The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)
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The Magician King (The Magicians #2)

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  23,781 ratings  ·  2,874 reviews
Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to The New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon of 2009--The Magicians.

The Magicians was praised as a triumph by readers and critics of both mainstream and fantasy literature. Now Grossman takes us back to Fillory, where the Brakebills graduates have fled the sorrows of the mundane world, only to face terrifying new challen...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by William Heinemann
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Community Reviews

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Kemper
If Quentin Coldwater stumbled on a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, he’d constantly complain about how heavy it was and how the coins didn’t fit in any vending machines and why couldn‘t they have just put the money into a nice cashier‘s check that he could have fit neatly in his wallet and then deposited in the bank?

In the first book, Quentin was a brilliant but disillusioned teenager who found life a boring slog and desperately wished that things were more like his favorite fantasy series...more
mark monday
The Continuing Adventures of a Smug Magical Asshole, as written by An Asshole. and now featuring The New Adventures of a Completely Self-Absorbed Bitch.

i suppose i understand the acclaim that has been heaped on Grossman. he is playing with tropes as his characters play with magic. he has a puckish sensibility that makes reading his series a tart and spiky experience. his tone is breezily casual and entirely unsentimental. and since Snark is the New Law of the New Millenium, the snark that is del...more
Phoebe
If you're a fan of young adult literature, you've probably seen Sady Doyle's In Praise of Joanne Rowling's Hermione Granger series. Lovingly detailed, this feminist critique cut Harry Potter down to size a little. In Doyle's reimagining, he's nothing more than a privileged jock—though certainly even in our own universe charges of privilege could be leveled against him. Harry is the chosen one, special as much for reasons of birth as effort, while hardworking Hermione toils away to earn her rathe...more
Dan Schwent
Quentin and friends are the kings and queens of Fillory and everything is marvelous. Or it is, until it becomes apparent that something is wrong. King Quentin takes it upon himself to fix things. With Julia in tow, he sails to the ends of Fillory to fix the world. Can he succeed in the quest of a lifetime and save Fillory?

If The Magicians was Lev Grossman's Harry Potter with a healthy slice of Narnia, The Magician King is Lev Grossman's Lord of the Rings. Grossman takes all the quest story stapl...more
Blair
Let me begin this review by saying that I really enjoyed Lev Grossman's The Magicians. I didn't think it was perfect, by any means - I wasn't keen on Quentin, and the saga of his relationship with Alice and how he behaved about it really pissed me off - but altogether I found it to be an original, enjoyable, and gloriously escapist read. I will admit that I am not the biggest fan of all-out fantasy, but I liked the fact that The Magicians couched its fantastical elements in a recognisable versio...more
Stefan
(This review contains spoilers for The Magicians (book 1 in this series), but no significant spoilers for The Magician King. It was originally published on www.tor.com on 8/8/2011 and on www.fantasyliterature.com on 8/16/2011.)

At the end of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, Brakebills graduate Quentin Coldwater abandoned a cushy but dead-end insecure job to become co-ruler of the magical land of Fillory with his former classmates Eliot and Janet and his erstwhile flame Julia. I absolutely loved the...more
Sarah
When I finished The Magicians I found myself confused. Was Grossman satirizing the genre or contributing to it? I decided that he had set out to do the former, and wound up doing the latter. He somehow fell into that enviable position where his fantasy work was considered literary by the mainstream community that often scorns genre work.

A sequel, it would seem to me, is more of a declaration. Satires don't have sequels. So called literary fiction doesn't often have sequels. Grossman goes all in....more
Stephanie
Though I wasn't totally in love with the first book in this series, The Magicians, I did like this book a bit better. Enough for four stars at least.

