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
"[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)
The lead male protagonist simply isn't compelling. On a fundamental level, I didn't care what happened to him. The lead and secondary female protagonists were much more interesting, but the book crosses into unnecessary territory with specific scenes.
In my opinion, a good story evokes emotion. It'll make me laugh, angry, or cry. But it can't just be words on a page. It has to do something
It seems to me as if the characters keep running in circles. They go on grand adventures and still end up being the same miserable people they always were. This is really getting monotonous. Event if the narrator is good, I don't think he can save this book.
The story in The Magician King is much stronger than its predecessor. If you liked The Magicians well enough but didn't fall in love, I'd definitely recommend trying out the sequel. Julia's story in particular is worth the price of admission alone. Great stuff.
As far as the narrator is concerned, he does well enough. His performance is solid and his accent work is serviceable (the major exception being his Australian accent which seems to get away from him more often than it doesn't). While his pronunciation of foreign places and items seem to be spot-on, the book's pop-culture references seem to slip him up nearly every time. There are also several retakes and line flubs that are left in the final product, as well as obvious edit points that weren't bothered to be equalized. So if that's something that will bother you, be warned.
All in all, though, I found the audiobook very enjoyable.
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.
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