The Magician King by Lev Grossman

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Reason for Reading:
  • Like The Magicians, this is sure to be a popular book and I figured I’d give it a try.

I recommend:

Summary from GoodReads:

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.

My Review:

I don’t get it.

I don’t understand how this book is praised, and Lev Grossman named the “modern heir to C.S. Lewis”.  Are there similarities to Narnia? Very much so – almost bordering on outright ripoff.  But instead of the underlying message given through Narnia, it almost feels as if Lev Grossman is out to poke holes through the story and mock it.

First, I want to talk about one of my biggest pet peeves.  I don’t care if your book is fantasy, urban fantasy, sci-fi or paranormal (or even just regular literature), I don’t like seeing the names of things, popular things or pop-culture, in the text of the book.  It makes me feel disjointed and reminds me that I am, indeed, reading a book and still very much living in the real world. When I read, fantasy and science fiction most of all, I read to lose myself in the world and to explore the fantastic places the authors words are creating in my own mind.  So when I see reference after reference to everything from Harry Potter to the Smurfs, I get a bit peeved and, for the first time, I actually got angry at a book.

I finished The Magician King, but only just.  I’d hoped the story would move more quickly, as this one dealt with a Quentin on a quest, but instead, I was just irritated by him.

I will say, however, in the effort to give some type of positive feedback, that I did enjoy Julia’s story (well, enjoy as in it interested me).  She is not nearly the same type of character that Quentin is, but unfortunately her story was not enough to save the rest of the book for me.

If you liked The Magicians, chances are you will still enjoy this book.  Don’t let me put you off of reading it if you want to (in fact, I’ll be posting some links to positive reviews here at the end of this review), but if you were left kind of “meh” after reading The Magicians, then I’d steer clear of this one.


Check these reviews!

A Million Words

The Picky Girl


  1. Thank you thank you thank you! Seriously, my husband and I met the author and even picked up a signed copy because of the praises it received. Well, my hubby picked it up first and after his continual scoffs & mentions I couldn’t bring myself to read it. His analysis was exactly the same as yours. I have no idea how this has ever made it to where it is, but it has. Weird.

    Excellent review though! I love your honesty, thank you!

  2. I really didn’t care that much for the first one, so this was never on my to read list. I actually thought a lot of the same things regarding the first one. Sorry it didn’t work out, but I’m just a bit relieved that my first reaction to seeing the book panned out.

    1. Yeah, I was okay with the first one, but after reading so many books between, this one just didn’t work for me and the world didn’t work for me either.

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