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The Magicians

Book 1, Magicians Trilogy - A Novel

Lev Grossman

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, soon to be an original series on Syfy“The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this.” —George R.R. Martin   “Sad, hilarious, beautiful & essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy.” —Joe Hill   “A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre.” —John Green   “The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I’ve read this century.” —Cory DoctorowLike everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined. Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians, the prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician's Land, is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world-where good and evil aren't black and white, and power comes at a terrible price.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jun 01, 2009 – Harry Potter discovers Narnia is real in this derivative fantasy thriller from Time book critic Grossman (Codex). Quentin Coldwater, a Brooklyn high school student devoted to a children’s series set in the Narnia-like world of Fillory, is leading an aimless existence until he’s tapped to enter a mysterious portal that leads to Brakebills College, an exclusive academy where he’s taught magic. Coldwater, whose special gifts enable him to skip grades, finds his family’s world “mundane and domestic” when he returns home for vacation. He loses his innocence after a prank unintentionally allows a powerful evil force known only as the Beast to enter the college and wreak havoc. Eventually, Coldwater’s powers are put to the test when he learns that Fillory is a real place and how he can journey there. Genre fans will easily pick up the many nods to J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien in the climactic battle between the bad guy and a magician. 5-city author tour.

Customer Reviews

Brilliant and enlightening

This is a truly brilliant piece of literature. It pays respect to prior fantasy works while criticizing them at the same time. The Magicians is ultimately a novel about the dangers of escapism and the misery it brings. The central message is live the life you have, you might not be happy, but running away from life always leads to misery.

Another central theme of the book is the link between language and magic. Grossman explicitly draws out how magic exists in the real world, it is just through words. The most transformative moments in the book are the results of dialogue between the central characters, much more so than any spell. Words can create love, sadness, destruction, and all other sorts of actions associated with magic. The wonderful writing and the choice of the fantasy novel genre to transmit this message is perfect.

Not compelling

Started reading and kept up through the whole book, just hoping that at some point along the way I would actually want to root for the main character, but the author has created a whole cast of characters who are caricatures of sad people, so mired in depression and absorbed with their own unhappiness that they are impossible to relate to. Sure, there are a lot of big words in the book and my vocabulary is a bit better because of it, but to call the author the modern day heir of c.s. Lewis is an insult to the latter - I couldn't identify with these characters at all and in the end didn't even care what happened to them.

Not worth the time

While the beginning was intriguing, it soon became boring and so far fetched, it was barely worth finishing. If you want to live in a fantasy world, it might be your cup of tea. Otherwise, skip it.

Other Books in This Series

The Magicians
View In iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Epic
  • Published: Aug 11, 2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 1, Magicians Trilogy
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings