10. The Magicians, Lev Grossman

26 Mar

I’m afraid this book is going to get short-shrift in the review department. It’s a gritty, magical wizard-academy book with a minor in creepy updated Narnia that’s very good in terms of writing and world-building and was a huge pleasure to read.

There’s even a stab at deeper meaning. The book takes on the healthiness/ goodness of being too attached to the idea of magic or fanciful created worlds. (It is the young magican’s attachment to the fantasy-Narnia-world that screws him in the end…). I’m a re-reader with many deep attachments to novel-worlds that don’t exist. Jane Austen’s England. John Sandford’s Minneapolis. Dorothy Sayers’s London. Jaqueline Carey’s Terra d’Ange. Katya Reimann’s Bissanty. Tolstoy’s Moscow. To name just a few. So maybe I just didn’t like it that such attachments were argued to be a character flaw, but I was a little disappointed that this was where the book went.

I’ll probably read the next one less for the characters and more because Grossman’s ideas and settings were so imaginative and great. For a long time, I had no idea where the book was going, how the dropped threads and planted clues would be picked back up, which, when you’re dealing with several magical worlds, is pretty cool.

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