The heavily borrowed feeling of The Magicians was gone in The Magician King. Everything had a purpose. The story moved fast, but took its time. The philosophical that one yearns for in reading great literature, abounded. Fantastic!
If you're coming to The Magician King without having read/listened to The Magicians it will be a difficult read. It depends on a lot of context and information from the other book.
That said, I so enjoyed this installment of the series! Bramhall was the real star again; his narration and ability to bring characters to life and make sometimes dull exposition pop was truly a pleasure to listen to.
Grossman's pacing remains an issue for me, though less of one in this story than in the first book. The novel starts slow but picks up and in Quentin's story stays at a consistent pace that feels appropriate and comfortable. On the flip side, the occasional interludes of Julia's story make it difficult to enjoy the pace for long. While I loved finally hearing about Julia and what she went through, the interspersed flashbacks felt more like obscene and random interruptions than a coherent part of the narrative. I would have loved to have read about Julia's past... all in a piece, and if it were a paper book I would have purposefully done that and skipped those sections afterward which would have served me as a reader better. Likewise, the same issues I had with the tone toward certain characters cropped back up, but they were more manageable.
All in all, this was a great listen. I love Fillory, and while I'm not sure if I'll pick up the next installment or not, I really enjoyed this book.
The story was good. Lev Grossman tends to have one exciting thing at the beginning, then a lot of really boring build up before things get interesting again. That can be irritating but if you liked the first one you will like this one too. The only problem is that the narrator is pretty bad. He mispronounced a lot of words which made it difficult to stay in the story. He was good in the first one and when he wasn't mispronouncing things I enjoyed it. I'm going to give him another shot in the third book.
This book is excellent. When I listened to the first book in this series I thought it was ok, but this second book is excellent and truly gives an unexpected twist at the end.
I am not usually one for a tragic story but this one is so well done. The characters develop so much in this book, they are starting to grow up and it is a beautiful thing. Their growing pains are obvious and searing, but very worth it.
This one comes with some very unexpected plot twists. It is definitely worth the read, especially if you liked the first book.
Lev Grossman again leaves the reader feeling the need to snatch up the next book in the series and read or listen like a madman. I am completely obsessed with the Fillory Universe and I truly can't stop. Mark Bramhill brings the worlds to life, and even as I reread the stories, I hear the narration in his voice. Absolutely amazing!!!