The Magician King by Lev Grossman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great adventure. And the back story of Julia, who I felt was a bit of a kindred spirit!
Wow, Julia had it really rough! Compared to Quentin, who’s charmed acceptance into Brakebills University set him on a guided path through his magical journey to Fillory and to then become a King, Julia suffered relentless hardship, rejection, depression, and violence. The missing time from the first book, where we only see the re-emergence of Julia for a very brief moment, is completed within this novel. Quentin, goes on a new adventure in Fillory, but through a series of events ends up back on Earth and has to go to Julia for help. Their quest takes them across the globe to track down friends to help them – and a dragon!
I particularly like how the characters in these books are not just “lucky” to be chosen for an adventure, either on Earth, or in Fillory, but are extraordinarily intelligent human beings who earned their acceptance into Brakebills, or their way up through the ranks of the “Hedge Witches” and beyond. There is some serious geekery on display throughout many of the conversations between Julia’s group of online friends. The story takes you across the majority of 2 worlds, yet the reader never feels lost. I devoured this book in only a couple of days. I couldn’t put it down.
The characters all have very distinct voices and personalities, which is a sign of a good writer. Without having to repeat the name of a character over and over again when their dialogue is written, you just know who is saying what, and it flows so much better.
I’m thoroughly enjoying this series.
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