Tuesday, April 16, 2013

“Everybody wanted to be the hero of their own story. Nobody wanted to be comic relief.”

The Magician King – Lev Grossman (The Magicians, Book 2) 
400 pages (13 Discs) 
Genre: Contemporary, Magic 

*Spoilers for The Magicians abound after this point, so if you haven’t read it yet, proceed with caution.* 

Summary: Quentin and his friends have left the hallowed halls of Brakebills and have entered the world of Fillory, where they are treated as kings and queens of the realm. For once, everything seems to be going right, until Quentin becomes a bit bored and decides to embark upon a quest that will take him farther than he’s ever gone before. Will he find the adventure he’s looking for? 

Review: The first book in this series, The Magicians, had an incredibly amount of hype surrounding it, but I was left with an overall feeling of apathy after finishing it. To me, it was a bit uneven, as I loved some parts and loathed others, yet I was still intrigued enough to find out how things would progress in The Magician King. Fortunately, I enjoyed this book much more than its predecessor. 

I ended up borrowing The Magician King in an audio format from the library, and I’ve very glad I did. The narrator was excellent, and I found his voice to be exciting and engaging, hitting just the right notes in the correct places. It took me awhile to finish this as it was absolutely massive (13 discs!), but I’m really glad I stuck it out because I was thoroughly entertained the whole time. 

The quest, the predominant portion of the book, was intriguing and exciting, and I liked following the whole crew on their adventures. Quentin and Julia happened upon many amazing characters, creatures, and magic along the way, and it was so fun to go with them on their journey. 

One of my favorite characters in this book was Julia, and I really enjoyed that her perspective was included frequently. Julia was extremely unique and complex, and her depressed state seemed very authentic, especially when everything that had occurred in her life was taken into account. The underground scene in which she was involved was also rather intriguing, and I loved discovering more about it as the story went on. 

I also really enjoyed the introduction of the character Poppy. Poppy added a wonderful dynamic to the group, and the scenes she was in were definitely among my favorites. I appreciated how smart, savvy, and sassy she was, and I thought it was great that she had no problem telling people exactly what was on her mind. 

As was the case in the last book, Quentin was my least favorite character, and his melodramatic whining throughout the entirety of the text was rather annoying. Everything in the world was handed to him on a silver platter and he didn’t appreciate any of it, and instead, lamented about not having enough adventure. You just stumbled into the world that you have been daydreaming about since you were a kid, and you’re still not happy? Are you kidding me? 

On the whole, though, I found The Magician King to be a fun read full of magic and wonder. If you liked the first book, or if you enjoy Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia, you will probably like this book, too! 

Rating: 3.5/5 

Read-alikes: Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling, Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis


  1. Oooh, sounds like the audio was quite good. I remember liking The Magicians much better, but the format could be why, and differences in expectations.

    Quentin was SO whiny. Haha.

    1. Definitely! I'm not sure if I would've enjoyed this one as much had I not listened to it. I generally only listen to audiobooks when I'm getting ready for work or taking a walk, so there's usually a lot of time in between for me to think about what happened.

      Ugh, I wanted to smack Quentin! haha