Post review books: “The Magicians” and “The Magician King”

The Magicians and The Magician King are the first and second books of a fantasy trilogy written by Lev Grossman composed of The Magicians (2009), The Magician King (2011), and The Magician’s Land (2014)

 

My review about The Magicians and The Magician King:

The fantasy content is mostly focused on the context in which the characters have their adventures. Places where there is magic and there exist magical creatures. The characters use magic in very specific situations where they do not have the choice but to make use of their magical abilities. Sometimes, the characters decide not to use magic in certain occasions even if with magic the situation would be handled more quickly. The writer seems to want us to understand that magic is not something easy where you only need to speak the right words to cast a spell. On the contrary, in the books magic depends on the variables that surround us like the pressure of the air, the temperature, the distance to other planets, the magnetic force of the world, etc. Magic is therefore difficult and sometimes even dangerous when the characters find themselves in other worlds different than the Earth.

Personal opinion:

There is a clear difference between the first and the second volumes of this trilogy. Not only in the way the books are written (the first book is more linear while in the second book the plot is very unpredictable) but also what it is in the mind of the characters and what they feel in different situations.

I find that in the first book the main character never seems to reach his expectations and has it difficult to find happiness. The main character is usually wishing to get more. He is ambitious and he thinks magic will give him happiness. At certain moments when he has transformed into different creatures he wishes he could remain as an animal forever as if he wanted to escape from the uncertain and complicated human condition.

In the second volume the main character seems to find his way to be happier. He learns about it in the hard way: by continuously losing what he likes and loves. In spite of losing what he likes and loves the main character is far more positive in this book and he learns how to put things in perspective thanks to the experience gathered, the support of his friends and the way his friends make their living. In this second book the story also turns around other interesting characters and the contrast of how they obtained their knowledge about magic and the accessibility of it.

From my point of view, Grossman especially focuses on the way the characters feel and he has managed to put me in the characters’ place. Grossman is very good at progressively connecting the whole story and at steadily unfolding mysteries as the plot develops in the books. From my point of view he has connected the stories of the first and the second books very well too. I am surprised at how the writer pays attention to not having loose ends. Personally, I like when there are both unexpected circumstances and turning points but without losing how things are connected holistically. The writer has made me enjoy the reading very much. I am looking forward to reading the third and last book of this trilogy and I hope I can do that soon.

How will the writer have connected the stories and the context in which the characters are left in the second book? How will the characters feel at the new different situations? I hope I can enjoy as much as I did so far and write a positive review shortly!

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. andrea says:

    really interesting summary 🙂 We talked a bit about this already, but what I think was most unique about this is that it is psychological fantasy- it’s both darker and more complex than the typical Harry Potter “i cast a spell and it worked” type of fantasy.

    I’m midway through the third book and loving it just as much!

  2. Miguel says:

    Agreed! Thanks for your comment Andrea. I am happy you are enjoying the third book just as much, let’s see if I can catch up with you 🙂

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