The Magicians Trilogy Boxed Set: The Magicians; The Magician King; The Magician's Land
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"Richly imagined and continually surprising. . . . The strongest book in Grossman's series. It not only offers a satisfying conclusion to Quentin Coldwater's quests, earthly and otherwise, but also considers complex questions about identity and selfhood as profound as they are entertaining. . . . The Magician's Land, more than any other book in the trilogy, wrestles with the question of humanity. . . . This is a gifted writer, and his gifts are at their apex in The Magician's Land."
--Edan Lepucki, The New York Times Book Review "The strength of the trilogy lies . . . in the characters, whose inner lives and frailties Grossman renders with care and empathy. . . . Quentin['s] . . . magical journey is deeply human."
--The New Yorker "[A] wonderful trilogy. . . . If the Narnia books were like catnip for a certain kind of kid, these books are like crack for a certain kind of adult. . . . Brakebills graduates can have a hard time adjusting to life outside, though some distract themselves by lazily meddling in world affairs (e.g., the election of 2000). Readers of Mr. Grossman's mesmerizing trilogy might experience the same kind of withdrawal upon finishing The Magician's Land. Short of wishing that a fourth book could suddenly appear by magic, there's not much we can do about it."
--Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
"Grossman makes it clear in the deepening complexity and widening scope of each volume that he understands the pleasures and perils of stories and believing in them. . . . The Magician's Land triumphantly answers the essential questions at the heart of the series, about whether magic belongs to childhood alone, whether reality trumps fantasy, even whether we have the power to shape our own lives in an indifferent universe."
--Gwenda Bond, The Los Angeles Times
"A wholly satisfying and stirring conclusion to this weird and wonderful tale. . . . Relentlessly subversive and inventive. . . . Grossman can . . . write like a magician. . . . [He] reminds us that good writing can beguile the senses, imagination and intellect. The door at the back of the book is still there, and we can go back to those magical lands, older and wiser, eager for the re-enchantment."
--Keith Donohue, The Washington Post
--Nancy Klingener, The Miami Herald "[A] stirring finale to Grossman's acclaimed trilogy."
--People "The Magician's Land . . . does all the things you want in a third book: winding up everyone's stories, tying up the loose ends -- and giving you a bit more than you bargained for. . . . Starting very early in Magician's Land, Grossman kicks off a series of escalating magical battles, each more fantastic, taut, and brutal than the last, which comes to a head in the final chapters with a world-shattering Götterdämmerung scene that stands with great war at the climax of The Return of the King. At the same time, Grossman never loses sight of the idea of magic as unknowable and unsystematized, a thread of Borgesian Big Weird that culminates in a beautiful tribute to Borges himself. It's this welding together of adventure-fiction plotstuff and introspective, moody characterization that makes this book, and the trilogy it concludes, so worthy of your reading time, and your re-reading time.
--Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing "The world of Grossman's 'Magicians' series is arrestingly original, joyful and messy. It's so vividly rendered that it's almost disappointing to remember that it doesn't, after all, exist. The overall effect is -- well, there's really only one word for it: It's magical."
--Chicago Tribune "[A] satisfying ending to the series. . . . Saying goodbye to Quentin is bittersweet, but saying goodbye to a Quentin who achieves some peace at last fills the farewell with a reassuring optimism for his future."
--The Boston Globe "An enchanting conclusion . . . to a series that references C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling while remaining refreshingly original. . . . The Magician's Land is that rare novel that looks at what happens after the child prodigy grows up and has to get a job. . . . [It] features the return of a character sorely missed by both Quentin and readers alike, as well as Grossman's trademark witty dialogue."
--The Christian Science Monitor "The last (and IOHO, best) book in the hit Magicians trilogy. Savor every word."
--Cosmopolitan "An explosive conclusion to Quentin Coldwater's adventures."
--Entertainment Weekly "A satisfying finale to the series, while adding depth and shading to the world. . . . Grossman tells exciting fantasy adventures, but at the same time deconstructs the fantasy, as his characters discover that even magical wish-fulfillment is no guarantee of happiness, and even a job casting spells in a magical land is still work."
