Review: The Magicians

With a 2009 publication date, The Magicians isn’t exactly the freshest title on the new releases pile. In fact, I’m not sure why I didn’t read this sooner – like its awkward protagonist, Quentin, I too have been completely sucked into imaginary worlds full of talking animals and the battle between good and evil, and as a children’s librarian with a healthy love of salty language, you’d think I would have dove headfirst into a book some reviewers were calling “a Harry Potter for grownups, but with sex and booze.”

For whatever reason I missed it, which makes it all the sweeter to read now.

Author Lev Grossman answers the “what if” that lives in the heart of every fantasy lover – “what if I could get out of this shitty, billboard-clogged, “real” world and into a place where magic is real and adventures await?”

But it turns out that “what if” is a dangerous question no matter which world you’re living in. Quentin, the morose high school math genius whose perspective frames Grossman’s homage to classic children’s fantasy lit, knows that he is always one failed magic trick away from being expelled from Brakebills, an elite college for magic. And yet he isn’t entirely in his own world, even though it is so Hogwartsian that Quentin and his friends make quidditch jokes. The real magic, Quentin still secretly feels, lives in Fillory and Further, a five book series written by a stodgy English bachelor in the 1930s. Continue reading Review: The Magicians