In the Magician Kings we meet up with Quentin and friends again, this time as kings and queens of Fillory. Fillory is a magical place outside of Earth as we know it. I found this king and queen stuff corny, and I still couldn't stand the whiny, self absorbed Quentin......twerp. I'm sure the author ment for him to be that annoying but I could bearly...more
Leave My
Book two is fulled with even more sexism then the first one, which is almost hard to imagine, but Lev Grossman manages to pull it off by writing like some kind of horny per-pubescent teenager looking for any flimsy excuse whatsoever to get his female characters topless so he can describe their breasts in feverish, obsessive, totally unnecessary and excruciating detail.
Sheila
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doug Bradshaw
The Magician King

As the pieces of the complicated puzzle, the final parts of the dizzy maze, the answers to the crazy riddles, all came together… or blew wide open, however you want to look at it, a feeling of real nostalgia came over me and I felt authentic love for these characters like they were my real family, my people, my flawed and nerdy friends. And however bad or selfish or immature much of their behavior may have been, their pursuit of magic really just a highly addictive and dangerou...more
David Katzman
Jun 12, 2012 David Katzman rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy/adult fantasy (not YA)
Not a masterpiece like the first book but a solid outing in many ways. And a huge disappointment in one way.

First to the good. The Magician King was nearly as engrossing as The Magicians. Not as hard to put down, but I always looked forward to picking it back up. I did thoroughly enjoy reading it. Grossman does a nice job conjuring a magic system and a believable main character. Quentin is awkward and sometimes irritating and doesn’t act quite as smart as he’s supposed to be, but he feels like a...more
Elizabeth
Wow, I didn't think I could like Quentin Coldwater *less* than I did in The Magicians, but it is, in fact, possible. There is no moment in this book when I do not despise the protagonist.

At least in this one, we got Julia's story, which had some interesting moments, especially the scenes in the safe houses. It also had some really bad moments. In no particular order: I am insulted on behalf of us non-magical scholars that the Murs magicians come up with a system that ties together all world reli...more
Madeline
"So Madeline," say you, my imaginary reading companion, "what did you think of The Magician King, Lev Grossman's sequel to that book that smashed your childhood love of fantasy stories into smithereens? Does the second book achieve similar levels of heart-crushing, or is it more of a balm after the pain of the first book (since in this one, the kids get to live in Fillory and be royalty)?"

To you, faithful reader, I reply that everything you need to know about what kind of book The Magician King...more
Lightreads
I’ve been sitting on this review for weeks, waiting for my thoughts to settle. This is a frustrating, slippery, controlled, funny, beautiful book, and it left me with very complicated feelings.

It’s a double-stranded narrative: one is Quentin, bored with being King of Fillory and off on a grand sea voyage that takes him through multiple worlds and to the making and unmaking of universes. The other is Julia. Oh, Julia. Who didn’t make it into special people magic school like Quentin, and who had t...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
I'm catching up on reviews after getting horribly far behind so these will be short.

The Magician King takes up about a year after The Magicians left off. And you guessed it, these former magicians on Earth are now kings and queens of the magical land of Fillory. Of course this idyllic life doesn't last and it's not like the last book left things all tied up and then Quentin goes and gets himself lost from Fillory with no way to return.

I'm a sucker for a coming-of-age, even one that plays with th...more
Kaora
Unpopular opinion time.

I didn't really like the first book, but I find it difficult to stop a series because there is always the chance it will get better in the second book.

Unfortunately this is not the case for this book. It reminds me a little bit of a mature Harry Potter except for instead of Hogwarts there is Brakebills and instead of being about Harry Potter, the lovable underdog who fights evil with his two best friends the protagonist, Quinton, is a spoiled brat (probably would be a Slyt...more
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terry
_The Magician King_ is a good book. Still, I found the first half to be a bit of a slow start that was by turns frustrating and enjoyable in almost equal measure, so I kept vacillating between a 3 and 4 for it, so I think it ends up for me at a fairly solid 3.5. The book itself is divided into two more or less equal story halves: one follows Quentin and his friends in Fillory as they go on a diplomatic mission of purely cursory import that turns into a fairly inconsequential 'quest'…this in turn...more
Vanessa
I had some complaints with style and pacing, but basically I really enjoyed the predecessor to this book, The Magicians. This one had a good storyline when it comes right down to it but it took at least 100 pages too many to tell it.

When last we saw Quentin Coldwater and his friends (fellow magic school grads Eliot and Janet plus his high school crush Julia who acquired her magic through mysterious means-trust me, we'll delve into that in excruciating detail), they were off to the Narnia-ish Fi...more
Cat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eric
Sep 12, 2011 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the first book
Shelves: fantasy
I clearly liked this book better than The Magicians, as I rated it five stars to four in favor of The Magician King. But why? A number of reasons:

1) The world-building was already done.

