The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.
“Quentin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.”
So we begin a murky, dark fantasy. Quentin is good at school, but not great at making friends. Like many of us, he’s obsessed with a children’s fantasy series, and dreams of another life, another world, where he can be magical.
He’s interviewing for a prestigious college when he finds an entrance to another place – Brakebills. It’s a secret university for magicians, hid behind a cloak of invisibility. When he passes the test, he is whirled away to a school where he is a prodigy, where he finally has friends who are equals, and where he belongs.
But a dark force waits just beneath the surface. A force of magic that threatens the school and the magical world itself.
I won’t say more than that, because I don’t want to give away what happens. Does he flunk out? Succeed? Hook up with his old flame from his old life, Julia? The new hot girl at school, Alice?
This book was off the charts. I absolutely loved every minute of it. Grossman is a master storyteller. Quentin is sympathetic, yet flawed. I loved him and was annoyed by his mistakes. I envisioned myself as a Brakebills student. I cried for Quentin’s losses.
I’m going to invoke the holy name of HARRY POTTER. Yes, this is compared to Harry Potter, but other than a young man going to a magic school, there’s not many other similarities. This is a great book that stands on its own.
A very dark, thrilling tale of getting exactly what you asked for. The truth can be a cruel mistress.
Are you still reading this review?
GO BUY IT. NOW.
(Also this is now a series on Syfy, but I’ve only seen an episode or two. It didn’t seem to follow the book plot-wise. But still worth watching on its own!)