Monday, November 9, 2015

Magician's Trilogy

Often referred to as Harry Potter - the college years, Lev Grossman's Magician's trilogy combines the wonder and drama of suddenly discovering that magic is real and possible, with some high-stakes situations (not that Harry Potter itself didn't also involve quite a few life-or-death situations). It was a great series, and I really enjoyed the ride!

The series started off close to what I expected, with the main character's discovery of a magical destiny, an introduction to the world of magic in an academic setting, and an interesting cast of misfits trying to find their place in this strange new world filled with possibilities. Lately I've been very much into stories that take place in our world but with a hidden magical undercurrent, rather than in a totally made-up fantasy universe unconnected with our world. I think this style grounds the idea of fantasy and makes it easier to relate to the characters.

Grossman's writing style was more casual than many classic fantasy novels, and at times even gritty, which really fit well with the atmosphere of the story. I loved the rules he established for this magical world, and the characters were very interesting. Some were more flawed than others, but all were understandable. Their adventures were exciting and definitely utilized the magical foundations upon which the story was built.

Things got really interesting when the story moved on from the school. I won't give too much away, including when in the trilogy that happens, but I liked that I really had no idea where the rest of the story was going after graduation. It certainly went many places, both on Earth and not.

The books are definitely meant to be read as a series, and really don't stand alone (especially the middle one), but luckily they proceed at a pretty rapid pace. The series as a whole had a great ending; The Magician's Land tied up some loose ends I had almost forgotten about from the previous two books. It brought the story to a close in a satisfyingly final way that still left a door wide open for future possibilities should Grossman decide to return to the world of The Magicians, which I for one would welcome.

Check them out below:

#1: The Magicians (2009)

#2: The Magician King (2011)

#3: The Magician’s Land (20014)

Keep reading! Beth

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