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uentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory the secret magical land of his childhood dreams With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic but he can’t hide from his past and it’s not long before it comes looking for him Along with Plum a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own uentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters But all roads lead back to Fillory and his new life takes him to old haunts like Antarctica and to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost forever He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork a spell that could create magical utopia and a new Fillory but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything

10 thoughts on “The Magician's Land

  1. says:

    Warning spoilers to followPerplexed That’s how this series left me I’m still not really sure what to make of it Don’t get me wrong—the ultimate impression is a positive one But not unlike clichéd and stupid Facebook statuses it’s complicated The Magicians left me depressed and flummoxed but intrigued It was the other side of the Harry PotterCharlie Bucket coin—kid gets golden ticket only golden ticket turns out to royally screw up one’s psyche It was the Watchmen spin on the tried and true fantasy formula—let’s think about what would REALLY happen if some kid woke up one day discovered he had magical powers and got into a school with other hormonal and maladjusted teens in the same situation It was messy It was ugly But it was brilliantly executedI expected The Magician King to continue in that veininstead it presented a pretty paint by numbers fantasy tale filled with heroic feats of derring do albeit with cynical hipster commentary It was much comfortable to read—like slipping on an old pair of sweatpants after wearing too tight fancy pants designer jeans all day ummmor so I’ve heard having no direct experience myself with such tomfooleryahem I enjoyed it than I did The Magicians but if reading The Magicians was like eating some weird gourmet spiced cinnamon chocolate cardamom kale monkey essence designer gelato perplexing and memorable and tasty but kind of off putting then reading The Magician King was like eating vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup—delicious but immediately forgotten because you’ve had it many times before and can easily get it againSo what did The Magician's Land taste like? For most of the bookcucumbers—that is not unpleasant but kind of bland and unremarkable A nice texture to add to a salad sure but certainly not something that you’re going to seek out and crave The whole uentinPlumsuitcase caper seemed like it should have been raucous good times; but it just felt flat After the epic build up of the first two books watching uentin putter around Brakebills deal with his father’s death and get mixed up in some asshatted talking bird shenanigannery felt anticlimactic Even uentin’s showdown with maniacal Smurfette aka Niffin Alice felt kind of meh The best parts of the story took place in Fillory—Eliot and Janet saved the first 75% of the book and Janet may have emerged as the most compelling character in the series for me The way things were going it was headed toward a 3 star rating Why then does this book get 4 stars? Two reasons 1 The Peter JacksonLoTR Corollary When you get to the end of a trilogy and parts of the trilogy have been brilliant and the overall body of work is impressive you give the concluding volume a little extra bump to recognize all of that in this case let’s call it a half starin the case of RoTK that was 5 stars all the way but that’s neither here nor there; if you want on my feelings about RoTK I’ve already babbled on at length about it2 The Ending I’m a complete and total sucker for a happy ending in which characters are redeemed or validated Gets me every f ing time I mean I’m not so bad as to get all misty eyed when Rob Schneider gets his act together in Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo and yes I’ve actually seen that happen to someone but I’m pretty bad So even though uentin had his ups and downs even though he was kind of a sad sack even if he never uite rose to the level of being what his potential suggested he might become he stepped up for one albeit time lapsed millennium long brief moment and saved the day before humbly giving up power and stepping aside George Washington style I’m a sucker for that too And that’s worth a half star in my book or in this case in Mr Grossman’s bookHence 4 stars All in all a series well worth reading

  2. says:

