The Magicians

The Magicians (Lev Grossman)

24 June 2020

The Magicians

In a secret world of forbidden knowledge, power comes at a terrible price....

Quentin Coldwater's life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter: when he turns up for his entrance interview to Princeton, he finds his interviewer dead - but a strange envelope bearing Quentin's name leads him down a path very different from any he'd ever imagined.

The envelope, and the mysterious manuscript it contains, leads to a secret world of obsession and privilege, a world of freedom and power; and, for a while, it's a world that seems to answer all Quentin's desires. But the idyll cannot last - and when it's finally shattered, Quentin is drawn into something darker and far more dangerous than anything he could ever have expected....

Please note that the discussion of The Magicians on the 24th of June will be online. Details have been sent out to the mailing list.

Average Rating:

Sinclair Manson (2 July 2020 22:09)

I was very suspicious of this book at first, suspecting it of being Harry Potter at university. I ended up enjoying it a lot. It was certainly riffing on Harry Potter, along with the Chronicles of Narnia, Dungeons and Dragons, and probably other things that I missed, but it had a lot to say for itself. The characters aren't pure, and at times are easy to despise. They are damaged and lost young people but brightly and affectionately portrayed. There was a lot going on in this book: the danger of ungrounded fantasy, the hopelessness of living without it, the difficulty of escaping low self esteem. I enjoyed the writing and always appreciate a book that lets its characters unfold without enslaving them to its plot.

Sean Aaron (1 July 2020 10:32)

Really redeems itself halfway through as we struggle with an often unsympathetic main character. By the end I was wanting to read the sequel, which is a rare thing indeed!