In the first book, Grossman took a lot of time to set up his fantasy multiverse, including creating a quidditch-like game, Welters, which didn't add anything to the overall story, and sending Quentin-and-company on a semester abroad to the antarctic as geese, which, despite being in a fantasy novel, was still too...more
Michael
I avoided finishing this for as long as I could because I didn't want it to end. It gave me so much joy - even moreso than the first book - in all the ways that Grossman reflected stories and times and adventures that have been so special to me. I imagine that similar things were special to him growing up as well, given our nerdy leanings. The journey into the unknown. The years of toil for a glimpse of the divine. The long and dark road to power. The transition from childhood to adulthood and t...more
Jenny
Throughout my reading of this book and its predecessor The Magicians, I alternated between sincere enjoyment and outright annoyance. It had a Doctor Who reference, and who doesn't love that?! But i was annoyed by attitudes and actions of the main characters...sure, college aged kids can be disaffected and prickly, but the whining and dickish behavior left me not caring about the characters very much. Even so, I was okay enough with the roller coaster to at least finish reading the series, until...more
David Nickle
Quentin Coldwater is the kid that Harry Potter never was. In The Magicians, the first book in this series, Quentin is spirited off to Brakebills, a magical school on the banks of the Hudson where wizards-in-training to learn how to cast spells and hold their liquor. Quentin is a gifted student and learns to be a powerful wizard, but unlike young Harry, he is hurting for a destiny. The closest thing he's got is a yearning for the fictional world of Fillory, a magical land described in a Narnia-li...more
Wesley
We’ll I’ve soaked in the remnants of finishing this book long enough. I enjoyed the hell of it, so you see the direction this review is going to go. It wasn’t he first book all over again yet it wasn’t like a book 2 in a series either. I think that’s what I enjoy about them both though. The Magician King picks up where The Magicians left off, but it’s more of the next stage of the story rather than fulfilling the cliffhanger. Obviously Julia was the cliffhanger but you didn’t feel antagonized by...more
David
I can't quite justify a fifth star, because there is something about Grossman's writing that is a little too arch for my liking, and the pacing was a little off, but this was a terrifically strong followup to "The Magicians". It had the same grab-you-and-keep-you-reading-half-the-night power, and a much better story, one that raised the stakes and actually made you care about what happened to the characters. This one is an unabashed quest story, and though Fillory (Grossman's version of Narnia)...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here: http://www.mybookishways.com/2011/08/...

The Magician King picks up 5 years after the events of The Magicians,and Quentin is finally a King of Fillory. Well,one of them. Along with Eliot (the High King),Janet,and Julia,he rules Fillory and its inhabitants. The days are full of pleasure and peace,yet Quentin is still a bit restless. Truth is,he’s rather bored. Fillory is filled with wonder and magic,but it isn’t particularly filled with strife,and its inhabitants...more
Joel
Where The Magicians was Grossman's experiment with adolescent fantasy The Magician King embarrasses his previous effort with a fully developed direction as well as a closer look at the darker reality of magic. It is encouraging to see an author actually use a sequel to develop both setting and story rather than destroy it. The Magician King takes magic from the safety of Brakebills (and a brief jaunt through Fillory) in the first novel to the unprotected edges of the streets of Brooklyn, Venice,...more
Caroline
***NO SPOILERS***

This is a solid follow-up to The Magicians, and I was very pleased to find I enjoyed it just as much. Initially, I was disappointed when I found out this book was focused a great deal on the character of Julia, because I didn't care for her in The Magicians, but it's impossible not to warm to her in The Magician King. Grossman has done a spectacular job with her story, making it many-layered and absolutely fascinating, exactly how this series itself is shaping up to be, actually...more
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Parts that didn't add up 2 43 Jul 19, 2014 01:39PM  
Casual Readers: THE MAGICIAN KING: Official Discussion 1 8 Jun 04, 2014 07:53PM  
Alice 21 454 Jan 29, 2014 05:08PM  
Safe house magic (*SPOILERS*) 2 86 Jan 04, 2014 03:53AM  
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My novel The Magicians was a New York Times bestseller. So was the sequel, The Magician King. The third book in the trilogy, The Magician's Land, will be published in August 2014.

There's yet more information about me and my books on my website.
More about Lev Grossman...
The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) Codex The Magicians and the Magician King The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3) Warp

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