--A.V. Club (A-) "When read straight through, the Magicians trilogy reveals its lovely shape. The world of the books wraps around itself, exposing most everything necessary by its conclusion, but occluding operations that we'll never need to see. There's still a series of mysteries and untold tales left unknown deep inside the books."
--Choire Sicha, The Slate Book Review "All lovers of Lev Grossman's first two books of The Magicians trilogy: This is the end, beautiful friend. . . . One of the lovely things about this series is watching Quentin evolve from depressed teen to clear-eyed man. If Grossman raises his kids with the same sympathy with which he parents his literary teen, he'll be a smashing success. . . . Battle scenes are laid out with vivid, near-storyboard detail. There's so much excitement as to make the temptation to race ahead a serious danger. . . . Grossman brings the story home on a very satisfying chord. The chorus: We are all magicians. Life, like magic, gives back only as much as you put into it. It takes hard work, it hurts, and you have to be ready to fail. But deep within us all lies the power to enchant the world."
--Cindy Bagwell, Dallas Morning News
"So you've torn through all the volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), and you're a little over the whole dystopian young-adult thing. What's an adventure-minded reader to do for a fat beach book this August? Look no further than Lev Grossman's Magicians trilogy."
--Sara Stewart, The New York Post "The very satisfying final book in [Grossman's] trilogy. . . . This third book, at turns a heist story, a meditation on the act of creation, and an apocalyptic disaster tale, continues the adventures of main character Quentin Coldwater. It mixes genre deconstruction with psychological realism, full of self-aware figures who are cognizant of all the tropes of fantasy fiction, while at the same time working to fulfill those tropes or push against them. There are great swaths of high imagination in The Magician's Land, evocative passages that contain entire worlds. Writing, like magic, is a craft, and Grossman performs it oh so well."
--Gilbert Cruz, NY1 "In the smash trilogy's thrilling end, Quentin is cast out of Fillory, the enchanted realm he once ruled. But he'll risk his life (and make dangerous allies) to save the threatened world."
--US Weekly "[A] deeply satisfying finale . . . [Grossman's] characters' magical battles have a bravura all their own. . . . The essence of being a magician, as Quentin learns to define it, could easily serve as a thumbnail description of Grossman's art: 'the power to enchant the world.'"
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "An absolutely brilliant fantasy filled with memorable characters--old and new--and prodigious feats of imagination. . . . Endlessly fascinating . . . Fantasy fans will rejoice at its publication."
--Booklist (starred review)
"[The Magicians] series taken as a whole brings new life and energy to the fantasy genre. The final volume will please fans looking for action, emotion, and, ultimately, closure."
--Library Journal "An elegantly written third act to Quentin's bildungsroman. . . . Fans of the trilogy will be pleased."
"If you haven't read the first two books in Grossman's Magicians trilogy, buy them immediately and set aside a weekend to read them straight through before you turn to The Magician's Land. The series, which follows a group of--you guessed it--magicians through the emotional foibles of young adulthood has been called 'Harry Potter for adults.' But it's way more complex than that. Grossman hones in on the particularly brutal business of being young, and then adds layer upon layer of literary allusion, creating works that are both homages to fantasy's past and glimpses at its future."
--The New Republic "Sink your mobile devices into the nearest wishing well and duct-tape your front door against gnomes, pollsters, and other distractions. The Magician's Land is beckoning, and demands your full attention. Lev Grossman proves again that the costs and consolations of creation--both of Fillory and of this conclusion to his trilogy--are mighty forces. Quentin Coldwater, Grossman's Orpheus and his Abraham, his Yahweh and his Puck, enchants as few other magicians can, or dare."
--Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon "Lev Grossman has conjured a rare creature: a trilogy that simply gets better and better as it goes along. The Magician's Land is sumptuous and surprising yet deliciously familiar, a glass of rich red wine left out for a hungry ghost. Literary perfection for those of us who grew up testing the structural integrity of the backs of wardrobes."
--Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus "The Magician's Land is a triumphant climax to the best fantasy trilogy of the decade."
