Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman: Magicians, Magician King, Magician’s Land
Quentin Coldwater enters into a magical school of higher learning, like Harry Potter he at times is his own worst enemy. My favorite things about this title are the ramifications for his bad decisions along the way, anything involving the Beast, and all the parts that take place in Fillory. This title is for fans of Narnia and Name of the Wind, but at times things happening in the story that might get you down. Once Quentin has broken out of his shell a bit, things pick up and so far Book three: Magician’s Land is better paced than both the first two books. Book one was solo Quentin the entire time, book two is split between Quinton and Julia. Book three has split narration between Elliot, Quentin, Janet, and Plum making things a bit more interesting this time around. We still have characters we know almost nothing about popping up in Book three that we finally get some background about. The Janet chapters are fantastic and Plum has some interesting plot connections to everything else that has happened. The series as a whole is fantastic even with a troublesome main character. There are times where Quentin is selfish and kind of a jerk and enables those around him to do him harm. There are magical adventures around every corner, cool monsters, interesting theories on life as we know it, and so much alcohol. In the last fourth of book one there is a Dungeons and Dragons style dungeon crawl that read the way I want to write my adventures.
I started writing my review immediately after reading Book two and was angry at Quinton for many different reasons. I raged about it for a bit during Book three before I realized what my issue was. When Book one started Quentin was making horrible mistakes because he was just entering the magic school. He was 18 and I am old, and like all old people I think I know how life works: it kicks you around a bit and you have to sort out priorities. Looking back on my four years of college I made different mistakes than Quentin, none of my mistakes shook the realms of magic or angered gods but I did hurt some people’s feelings. When I got out of school I thought I knew everything there was to know about life, and life calmly told me to cool it, I knew nothing, and also the life lesson we gain from Labyrinth: Life is not fair. Quentin and friends suffer through a lot of terrible things over these three books and we get to journey with them. Violence, sex, drinking, drugs, smoking, and magic appear often. This series is not for the faint of heart or the easily offended and would run an R rating as a movie.
The show is starting up on Syfy Monday January 25th. I am a little terrified because there are already huge major changes from the books to the show. We saw the sneak peek about a month ago. Names and characters have been changed around a bit, people important to later aspects of the story might not survive contact past Episode one. As terrified as I am there is still excitement in my heart to see what they come up in the show. We shall see what happens.
More information on the series and author can be found here http://levgrossman.com/