||2010 Powell's Staff Top 5s
Read an excerpt from The World in the Walls
, the novel-within-the-novel in Lev Grossman's new book The Magicians
. This excerpt doesn't appear anywhere in the book itself!
Take Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, factor in young lust, infidelity, corruption, teen angst, heavy drinking, and pint-sized cacodemons, and you have The Magicians. A young adult novel for the not-so-young reader, this book satisfied my cravings for fantasy, action, adventure, and intrigue alike.Â Put simply, it catered to my inner nerd. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world.
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.
He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin's fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.
At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren't black and white, love and sex aren't simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.
"The Magicians is a great fairy tale, written for grown-ups but appealing to our most basic desires for stories to bring about some re-enchantment with the world, where monsters lurk but where a young man with a little magic may prevail." Keith Donohue, The Washington Post
"[A] very entertaining book; one of those summer page-turners that you wish went on for another six volumes." The Chicago Sun-Times
"The Magicians is satisfyingly great fun. But it also reminds us of what we discover as adults: childhood fantasies are just that; perfection is elusive; the real, big world is unfair, filled with good and evil and shades in between; and happiness is unstable and depends on how we view life." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Deep fantasy fans can't afford to miss the darkly comic and unforgettably queasy experience of reading this book — and be glad for reality." Booklist (Starred Review)
"This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would also appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided — fantasy for grown-ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed." Kirkus Reviews
The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, now an original series on Syfy
"The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this."
--George R.R. Martin
"Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy."
"A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre."
"The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I've read this century."
"This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them . . . an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story."
--The New Yorker
"The best urban fantasy in years."
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he's secretly fascinated with a series of children's fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .
The prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician's Land, The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.
About the Author
Lev Grossman is a senior writer and the book critic for Time magazine and the author of the bestselling novel Codex. He holds degrees in comparative literature from Harvard and Yale. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.