The Magician’s Land | book review

The Magician’s Land

Author: Lev Grossman
Series: The Magicians, #3
Format: Audiobook
Length: 16.5 hours
Narrator: Mark Bramhall
Publisher: Penguin
Original Publication Date: 2014
Genre(s): Adult fiction, Fantasy

Quentin Coldwater finds himself back at Brakebills, back where it all began. This time, however, as a professor. He’s thirty years old and has been cast out of Fillory, the only place he truly felt he belonged. But it’s time let all of that go, start over, start his new life back on Earth. But it seems he can’t put that all behind him, not yet. Something’s wrong in Fillory, but Quentin doesn’t know that yet. Instead, he finds himself on a strange quest on Earth, with a few other magicians, that leads him back to Fillory, to the Chatwins, and to old friends he never thought he’d see again. The story isn’t over. Not yet.

The Magician’s Land is the epic conclusion to this magical fantasy, and is arguably the best book in the trilogy. It’s told in third-person POV and follows multiple characters, mostly Quentin on Earth, Eliot in Fillory, and Plum, an undergraduate magician on a journey with Quentin. As usual, there’s a lot going on, especially since the gang is separated once again, living in different worlds with their own problems in each. While Quentin gets roped into a dangerous quest with Plum, Eliot and Janet and Poppy and Josh are made aware of terrible, shocking news. It’s a great story, one that leaves you hungering to turn the page.

Throughout these books, I’ve always liked Quentin. Most people do not, because he kind of acts like a spoiled, annoying asshole. And sure, he kind of is. But I’ve always liked him, and rooted for him, and sympathized with him. As the main character, I knew we’d watch him grow and mature over the course of these three books, and he did. At thirty years old in this last installment, Quentin has finally grown up and come into his own. He’s matured emotionally, and he recognizes how immature and awful he could be as a child. But he learns to forgive himself, and those around him I believe forgive him, too. We all grow up and have difference experiences. We can’t all be smart, mature, kind, and perfect 100% of the time. That’s why I like Quentin. He felt very real and honest to me, and I loved watching his character arc.

I also liked the new characters (especially Plum), and the old faces that popped up here and there. I liked that we got some Janet backstory, because it helped me not dislike her. I like that Julia is this demi-goddess now and not the crazy jealous quasi-magician she was in the first two books. I will never love Julia, but I liked her in this book. And Plum, though new, got her own flushed-out backstory and a nice arc as well. And I won’t say if we get Alice back or not, but we do get more of her in this book, and I liked that, too. I know Grossman could have done a little better in terms of writing these women, but I liked that he tried to incorporate strong female characters into the narrative. Okay, and I have to mention Eliot because he is legit my favorite character. I LOVE ELIOT. I loved reading from his perspective throughout the book. Eliot could do anything and I’d love him. He just makes me smile.

The Magician’s Land was definitely my favorite of the trilogy. The characters finally grew up, the action was nonstop and thrilling, and the worldbuilding is perfect (not too in-depth, but not entirely forgotten). I do have some issues with Grossman’s trilogy, much of it regarding the writing of certain scenes and characters, and the constant badgering of Josh for being fat (like, we get it, shut up). But it’s still a good trilogy and worth a read, especially if you love magical fantasies. Just…know that it’ll definitely be a problematic favorite at times. This book is great, and was a very fitting end to this trilogy. It made me cry, guys! Twice! I’m on to start watching SyFy’s adaptation (I’ve heard it’s a very loose adaptation…), so in the meantime, if you haven’t read this series yet, get on it!

Favorite Quotes

–“It didn’t matter where you were, if you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home.”
–“She was too tired to feel anything more, she wanted a book to do to her what books did: take away the world, slide it aside for a little bit, and let her please, please just be somewhere and somebody else.”

My Rating

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