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The Magician King: A Novel | [Lev Grossman]

The Magician King: A Novel

Quentin and his friends are now the kings and queens of Fillory, but the days and nights of royal luxury are starting to pall. After a morning hunt takes a sinister turn, Quentin and his old friend Julia charter a magical sailing ship and set out on an errand to the wild outer reaches of their kingdom. Their pleasure cruise becomes an adventure when the two are unceremoniously dumped back into the last place Quentin ever wants to see: his parent's house in Chesterton, Massachusetts.
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Publisher's Summary

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to The New York Times best-seller and literary phenomenon of 2009: The Magicians.

The Magicians was praised as a triumph by readers and critics of both mainstream and fantasy literature. Now Grossman takes us back to Fillory, where the Brakebills graduates have fled the sorrows of the mundane world, only to face terrifying new challenges.

Quentin and his friends are now the kings and queens of Fillory, but the days and nights of royal luxury are starting to pall. After a morning hunt takes a sinister turn, Quentin and his old friend Julia charter a magical sailing ship and set out on an errand to the wild outer reaches of their kingdom. Their pleasure cruise becomes an adventure when the two are unceremoniously dumped back into the last place Quentin ever wants to see: his parent's house in Chesterton, Massachusetts. And only the black, twisted magic that Julia learned on the streets can save them.

The Magician King is a grand voyage into the dark, glittering heart of magic, an epic quest for the Harry Potter generation. It also introduces a powerful new voice, that of Julia, whose angry genius is thrilling. Once again Grossman proves that he is the modern heir to C.S. Lewis and at the cutting edge of literary fantasy.

©2011 Lev Grossman (P)2011 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"[A] serious, heartfelt novel [that] turns the machinery of fantasy inside out." (The New York Times Editor's Choice)

"The Magician King is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy." (The Boston Globe)

"Grossman has devised an enchanted milieu brimming with possibility, and his sly authorial voice gives it a literary lift that positions The Magician King well above the standard fantasy fare." (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2446 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mor Ramat Gan, Israel 10-07-12
    Mor Ramat Gan, Israel 10-07-12 Member Since 2011

    Mor Shemesh

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    5
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    "Finally a (2nd) Masterpiece!"
    Would you listen to The Magician King again? Why?

    Of course! I'm addicted, this novel is a sequel to a magnificent masterpiece (and more than a worthy one at that).
    I'ts a real shame I can't be a magician...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Magician King?

    So many, and I hate spoilers...


    Any additional comments?

    Love the author, love the characters, love the store, waiting for more...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julie Albion, ME, United States 10-07-12
    julie Albion, ME, United States 10-07-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    13
    3
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    "fantastic!"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a wonderful sequel to the Magicians. If you love Harry Potter but would also like some grown up twists this is the book for you. The characters are very real and well developed. The book is well written and unpredictable. The reader is fantastic. He makes the characters come alive! I couldn't wait to get in the car so I could listen to it and since I am usually getting in the car to go to work this is saying a lot!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kat Fairfield PA, United States 09-03-12
    Kat Fairfield PA, United States 09-03-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun story; great reader"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes


    What other book might you compare The Magician King to and why?

    Shannara mixed with a mystery and action stories


    What does Mark Bramhall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    voice inflection adds to the story; bookreading makes me sleep


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    n/a

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack 08-27-12
    Jack 08-27-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    55
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    "Lev Grossman = Great Fun"

    This book and it's predecessor were creative and entertaining. If there is a third in the series we will get it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    luke 08-09-12
    luke 08-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    58
    24
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    1
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    "Starts slow but better than number one."
    Would you listen to The Magician King again? Why?

    No.... not quite that good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Julia... The gritty aspect of her story is what makes the book work.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Pretty much all of Julia's story


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    nope


    Any additional comments?

    If you liked book 1 but were left wanting, book 2 is better... trust me.... Try it, if you don't like it, return the book... The wonders of audible..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SV 07-30-12
    SV 07-30-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    4
    4
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    Story
    "Very good but uneven sequel"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It both plays on our expectations of fantasy and critically upends them.


    What did you like best about this story?

    One of the main characters, Quentin, only barely achieves maturity as a person and interest as a character, and the sections of the book that focus on him just aren't as good as the writing in the first book. But Julia really comes into her own in this sequel. She is an arresting character and the things that happen to her are startlingly unpredictable and unforgettable. Through Julia, Grossman pushes to the limit the questions these books raise: What is magic? Is it what fantasy fiction leads us to believe? Why do we want so badly to believe it is, and what comes of our expectations? and most important, What are the consequences of pursuing magical power to its limits?


    Did Mark Bramhall do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, he changes genders and accents easily and well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    What happens to Julia when she and her friends try to summon an ancient goddess-- though to say more would spoil the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Mark Bramhall is a good narrator, but has a tendency to lower his voice at the ends of words so that he sounds somewhat glum at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Denny Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA 07-10-12
    Christopher Denny Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA 07-10-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    125
    15
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    0
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    "Great Story....Didn't Want It To End"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Magician King?

    I think one of the most memorable moments of The Magician King was the final few chapters of the book where you finally get closure on why certain things have happened throughout the book. It also ties up loose ends in regards to some of the earlier characters.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Sometimes wanting things too much blinds you from seeing what you already have.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great book and I am glad that I listened to it not long after listening to The Magicians. When I got to the end of the book, I was sad and disappointed. Not by the ending itself but by the physical end to the story. I recall looking at my phone (from which I listen) and thinking, "That's it?!??!"

    I was so involved in the story that I found myself feeling sad for different characters throughout the book. Grossman's writing evoked emotions and experiences that I once had when I was younger and felt left out of the crowd, only to find a new group of people (not necessarily as deviant as Julia's group, but family nonetheless) to call friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Schmelter Seattle, WA United States 06-18-12
    Tim Schmelter Seattle, WA United States 06-18-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It's good to be king...isn't it?"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shira5665 Fort Langley, BC, Canada 06-07-12
    shira5665 Fort Langley, BC, Canada 06-07-12 Member Since 2010

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Better than the first book!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Z. Wixom, MI 05-31-12
    Paul Z. Wixom, MI 05-31-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    184
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    "Better Book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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