The thing to know about this book is that it is not a 3.5 star book with a so-so plot and a so-so narrator. It is either a five star book or a two s..Show More »tar book, depending on the listener. After reading the reviews, I went into this book with trepidation, but I am so glad that I did! I thought it was a fantastic read. I can't wait for the sequel.
The author does rely heavily on the fact that much of his listening audience will have had exposure to the Chronicles of Narnia as children. I think this is a useful plot device, not stealing nor sneering at Narnia. Without Narnia's influence on the listeners, this book wouldn't work at all. It is because the Chronicles of Narnia are embedded in our psyche that we can understand the main characters and why things go so totally wrong for them.
Fundamentally, this is a dark coming of age story with plenty of humor and a touch of horror. If that does not appeal to you on any level, you will hate this book from start to finish. I think everyone else should give this book a try.
I am going to start this with a secondarily related commentary: What on earth are you all thinking who put spoilers in your reviews? If I wanted to r..Show More »ead a poorly written paragraph long summation of the major plot points, I wouldn't be downloading a 15 hour+ book to listen to.
In any case, on to the actual review.
Grossman takes the capital he built in The Magicians and redoubles his efforts. The primary cast returns with some notable and brilliant additions. A broad sweeping fantasy epic which switches between two primary story lines flawlessly, The Magician King explores concepts of loss, love, sacrifice, and ultimately, what it means to be the hero of your own story.
Bramhall does a magnificent job once more- I can't imagine anyone else reading these books at this point.
I agree with what one reviewer said- there seem to be two 'camps' of people who either love or hate this series. If you are looking for spoon fed and neutered magical story time where everything works out perfectly in the end, this is really not the book for you. If you've ever made horrible decisions with the best intentions, have a realist's view of the human condition, or can understand satire and allegory, you might really love this book. Yes there is profanity and "adult concepts". This isn't a children's book...
This is a bittersweet book which plumbs the depths of its characters and, by proxy, the listener. If you can't identify with something or someone in this book, I think it's time to live a more adventurous life for a bit.
It took me much longer to finish this book than the previous two. I'm not sure whether it was because it was slower or because my brain knew the end ..Show More »was nigh and wanted to prolong the experience. I choose think the latter. To be completely honest, parts did bore me a bit. But, in the grand scheme, they were mere drops in a lake of wonder.
The most important thing, to me, is that it was satisfying. The characters reached their resolution in one form or another, the arch was completed, and I feel comfortable with the end. Yes, it was a bit predictable, but who cares. The execution is what matters. And Grossman executed it beautifully.
This final installment was set on a much grander stage than the previous ones, with no ill effects. In fact, I liked that aspect quite a bit more. Bramhall did a fantastic job narrating as always.
One of the ending scenes, the culmination of self realization, was as powerful for me as it was for Quentin. I was overwhelmed with longing and sadness, with happiness about a lost time in my life. I guess that's the power of a good series; it picks you up and carries you along, forcing you to identify and project your own experiences onto one character or another.
These books are brilliant. They returned me to a time when books truly transported me, affected me, on a basic level. Highest marks.