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The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)

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3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  47,750 Ratings  ·  4,519 Reviews
Unabridged, 13 CDs, 16 hours

Read by Mark Bramhall

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the "New York Times"-bestselling "The Magicians."
Audiobook, Unabridged
Published August 9th 2011 by Books on Tape (first published 2011)
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Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Justin Dowd It is strongly suggested that Jollybee is technically killed by the gods. Essentially his close proximity to the magic void around the tree.
Shima It has a pretty explicit rape scene, plus mentions of sex, drugs and drinking. So I'd suggest High school and up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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Dan Schwent
Aug 14, 2011 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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
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Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 06, 2014 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”She’d always liked Quentin, basically. He was sarcastic and spookily smart and, on some level, basically a kind person who just need a ton of therapy and maybe some mood-altering drugs. Something to selectively inhibit the voracious reuptake of serotonin that was obviously going on inside his skull 24-7. She felt bad about the fact that he was in love with her and that she found him deeply unsexy, but not that bad. Honestly, he was decent-looking, better-looking than he thought he was, but that ...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
Sheila
Feb 22, 2012 Sheila rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah
Sep 07, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Maureen
3.5/5 stars
I've gotta admit, I didn't enjoy this as much as book one, but it's still so interesting. I love that this series is like a more "realistic" fairy tale where not everything is perfect and amazing all the time, but it's still not really an anti-fairy tale.
The characters are still wonderfully flawed, and I really enjoyed getting to see more of Julia's back story, but it was just harder to get through. It didn't grip me as much as book one did.
The audiobook narrator is still fantastic th
...more
Stephanie
Jul 10, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Though I wasn't totally in love with the first book in this series, The Magicians, I did like this book a bit better.

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 stand him. For the first half o
...more
Brandon
Aug 25, 2014 Brandon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nihilists
A book has never made me so angry before. I am absolutely bewildered that 93% of people like this book. No offense, but I think you all deserve a fucking double-slap across the face.

This was, hands down, the worst book I've ever read. Where is the zero star possibility, Goodreads? Because, for this shitty fucking book, we need one. In The Magicians, I felt that Lev Grossman was actually a beautiful writer, and that's one of the reasons I gave it two measly stars. Here, though, Grossman just sh
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Terry
Aug 13, 2014 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
_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
Stefan
Jan 10, 2012 Stefan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
(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
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Leave My
Aug 20, 2011 Leave My rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ashley
"The hero pays the price."

Well, shit.

If you would have told me last month that not only would I give The Magicians (THE MAGICIANS) four stars, but that I would get so worked up by its sequel that I would burst into tears, I would NOT have believed you. I got soooooo mad and weird when I read The Magicians five years ago, I swore I would never read any sequels, or anything else Lev Grossman ever wrote, and then somewhere along the line I changed my mind, acquired the sequels (in hardcover even) a
...more
Eric
Mar 28, 2016 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the first book
I clearly liked this book better than The Magicians, as I rated it five stars, where I rated the prior four stars. 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 r
...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
Rob
May 10, 2015 Rob rated it really liked it
Executive Summary: A few minor complaints, but overall another enjoyable entry in this series, and far less depressing. If you enjoyed the second half of The Magicians, you'll likely enjoy this.

Audio book: Mark Bramhall once again does an excellent job narrating, making this a perfect choice to do in audio. Great inflection, and pretty good accents.

Full Review
This one started a bit slow for me. I wasn't really sure where it was going to go. Once it got going, it didn't slow down again.

I think
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Madeline
Aug 19, 2012 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"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
Warwick
I had really enjoyed The Magicians but I was a little confused about its intentions – was it a deconstruction of, and comment on, the fantasy genre; or did it want to be taken seriously as a work of fantasy in its own right? There was a sense of Grossman trying to have his cake and eat it too, and although the results had an inherent tension that I found very rewarding, it also somehow fell between two stools. Have you got that – a half-eaten cake between two stools? Right, we're on the same pag ...more
Lightreads
Sep 01, 2011 Lightreads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
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
Jonathan
Oct 05, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

I wasn't a fan of the first book when I read it earlier this year, and while I think this second book is better written I won't be continuing onto the third book. It's a work of fiction that, like the hyped-up Gone Girl (which I am now torn about seeing in cinemas), seems to fit in all the ideas and subversive concepts for what a 'good book' should contain. And like Gone Girl I actually find the plot disjointed, the characters completely unlikeable jerks and the story lacking in true substance.

F
...more
Doug Bradshaw
May 27, 2014 Doug Bradshaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
seak
Dec 21, 2013 seak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2013
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
David Katzman
Jun 12, 2012 David Katzman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Although it wasn't a perfect book, this is a worthy follow-up to The Magicians. There is advancement in Quentin's story, and he's actually growing up and being less of a putz. I did like Quentin more in this book, but he'll never be a favorite hero of mine. Actually, none of the lead characters are especially likable, to be honest. Julia has more of a POV in this book, and I found that I had a violent dislike for her in some aspects of the story, and mild sense of sympathy in the others. Overall ...more
Brad
Most of the book had transformed into boilerplate fantasy adventure. If I had a nickel for every time that Quentin used his byline, "Let's go on a quest," I could probably afford a bean burrito at Taco Hell. He steamrolled everything and everyone in his path to get exactly what he wanted or what he believed to be a righteous cause, and except for a few casualties along the way, we, as readers, get to watch him be the the greatest casualty of his own adventure.

The last development somewhat redeem
...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2014/07/31/b...

Back in my review of The Magicians, I wrote that you could have a miserably unlikeable character for the sake of writing a miserably unlikeable character and that I wouldn’t mind, just as long as you could give me a reason to care about him or her. While that’s still true, it does really help if your protagonist isn’t a whiny little ingrate and actually shows growth over the course of the novel. I really think that’s why T
...more
Cat
Aug 20, 2011 Cat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny
Jul 04, 2012 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Pavle
Dec 25, 2015 Pavle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastika
Dosta drugačija knjiga od prve, mnogo više u duhu prave fantastike, međutim i dalje najjače sjaji ono najbitnije, a to su likovi.

Kventin je ostao, ali i postao Kventin, bilo to dobro ili loše, i kao takav je i dalje jedan od najbolje izgrađenih likova moderne književnost. Njegovi problemi su moji/naši problemi, njegovo razmišljanje je moje/naše razmišljanje, a njegov glas je stvarniji od stvarnog.

Jeste, ovo je druga knjiga trilogije, na neki način most koji spaja dve narative, ali i kao takva s
...more
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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...

Other Books in the Series

The Magicians, (3 books)
  • The Magicians (The Magicians #1)
  • The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3)

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“That was the thing about the world: it wasn't that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways that you didn't expect.” 195 likes
“Though the funny thing about never being asked for anything is that after a while you start to feel like maybe you don’t have anything worth giving.” 94 likes
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