well crafted, but I found the climax and denouement slightly less satisfying than that of the first book- however, a sequel is clearly planned and it will be the first on my to-download list.
If you liked the first book, you'll like this as well. Think of The Secret History with a little less darkness and a little more magic and exposition. It's intelligent and entertaining, a difficult combination to execute well. Definitely recommended.
I loved this book and Book 1
It is a somewhat dark book. I know there are meanings within meaning for the reader.
Is this one persons imagination or dream.
But the ride is fun.
Mostly use audio books in planes these days. Know I really like a book when I find myself with earphones still on from home to hotel
The Magician King picks up where the 1st novel ends in the typical style of Grossman's narrative. The primary difference between this novel and the previous is the characters are a little less annoying. Previously, few redeeming qualities existed in any of the major characters. If there were 2 choices - the characters always took the baser, more vile option. In the Magician King, the characters are more believable because they sometimes do try to do what seems the better action. The narrative still is written at a cursory surface level - i.e. events or mythology get glossed over as if it would take too much time and effort to explore or explain things. But, in the Magician King there's at least a plot driver vs a meandering nothingness that was the first book. Biggest complaint is the ending - about as satisfying as Stephen King's Dark Tower ending.
Just as good as the first. Highly recommended
A grown up Harry Potter, with a twist
Super, Great, Amazing
I love Quentin and his dreamy look on life and the adventure.
My fav was when Elliot gives Quentin a good bye kiss.
Yes it was.
Great great book.
The first book was much more thought out than this one. The characters just seemed weaker all around. Some parts were very good, others will put you to sleep.