    By now I know what to expect when I start a book in Lev Grossman's The Magicians trilogy There will be extensive immersive world building Grossman is at his best when he is taking genuine joy from creating his own Narnia or Hogwarts like world rather than trying to smugly point out all of their respective flaws uentin will stay just on the bearable side of utterly insufferable there will be at least one character who I wish had an entire book of their own and the last hundred pages of the novel will be so brutally unrelenting that it'll make me want to go back to bed and re read the Narnia books to remind myself that fantasy stories that are pretty than painful still existBut The Magician's Land is different The final hundred ish pages of the book are not good painful they're just painful in short this book is less thank you sir may I have another and like a hundred pages of Lev Grossman smacking me with my own hands while jeering Stop hitting yourself Stop hitting yourselfThe book as a whole isn't bad The world building is still rock solid and fascinating and I love that Grossman is still creating new things for me to discovery in Fillory The story also benefits by moving the timeline forward and setting this book about six years after the events of The Magician King So now instead of dealing with whiny entitled twenty somethings our characters are world weary almost thirty year olds who are finally FINALLY figuring out how to be grownups uentin after being kicked out of Fillory at the end of the second book has mostly spent his time since then just bumming around until he gets an offer to return to Brakebills this time as a teacher While there two important events happen uentin runs into Alice who we last saw turning into a niffin at the end of Book One; and uentin is contacted by a group recruiting magicians to steal a mysterious magical objects Meanwhile Eliot and Janet are still kicking around Fillory fully settled into their roles as king and ueen when they receive disturbing news Fillory is dying Like I said most of this book is actually very very good I especially loved Eliot and Janet's sections first because I will never ever tire of the modern young adults react to old school fantasy setting schtick and Janet and Eliot are a perfect blend of snarky can you believe this shit and genuine unashamed love of Fillory and its magic I especially loved Janet who after two books of being little than a token mean girl and a contrived wedge between uentin and Alice finally gets her due The little bits we learn about what Janet has been doing between the second and third books is fascinating and I would honestly re read the entire Magicians series if it was rewritten from Janet's perspective She's brave funny tough as nails and takes absolutely no shit from anyone whether they're uentin never was there a tale of woe Coldwater or a giant magic snapping turtle Her best line when Eliot is trying to brainstorm ways to save Fillory We could put on a show We could use the old barnSo yeah lots to like here if I'm being honest with myself and plenty of other reviewers have spent time praising these elements Go read their reviews if you want to hear how The Magician's Land is brilliant; I'll probably agree with most of their points So without further ado here's what made me furious about this book It essentially boils down to three pointsOne Grossman is doing a lot of telling and very little showing when it comes to uentin's development as a characterTo hear Grossman tell it uentin is a completely different person than he was in Book One Grossman is correct to a point uentin is no longer an entitled little shit who believes that if one world isn't up to his standards the universe should oblige by creating another one for him this is in fact exactly what happens at the end of the series but I guess it doesn't count because uentin didn't explicitly demand it or some bullshit like that and he sees people as they really are not as characters who must fit into his personal narrative in a specific way But Grossman is just so insistent about how much uentin has grown as a person telling us every few chapters that uentin had changed so much or uentin was a different person now and it felt like he realized that uentin wasn't actually that different from the kid we met in Book One and had to overcompensate Also certain events in the story are given much weight than they deserve The death of uentin's father is portrayed as a massive earth shattering event that permanently changes uentin but since his father was never even a real character in the story his death had no real weight for me no matter how many times Grossman insists that it did and oh does he insist Also remember Professor Mayakovsky of Brakebills South? We revisit him in this book and he's suddenly recast as a wise father figure for uentin Is uentin merely latching on to the nearest male authority figure as a way to cope with his father's death? Probably but Grossman isn't interested in exploring this idea and Mayakovsky remains in the role uentin has assigned him How niceTwo Alice and Julia the two biggest skeletons in uentin's emotional closet are never treated as well as they deserve by uentin or the narrative First Alice She turned into a niffin at the end of Book One to save uentin and the others and when uentin encounters her again in Book Three he decides he's going to save her When he does newly human Alice is understandably furious with him there's a much uoted passage where she rips him a much earned new one but I can't be bothered to find it now Rest assured that Alice is full of righteous fury and every ounce of it is absolutely deserved And then it's all dropped completely and uentin and Alice have sex and skip off to save Fillory together Grossman doesn't go uite so far as to make Alice get back together with uentin at the end but it's clear that he believes everything is cool between them now NO I love angry Alice most of all and Grossman robbed her of any real closure in favor of showing uentin the once and future king of Fillory saving the day and basically getting the girl once again Alice's rage ultimately doesn't matter and Grossman kind of makes it seem like this rage is merely a side effect of her experiences as a niffin rather than her own feelingsJulia isn't treated uite as badly but like Alice she deserved closure with uentin than she got Grossman never really stops the explore the fact that both of these women were essentially destroyed as a direct result of uentin's actions and he never has to answer for that Three Grossman has gotten so caught up in the fun of creating a fantasy adventure he forgot what he was trying to say in the first place The Magicians was presented as a response to the Harry Potter and Narnia books an unflinching realistic portrayal of how those idealized magical worlds would really function and reveal the cracks in their perfect facades Lev Grossman gave an interview once which of course I can't find now where he says that one of the points of The Magicians is that nobody actually gets to be the Chosen One uentin ultimately is just a guy who stumbled into a magical world He isn't special because in real life nobody is special No one is chosenSo what happens at the end of The Magician's Land? uentin saves all of Fillory by pulling a sword out of midair kills not one but two gods then becomes a god himself and remakes Fillory and he does such a good job that he eliminates the need for gods in Fillory He gets rid of the godlike powers once his work is done because he's just so damn noble and the day is saved and everyone cheers So in the end Lev Grossman has written the exact same kind of book that he tried to debunk a very special schoolboy travels to a magical land and becomes its king then its savior and all is well What was the point of all that cynicism all that fucking smugness from Grossman if this was the book he was writing all along? Like Jesus dude it's okay to say that you genuinely like the Narnia books Adding darkness and death doesn't make your book smarter or mature And deconstructing tropes and archetypes doesn't mean shit if you're just going to indulge yourself in all of them in the end

