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The Magicians | Lev Grossman | Review


Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. 

After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined.

I really liked The Magicians. The front cover of my copy says it's 'Harry Potter for grown ups' (let's not get into how Harry Potter is for grown ups anyway), but I would say it's this fantastic mix of HP and also the Chronicles of Narnia. It's set on Earth, but with magic running through it, and a leap into a magical land called Fillory definitely gives it a Narnia-esque feeling.

Quentin as a main character is great. I love it how he's not really the hero, but he's not always the bad guy. He's this mixture of brilliance and stupidity and depression and hurt and teenage dreams and drama, and that comes out so well in the book. The other characters in The Magicians are all so unique, each with incredibly strong characteristics and personalities.

The plot is fantastic. Much like Hogwarts, Brakebills is a hidden school for Magicians, and that in itself is well done and fun to read about. Their 'darker and more dangerous' journey is just that - it's dark, it's dangerous, it's horrible and horrific. But somehow it makes this book an incredible read.

You may be aware of the TV show that came out in late 2015 called The Magicians. Yup. Based on this book. While watching the show I did notice some things that weren't in the book, but having read the second in this series, I realised that took some of the story from book 2 and added it to the TV show. Be aware of that if you a) read this series and/or b) watch the show (which is done rather well, I might add).

If you're after a decently thick read about magic, about friendship and heartache, about stupid decisions and brave ones, about new worlds and stories coming to life, then give The Magicians a read.

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