24 March 2012

Book Review: The Magician King

Title: The Magician King
Author: Lev Grossman
Publisher/Year: Viking / 2011
Source/Format: Publisher / Print
Date Finished: 19 February 2012
Book # 8

Series Reviews: The Magicians

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

The Short and Sweet of It
Quentin has what he thought he wanted - he is a king of Fillory - but he is still unsatisfied and soon finds himself embarking on another quest. If he doesn't succeed, he may lose everything.

A Bit of a Ramble
I must admit that the following "review" probably won't make a lot of sense to anyone who hasn't read the book. But there you go. I did at least try to minimize any spoilers.

The story alternates between the present, with Quentin et. al. on a quest to prevent the old gods from taking back the magic, and the past, with Julia fighting to become a magician after her rejection from Brakebills (which happens in book 1). The back and forth, I must admit, was a bit annoying at first, but by the middle of the book, I was getting into Julia's story more and more. Quentin's story isn't all light and airy, but Julia's is downright dark. Dark is intriguing.

Quentin does fascinate me as a person though. He has specific ideas of what will make him happy, but he is continually dissatisfied. In the first book, he was convinced magic would do the trick. Then he believed Fillory was the thing. Maybe being a king of Fillory? How about going on a quest? How about saving the universe? Nah. Nada. I am very interested to find out if Quentin's search for happiness will ever come to fruition.

Now let's forget about Quentin and think about the female characters. I read a few reviews which complain that the females in the novels are presented as weak, and then I've read a few which exclaim how kickass the girls are. Both opinions are valid. There were times in the novel where the female characters do feel a bit victimish with bad things happening to them, mostly involving sex in some way, shape, or form. But the times when the girls really come through, I think, far outweigh their victim status. Even when they are the butt end of some pretty nasty stuff, these ladies seem to pull through, rather stoically, and they take what comes to them, if not always perfectly, at least with less whining and poo-pooing than Quentin.

So now when does the next book come out cuz I'm really interested to know where all this is going....

This Book Around the Web
(let me know if I missed yours)

Sophisticated Dorkiness; Jenn's Bookshelves; Unabridged Chick; Linus's Blanket; The Book Lady's Blog; books i done read; GalleySmith;

This book was on the short list for the ILAs


  1. I don't like magic stuff so I avoided this book, but I like reading reviews of it - so many different interpretations! That in itself makes it somewhat tempting...

  2. I lost all interest in the series after the first book...although I keep reading the reviews to get glimpses of what happens next. :-D

  3. I was delighted by this book, because I had some problems with The Magicians and I felt like The Magician King took stock of all the problems I had with the first book, and fixed them all one by one. Now I am legitimately psyched for a putative third book in the series.

  4. I just read The Magicians and I was so frustrated with Quentin's "search for happiness". Probably cause I tend to be pretty miserable in every situation too. :( The story engrossed me though, but I don't think I'll continue on with the series.


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