Lev Grossman created an incredible, if somewhat familiar, magical world in The Magicians: something like a mash-up of Harry Potter and Narnia, a mundane world where a select few are chosen to learn sorcery, in which an even more select few find access to a secret world previously known only from a series of children's books. The similarities, though, end there: Grossman's world is more grown-up, more severe, and more intense in every way imaginable.
Where The Magicians focused on college-aged kids, and The Magician King moved our cast of characters into the post-college, pre-adulthood world of figuring out who we want to be when we grow up, The Magician's Land gives us relatively fully-formed adult characters, grown from the children we met in Grossman's earlier volumes: Quentin, who still doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up but is forced to decide, and quickly; Julia, who did a hell of a lot of growing up in The Magician King; Poppy and Josh, who are now in love and ruling Fillory in relative peace and quiet; Elliot and Janet, who have not fallen in love, but rule alongside Poppy and Josh.
As with Grossman's previous works, The Magician's Land uses a fantastical backdrop to reflect back on us important questions of our real lives: Who do we want to be when we grow up, and when does that growing happen? How far are we willing to go to achieve our dreams--and how far is too far? But he also asks more philosophical, complicated questions about magic itself, as Quentin and the others push magic to its known limits to achieve what they believe is necessary.
I don't mean to be vague in plot details, but the joy of Grossman's novels lies in the unexpected details, the "oh-no-you-didn't" moments as you read (along with the clever jibes against Harry Potter, quick references to lulz, a few OMG moments, and other pop culture references peppered throughout). Suffice it to say that those who have been waiting for years for the last volume of The Magicians trilogy will not be disappointed; and those who haven't started the series should probably start. Now seems a good time to do so, doesn't it?
If you've been holding your breath waiting for the last volume of the Magicians trilogy, here's your chance to win a copy! Courtesy of Viking, I can offer one U.S. resident a copy. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Winner details will be shared with the publisher, who will provide the prize copy to the winner.
The Magician's Land | Lev Grossman | Hardcover | August 2014 | 406 pages