--Charles Stross "Poignant and messy, fearsome and beautiful--like a good magic spell, the final book in this trilogy is more than the sum of its parts. Also, damn. Just some of the best magic I have read, ever."
--Maggie Stiefvater Praise for The Magician King
"[A] serious, heartfelt novel [that] turns the machinery of fantasy inside out."
--The New York Times (Editor's Choice) "A spellbinding stereograph, a literary adventure novel that is also about privilege, power, and the limits of being human. The Magician King is a triumphant sequel."
--NPR.org "[The Magician King] is The Catcher in the Rye for devotees of alternative universes. It's dazzling and devil-may-care. . . . Grossman has created a rare, strange, and scintillating novel."
--Chicago Tribune "The Magician King is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy."
--The Boston Globe "Grossman has devised an enchanted milieu brimming with possibility, and his sly authorial voice gives it a literary life that positions The Magician King well above the standard fantasy fare."
--San Francisco Chronicle "Grossman expands his magical world into a boundless enchanted universe, and his lively characters navigate it with aplomb."
--The New Yorker "The Magician King, the immensely entertaining new novel by Lev Grossman, manages to be both deep and deeply enjoyable."
--Chicago Sun-Times "Now that Harry Potter is through in books and films, grown-up fans of the boy wizard might want to give this nimble fantasy series a try."
--New York Post "Lev Grossman's The Magician King is a fresh take on the fantasy-quest novel--dark, austere, featuring characters with considerable psychological complexity, a collection of idiosyncratic talking animals (a sloth who knows the path to the underworld, a dragon in the Grand Canal), and splendid set pieces in Venice, Provence, Cornwall, and Brooklyn."
--The Daily Beast "In this page-turning follow-up to his bestselling 2009 novel The Magicians, Grossman takes another dark, sarcastically sinister stab at fantasy, set in the Narnia-esque realm of Fillory."
--Entertainment Weekly Praise for The Magicians
"Fresh and compelling...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."
--Washington Post "The Magicians is original...slyly funny."
--USA Today "Lev Grossman's playful fantasy novel The Magicians pays homage to a variety of sources...with such verve and ease that you quickly forget the references and lose yourself in the story."
--O, The Oprah Magazine "The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. Solidly rooted in the traditions of both fantasy and mainstream literary fiction, the novel tips its hat to Oz and Narnia as well to Harry, but don't mistake this for a children's book. Grossman's sensibilities are thoroughly adult, his narrative dark and dangerous and full of twists. Hogwarts was never like this."
--George R. R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones "Stirring, complex, adventurous...from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy."
--Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize--winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao "I felt like I was poppin' peyote buttons with J. K. Rowling when I was reading Lev Grossman's new novel The Magicians....I couldn't put it down."
--Mickey Rapkin, GQ "The novel manages a literary magic trick: it's both an enchantingly written fantasy and a moving deconstruction of enchantingly realized fantasies."
--Los Angeles Times "Intriguing, coming-of-age fantasy."
--Boston Globe (Pick of the Week) "The Magicians by Lev Grossman is a very entertaining book; one of those summer page-turners that you wish went on for another six volumes. Grossman takes a good number of the best childhood fantasy books from the last seventy-five years and distills their ability to fascinate into the fan-boy mind of his protagonist, Quentin Coldwater.... There is no doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers."
--Chicago Sun-Times "Entertaining."
--People "Lev Grossman's novel The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping, and enchanting fantasy novel I've read this century.... Grossman is a hell of a pacer, and the book rips along, whole seasons tossed out in a single sentence, all the boring mortar ground off the bricks, so that the book comes across as a sheer, seamless face that you can't stop yourself from tumbling down once you launch yourself off the first page. This isn't just an exercise in exploring what we love about fantasy and the lies we tell ourselves about it--it's a shit-kicking, gripping, tightly plotted novel that makes you want to take the afternoon off work to finish it."
--Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing "An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting."
--Salon.com "Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond."
--Entertainment Weekly "This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them, and tell a darkly cunning story about the power of imagination itself. [The Magicians is] an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story."
--The New Yorker