  3. says:

    In the wake of being cast out of Fillory and a short stint as a teacher at Brakebills uentin finds himself recruited to be part of a heist to steal a mysterious briefcase for a talking blackbird Meanwhile Eliot and Janet find that the magic sustaining Fillory is failing and its up to them to stop itI got this from NetgalleyWell Goodreads ate the review I spent 20 minutes writing so you're all getting shorter probably angrier version There will be spoilersThe Magicians series by Lev Grossman has had a special place in my heart for a few years now The review I wrote for the first book was the one that put me on the map as a reviewer as far as I was concerned the first one that got than a fistful of votes When I got approved for it on Netgalley I pushed everything aside like vegetables at Chris Farley's house and dove in head firstThe Magician's Land exemplifies what the final book in a trilogy should be No one is left unchanged Everyone gets their curtain call All the uestions are answered We finally get to find out what happened to Alice Eliot acts like the bad ass king he knows he was born to be Julia comes back And uentin finally becomes a master magician AND an adult instead of a callow complainerMuch like the previous book The Magician's Land is told in two threads that eventually converge uentin and Plum the new character who blessedly does not love nor want to sleep with uentin take part in the heist and then scour the globe for answers Eliot and Janet search Fillory for the cause of the breakdown of magic Things don't converge until around the 70% markOne of the things I love about this trilogy is the magic system and Grossman pushes it to its full potential Is the title a hint? YES There so much I want to gush about but I don't want to reveal too many of the nuts and bolts of the storyI liked this book uite a bit but I wanted to love the shit out of it I thought the ending was rushed In fact I saw I was at the 92% mark and thought Isn't this the final book? Shouldn't he be wrapping this shit up? The bit was Asmo at the end felt like Grossman didn't have any ideas for the knife in the briefcase and only remembered it at the end I also thought Penny and the Order's role in things could have been expanded Those were pretty minor gripes thoughLev Grossman's deconstruction of Harry Potter wrapped in a Narnia tortilla has come a long way since being conceived as an examination of the fantasy genre Instead it has become imaginative than most fantasy books on the racks and gives a glimpse of the genre's potential if writers will dare leave the confines of the Tolkien via Dungeons Dragons box they've been shoehorned into 45 out of 5 stars

  4. says:

    I don’t know Maybe it’s me fighting a book slump Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  5. says:

