As I mentioned in a previous blog post recapping my experience at Book Expo America 2014, on my second day there I managed to get myself a signed galley of the final installment in Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy. It was undoubtedly the highlight of the entire expo. As a bonus, I also discovered that if I read and reviewed the book by June 30, I would be entered to in an iPad Air over at The Reading Room. So, review I did. Below is my review, as posted on the website (edited slightly). Enjoy!
The Magician’s Land
by Lev Grossman
Publishing by Viking on August 5, 2014
To start, I highly recommend rereading the first two books before reading The Magician’s Land. There were a lot of moments where I had to stop and really think about what had happened in the previous books (especially The Magician King). I liked the book a lot though and will definitely continue to recommend the series. The Magician’s Land was slower to read than the first two, but I still managed it in less than 5 days. And like the other two I was still filled with a sense of longing at the end. A longing for Brakebills, for Fillory, for magic, and for a continuation of the series.
At the end of the second book, we find our hero, Quentin Coldwater, kicked out of the magical Narnia-like land of Fillory. Dumped back in the sleepy suburban town his parents have moved to, he decides to stop moping around and heads off to Brakebills, his Hogwartsian Alma Matter.
From there, the perspective of the story begins to shift around. While the first book, The Magicians, was told from Quentin’s point of view, and the second book, The Magician King, was told jointly from Quentin and Julia’s point of view, the third is now told from three different perspectives: Quentin’s, Eliot’s and newcomer Plum’s.
Without spoiling too much of the book, The Magician’s Land follows two main storylines from these three perspectives. The first story, as always, is Quentin’s, this time joined by Plum. The two of them are enlisted by a talking bird to steal a mysterious briefcase that was once owned by Rupert Chatwin. No one knows what’s in the case, where it is, or how to separate it from its current “owners”. Then some wrong turns happen, and the story shifts dramatically from there.
Meanwhile, in Fillory, Eliot and Janet are informed by Ember that The End is Nigh and that the Apocalypse is coming. The two stories begin to intertwine and overlap, revealing answers to questions asked (and unasked) in previous books.
The Magician’s Land is a compelling conclusion to Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy that both introduces you to new magical wonders and brings back familiar faces. While it certainly felt like the conclusion to Quentin’s coming-of-age story, it also felt like the beginning of something potentially new and great. Here’s to hoping that Grossman continues to explore the infinite possibilities of these Magicians’ worlds.