Quentin and his friends are now the kings and queens of Fillory, but the days and nights of royal luxury are starting to pall. After a morning hunt takes a sinister turn, Quentin and his old friend Julia charter a magical sailing ship and set out on an errand to the wild outer reaches of their kingdom. Their pleasure cruise becomes an adventure when the two are unceremoniously dumped back into the last place Quentin ever wants to see: his parent’s house in Chesterton, Massachusetts. And only the black, twisted magic that Julia learned on the streets can save them (goodreads.com)
It has been several days since i finished reading The Magician King and I still can’t decide if I liked it more or less than The Magicians. I suppose I liked some of the things in this book more than in the other, but I also liked other things less.
I thought the plot was pretty interesting, but it took awhile to get into it since it seemed like it wasn’t going to be very good. It was well paced and not overly complicated or predictable; definitely more developed than the previous novel. I loved that there wasn’t as much drinking and sex as there was in The Magicians. It felt like that is all that was talked about in the first book!
I was disappointed in this novel because Fillory wasn’t explored or discussed as much as I was hoping for. Most of the book is spent on Earth and the outer reaches of Fillory, which was interesting, but I was hoping to learn more about Fillory and its inhabitants. I think this just explains Grossman’s lack of talent for world building. Maybe in the next novel Fillory is more thoroughly discussed.
I have to say I liked the plot better in the first novel, but I liked the characters and other content better in this book mainly because it didn’t feel like everyone was always drinking and having sex, and Quentin wasn’t quite as depressed. I just liked certain aspects from each book, which makes it hard to decide which one I really enjoyed more.
Right after beginning the book you can tell that Quentin in going to be annoyingly depressed throughout the novel again. He became a king of the magical world from his childhood and he still isn’t satisfied with his life! It seems that no matter what he gets to experience, nothing is good enough for Quentin.
Despite this drawback, I believe that some of the characters were slightly more developed. Quentin for one, and especially Julia since we spend a lot of the book with her. I really liked reading about what happened to Julia while Quentin was at Brakebills, and how she managed to learn magic. Her story was interesting, and I enjoyed her flashbacks and learning more about her. However, her character in the present still irritated me because she wasn’t much of one. Since the book doesn’t spend much time with Eliot and Janet, they weren’t developed any more than they were from the first novel. However, it was exciting to see what happened to Penny and Josh! I also liked Poppy!
The relationships between the characters in both of these books are much to be desired. It felt as if they are always confused about who they love or hate, and none of their relationships ever seemed to develop.
This was a good book, and I would highly recommend reading it if you have read the first one even if you didn’t like it. You may like this one more. I can’t say that these books are anywhere near the top of my favorite list or that I would read them again, but they are worth reading once. I believe there is another book coming out soon, and I will be reading it just to see how the trilogy concludes, especially after reading the ending of this book.
My rating: 3/5 stars!
My other reviews in this series:
Lev Grossman Will Crush Your Dreams (thebadassnod.wordpress.com)
The Magician King, by Lev Grossman (bfgb.wordpress.com)
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s off to Fillory We Go! (vanmaclellan.wordpress.com)
The Magician King by Lev Grossman (infoguy2k.wordpress.com)
My Amateur Book Review for The Magicians by Lev Grossman (lilymorenoblog.wordpress.com)
Book Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman (somesleeplessnights.wordpress.com)
The Magicians, by Lev Grossman (samisreading.wordpress.com)
The Magician King by Lev Grossman (2011) (diaryofatextaddict.wordpress.com)
*photo provided by wikipedia.org