    Warning Mild ish spoilers for the first 2 booksI like the way Grossman tells stories I mean none of the books in this trilogy are told in the same way which just gave it a little extra sumpin sumpin in my opinionIn the first one everything plods along in this somewhat linear way with uentin first discovering magic is real moving through his education at the magical Brakebills then finding out Fillory is real which leads to losing everything and giving up magic and finally in a cliffhanger twist becoming a king in that magical land Hogwarts then Narnia then home the Narnia again?I mean it's all over the placeIn the second book it's mainly a Fillory adventure story Sure some of it happens on Earth but the core of the plot is finding the key to a special place in Fillory and saving all magic But what makes this one special is the way Julia retells her story Told in flashbacks from her point of view you find out what she went through while the rest of the cast of characters were farting around in school or traipsing through the NeitherlandsAnd this last book?The first bit of the book is told by flashing back and forth between the past and the present the rest is linear but split between several characters and towards the end an important chunk of the story is told through the diary entry of a long dead characterMaybe it was just me but I liked that Grossman didn't use the same formula every timeOk I'm not going to give any spoilers but I will say that I really enjoyed the conclusion to this trilogy uite a few things happened that caught me off guard in a good way the addition of Plum was a nice bonus and getting a peek into some of the other characters' psyche was a lot of funBut one of the best things about this last book was seeing how much uentin had grown up No he wasn't perfect but he was definitely mature and less of an assOh and speaking of uentin being an ass?There was that one character I had been dying to find out about and thankfully The Magician's Land didn't let me downSo how does it all end? Well I can't really tell you without ruining it but I will say I was satisfied with the way it all turned out WellishAlso if you are a fan of the Syfy show don't go into this expecting it to be anything like what you're used to seeing I'm not a rabid fan who's seen a lot of it but I can tell you from the few episodes I've watched this is not like what's on tv I don't think that's a bad thing but several of the characters have been changed uite a bit from the book although I like the way they were changed and it looks like there might be some characters who aren't even in the books Again not a bad thing Just go into it knowing that you're getting a different story

  6. says:

    so I'll just get this out of the way the almost entirely shitty and stupid SyFy network adaptation of this series has certainly made me better appreciate Grossman's mastery of storytelling and the uniueness of his vision ugh that show it is doing everything wrong except for those two short scenes featuring the BeastANYWAYI think what often gets ignored in the rush to discuss Grossman's snarky repositioning of Harry Potter and Narnia esue tropes and images into a poison pen letter sent from and to members of the Less Than Zero generation is this basic fact Grossman's imagination is wondrous he is at his absolute best when he lets all of the angsty nonsense go and indulges himself in fantastic flights of fancy wonder and terror the depth breadth and uirkiness of his imagination are his greatest strengthsthe transformation into whales and what that felt like was amazing to read the magical heist as drawn out as it was was huge amounts of fun the planning of it all was suspenseful and absorbing and the pacing and visual ualities of the heist itself really popped various vistas within magical Fillory were described with phenomenal skill using imagery that will stay with me Eliot's amusingly one sided battle was splendid and genuinely funny without that spiteful edge that often sours Grossman's sense of humor the dark castle and the other room and its mirror worlds were all fascinatingly sinister as were the appearances of scary niffin Alice most surprisingly Janet's tale of her sojourn into the desert and what she found there completely revitalized a character who spent the last two books being a cardboard female version of Grossman himself all of those things made me love the book alas they are not what the book is really about This was a double game he was trying to save his childhood to preserve it and trap it in amber but to do that he was calling on things that partook of the world beyond childhood whose touch would leave him even less innocent than he already was and then there's that per various passages from the book as well as explicit commentary from interviews with the author the whole point of this trilogy is apparently to be a vehicle for Grossman to exorcise his issues with the fantasy genre and snore sorry what was I saying again?I am happy at least that Grossman managed to limit his frustrating tendencies towards flip sarcasm and juvenile nihilism maybe he's warmed up maybe he's learned to accept himself and his own loves a bit ? I dunno and I don't care it's still present occasionally this insertion of Grossman's own voice in ways that really interfere with the characterization and the mood and the story itself at times he sounds just like an immature teenager who lives in his parents' basement and is addicted to Twitter and Snapchat and phrases like I heart this or that and that is really not a good look for an author who is actually one year older than my 45 years that cheap snottiness lessened the enjoyment considerably and instantly dated the material fortunately that tendency doesn't rear its ugly head too oftenand all of this angst does actually lead to a place that felt shockingly sweet and uplifting view spoilera happy ending one that revels in the power of the human imagination and the potential for humans to connect in a meaningful emotional way wow hide spoiler

