thanks to Chris Quintana at Daily Lobo

Lev Grossman is after your inner child.

In his latest novel, The Magicians, Grossman aims to kill that small hope many of us harbor: If magic existed, the world would be a better place.


Meet Quentin Coldwater, a teen who has discovered that magic is real and that he’s been accepted into a college for the craft. He finds everything a normal college student would: friends, drinking, an intense workload, and, of course, love. The only thing different is magic. Yet this talent fails to make Quentin happy, and he graduates with no plans for a future except finding harder drugs and crazier parties.

Grossman, self-proclaimed lover of fantasy books, indulges many staples of the genre. There are dragons, other worlds and dungeon crawling, but Grossman manipulates these similarities to further his themes of abject realism. One character, a pixie, is never trusted by his fellow teachers because he has wings. Even in a world of magic, prejudice is rampant, once again showing magic cannot change the nature of humans.

The Magicians, though unrelenting in its realism, also has a brazen sense of wit. Its characters make many allusions to fantasy favorites like Harry Potter and Tolkien, and during these moments the reader gets a sense that Grossman is really enjoying himself.

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I’m really looking forward to reading this book. I love Harry Potter, but it does have its moments were it seems cartoonish (Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret, for instance). It will be interesting to see how character deal with real world situations.

What do you think? Is it too close to Harry Potter for you?