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The Magician King | Lev Grossman | Review


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 cutting edge of literary fantasy.


Now the kings and queens of a magical land, Quentin and his friends are living it up in Fillory. But Quentin longs for adventure, so when an opportunity to sail to a little island to gather up taxes from the people there arises, Quentin jumps on the ship with Julia and off they sail. From there, his adventure gets a little more extreme than Quentin first thought a tax-collecting trip would go. 

Thrown back to earth by complete accident on a quest to find magical keys, Quentin and Julia have to figure out how to get back to Fillory, and, like the description says, only the magic that Julia learnt on the streets from hedge witches can save them. 

This is yet another great book from Grossman. While the story is a lot more Fillory-based than earth-based, it was really cool to be able to jump into Grossman's creative mind and see how he creates this magical land. The Magicians is told from Quentins perspective, but in The Magician King, Julia has a voice and we learn all about the things she learnt and got up to while Quentin was at school at Brakebills with his friends. 

Side note: If you watch or have watched the TV show, The Magicians, based on this series, you may have noticed that the story of Julia in the show isn't in the first book. It's here in the second that we learn all about Julia, but they have pulled that from The Magician King and popped it in the show. 

The characters from the first book are still present (those that made it through the first book anyway - no spoilers here!), and with the addition of some new faces, this is a fun but at times intense read. If you've read The Magicians, don't stop there. The Magician King is a great sequel, and while I think I enjoyed The Magicians a little more, this second book is still a brilliant read.


Read review of the first in this series, The Magicians, here.

Image from Good Reads. 

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