  7. says:

    What an excellent conclusion to a fabulous seriesThere is so much to appreciate here across all three books This final installment came out a nose head of the others because the conclusion was lovely terrible extremely fittingIt's so weird to me that I actually came to love appreciate all of these characters to this extent They are irresistible in their own defective sort of wayTo put it frankly they're a bunch of elitist asshats flawed to the bone and it's arguable that none of them deserve to be considered heroesBut the growth developments each of them experience is so satisfyingGrossman has unleashed into this world a tale so clever that I'm left wondering at the skill it must've taken to walk this line Coming up with a story like this is one thing but executing it properly consistently on every front is a separate feat and one that Grossman has conuered masterfullyI've said it now in all three of my reviews but this is definitely not a series everyone will be able to accept Its individual components of cynicism can be difficult to reconcile with the obvious parallels to well loved series that make up a foundation in fantasy for a lot of us On top of that not everyone is excited by the prospect of their ideals about magic torn up by the rootsIt feels like one of those situations in high school where everyone is forced to read a literary classic and by the end half the class is head over heels in love while the other half is wondering why such a book even exists However I have truly enjoyed every moment I've spent reading this series The conclusion is subtle and it's easy to miss the point if you aren't paying attention Superb characterization writing and storytelling I'm not sure what I could've asked for in a final book This review and other reviews of mine can be found on Book Nest

  8. says:

    Growing up we didn't have lots of money and my dad took off with most of what we did have anyway but I was always told to do well in school so I did I was told go to college so I did In fact it was assumed than outright spoken to be honest Once I'd made the mistake of majoring in social science Economics the only solution was schoolSo I went on to law school After three miserable years in a system that only rewards the top 10 I graduated And then what? Then the real world hit After continually excelling for the most part law school was the only real blow to that thinking I was tossed out into the cold cruel worldI used to have a plan School That was about it I always knew it was a means to an end work but that notion gets befuddled somewhere about 15 years in It's hard to look past the graduation which for some reason is something to look forward toBut it's a tough realization Especially when you graduate only to have to study for the hardest test of your life bar exam and still have zero job prospectsThis is all to say that what I'm comparing is Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia to Grossman's Magicians trilogy Narnia is the bliss and Magicians is the reality What happens to those kids after they can no longer go back to the magical land? Depression? Isolation?What happens when Harry comes to the realization that his parents were killed and a diabolical madman did everything in his power to kill him What does that do to a person? Does it make them a well adjusted person? What if that person isn't strong enough to deal with it?And yet somehow Grossman doesn't make this trilogy as dark and depressing a slog as I'm making it sound like I couldn't put any of these books down I read my eyes out in each one The Magician's Land no lessIn The Magician's Land the conclusion to the Magicians trilogy uentin has been summarily kicked out of Fillory His blissful existence has been brought up short and he has to pick up the pieces and face reality Grossman plays with the idea of uentin being something great but is he really? view spoiler Multiple times we think there's something special about uentin that turns out anything but such as his special talent which turns out to be rather mundane hide spoiler

  9. says:

    ”Eliot felt very small and Fillory felt for a change very big and very wild around him It was a while since it had felt like that This was a serious uest maybe the last one What happened now truly mattered Eliot had struggled before he found Fillory he knew that he drank too much he found clever ways to be nasty to people he never seemed to have an emotion that wasn’t either ironic or chemically generated He’d changed in Fillory and the thought of going back to that of becoming that person again frightened him He wouldn’t die with Fillory he’d meant that when he said it but if Fillory died Eliot knew that something in him something small but essential wouldn’t survive either” Map of FilloryEliot is not wired to be a nice person He is immature too intelligent a stimulus junky sarcastic wickedly funny but only really dangerous when he is bored He is the High King of Fillory a magical world that he and a handful of other followers discovered The rules fit them like a glove By just arriving they become Kings and ueens If only Earth had recognized them in the same way Fillory like the books that inspired it is about uests By book three Eliot has settled into his role and knows that uests are essential not only to give his overheated brain something to ponder but also something to shake him out of the funk of contentment It is also important for him to vanuish foes solve puzzles save the world etc just so the heralds have something to say beyond The Good King Eliot kept the peace Thank goodness a tribe called the Lorians Vikingesue primitive people try to invade Fillory After defeated them and pushing them back Eliot decides to fight their champion not because it is necessary but because he wants to add another notch to the legacy of his rule ”Vile Father’s brown nipples on the ends of his pendulous man cans were like dried figs He had no scars at all on his smooth skin which somehow was scarier than if he were all messed up”Vile Father interesting name vile indeed Eliot doesn’t of course play fair that would be ridiculous he amps up his strength speed and power through magic Otherwise the diminutive nasty little Viking would have kicked his privileged ass back to Castle Whitespire As it turns out this little dustup with the Lorians is only a distraction from a much larger problem Fillory though saved so magnificently in book two is yet again in jeopardy of coming apart at the seams Time is running out for Fillory The Prodigal Son uentin will have to returnMeanwhile back on Earth or really at Brakebills College resides our hapless hero from the first two books uentin Coldwater After unceremoniously being ejected from Fillory in book two he has washed up on the green grass of Brakebills College They welcome him with open arms despite the less than amicable parting that happened last time he was there They even give him a job teaching He is excited when they decide to test him once for his best magical skill The last test had been inconclusive leaving him directionless for concentrating on and developing his most natural ability It sort of reminds me of those tests that are supposed to tell us what we are supposed to do for a living I always ended up with no specifics balanced and with a counselor bouncing like a yippy hyperactive chihuahua telling me that I could do anything I wanted to do ”It was a bit of an anticlimax You couldn’t call it sexy exactly Not breaking new ground so much He wouldn’t be striding between dimensions or calling down thunderbolts or manifesting patroni not on the strength of repair of small objects Life was briskly and efficiently stripping uentin of his last delusions about himself one by one shucking them off in firm hard jerks like wet clothes leaving him naked and shivering”Self delusions are hard to maintain under the best of conditions but poor uentin keeps having life greet him with a resounding slap across the face followed by a knee to the groin and a finishing stinging karate chop to the back of the neck leaving him stunned vulnerable but very much alive so that he doesn’t miss the rest of the painof living He gets banished from Brakebills uentin’s life is one long series of being 86’d He seems to always be in the mix of whatever is going wrong and this was no exception In his defense he was trying to save the life of a student Plum As it turns out she is the last living descendant of the original Fillory discovering Chatwin children So it was meant to beright? uentin is low on funds and needs a pile of cabbage if he is going to pull off what he NEEDS to do next It is two fold really one becomes meshed with the other If he can’t return to Fillory and he can’t be at Brakebills well then he wouldI need to pause for a moment Most people when they want to tell the world to go screw themselves buy a cabin in the woods Too mundane for uentin create his own world ”The air was thick with the smell of burning metal and the sweat of tired magicians She could sense it in the room with them now the land itself an angry hungry thirsty infant thing demanding life ready to take it from them if it had to It cried out with an almost human voice” Of course one might think that by creating your own world that there would be no way no how that anyone could kick you out of your own creation By definition you are GOD That should be true but one should keep in mind the Steve Jobs rule I did say there were two problems that uentin needed to rectify The second part is that uentin has discovered that his girlfriend is a demon Well they were on the outs when she perished in the great fight in book one but still nothing like dying young and having people pining for what would have beenI have one well maybe two demon ex girlfriends but unlike uentin I’m not willing to expend any amount of energy magic in trying to humanize them So what is it like being a demonerhhhAlice? ”Imagine knowing always and forever that you are right and that everyone and everything else is wrong”Just as I suspected They are beautiful creatures these demons that haunt uentin and I ”Her expression when she focused on him was black She was angry a wasp who’d been trapped in a jar and then shaken and she was ready to sting She was the most beautiful terrible thing he’d ever seen like an acetylene flame an incandescent filament a fallen star right in front of him”I’ve seen that look The need for cash forces uentin to attend a clandestine meeting in a bookstore with an annoying talking crow and a group of cast off magicians uentin’s days of looking down his nose at anyone are dust in the rearview mirror This is a heist along the lines of with everyone bringing a necessary specialized skill to the table Speaking of books they litter the landscape of all three novels Magic and books twine together still showing the power of words on paperparchmentvellum and the strength of words spoken in the proper order ”She would have known it was a library with her eyes shut the hush of it was enough like a velvet nest in which she’d been carefully nestled and the smell the heavy spicy aroma of slowly imperceptibly decomposing leather and paper of hundreds of tons of dry ink Every suare foot of the walls was bookshelves and every foot of every shelf was full Creamy spines leather spines knobby and ribbed spines jacketed and bar gilded and plain blank spines and spines crammed with text and ornament Some were as thin as magazines some were wider than they were tall”A book orgy has broke out on this poor young woman’s backA flying books experiment at Brakebills went very wrong With these animated books going beyond the bounds of the spell and actuallyhaving sex ”Which sounds interesting but so far the resulting offspring had been either predictably derivative in fiction or stunningly boring nonfiction; hybrid pairings between fiction and nonfiction were the most vital The librarian thought the problem was just that the right books weren’t breeding with each other and proposed a forced mating problem The library committee had an epic secret meeting about the ethics of literary eugenics which ended in a furious deadlock”I say let them breed and damn the conseuencesLev Grossman has magically lost all of his hair while writing this trilogyI must say I appreciate Lev Grossman bringing forth the growing number of Jeff Goldblum obsessives out of the closet I wouldn’t call myself an obsessive but I have a strange attraction to his movies It is a similar problem that I have with the characters of this trilogy They are not likable; and yet completely compelling for me I couldn’t put any of these books down except when drooping eyelids or real life events offered interference After a magnificent ending to book two this book felt like the trilogy was wrapping up with a whimper instead of a roar When I was mentally recapping the book and all that I experienced in it’s pages I realized that there was a lot of A game in this book as well We learn a lot of back stories that filled in some gaps We also learn about the writer of the Fillory tales Christopher Plover He proves the point that the one who writes down the memories is the one that controls the history If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  10. says:

    For being a genre fusing deconstruction of the fantasy novel this sure had me on the edge on my seatIt all started with teenage uentin Coldwater attending a magical school finding out the fantasy land from his favorite novels was real and then journeying there Following various uests and a whole lotta heartbreak uentin is back in the real world and gives himself a very personal mission to complete even while his friends back in Fillory learn that the end of that world is very nighuentin has been a Rorschach test of a character since the beginning Is he a spoiled ass who can never be happy or appreciate the amazing opportunity he has? Or maybe he’s a dreamer so sensitive to all the ways that the world and people in it fail us that he can’t help but constantly look for someplace better? Or is he a potential hero tripped up by the expectations that his fantasy nerdom have instilled him with? There’s some truth in all of those and no shortage of readers who couldn’t stand uentin or his friends I had problems with him too particularly in the first half of the second book where it seemed that uentin had regressed and I would dearly have loved to give him a slap to the back of the headHowever I always had the feeling that Lev Grossman was taking us somewhere with uentin and that I couldn’t really know the guy until I knew how he turned out in the end Here’s where that belief paid off for me with uentin now 30 years old finally acting like an adult and there’s some genuine sadness in the idea that uentin may have finally outgrown his childish things While he’s mature he’s still a magician and one thing uentin hasn’t lost is the wonder and possibilities of the fantastic Now it’s just tempered with the realism of a guy who is a crusty veteran of many battles and seasoned interdimensional traveler Grossman also shifts perspective to several other supporting characters in a variety of circumstances from an attempt to steal a magically protected object to witnessing a final apocalyptic battle in a world tearing itself apart The other characters have gone through similar arcs so that they seem less like hipsters tossing around ironic comments about being in a fantasy story and like magicians fighting for things they care about who are still capable of throwing out some one liners about being in a fantasy storyThis final book in the trilogy pays off on a lot of levels and manages to wrap up most of the loose ends without seeming so tidy that it came in box with a bow on it All of it feels rich and detailed and best of all it feels like it matteredAlso posted at Kemper's Book Blog