The Magician King (80/100) – Lev Grossman

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Overview:

We finally find out what Julia has been up to, and wow I never saw it coming!  For those that watched the tv show, the mystery behind Julia is ruined pretty quickly, so for anyone thinking of reading the books and watching the show, I’d recommend finishing the second book before starting the tv show.

We return back to Fillory where we find out that once everything is set right, things are rather boring.  Quentin and Julia decide to go on a quest to do something, but get more than they bargained for.  They inadvertently  find out that magic is going away and now they have to find a way to stop it.

Review – There may be spoilers

1. Concept: This second book picks up right where the The Magicians left off and brings a new story and challenge to the heroes from the first book.

2. Writing: 10 I feel like this book was better written than the first.  Lev brought in great humor from the stupidest jokes that you can’t help but laugh.  Quentin calling everyone in Fillory out on their bullshit was the best part of the book.  He said what I was thinking as I read it and it brings up exactly what’s wrong with Narnia.

3. How long did it take to get into the book: 7 This book started back in Fillory which was great, but it showed how slow things are when you defeat the bad guy.  Quentin and company are just sitting around waiting for something to happen and it seemed to just drag on.  Once they finally got involved with Penny things picked back up, but until then things just went too slow.

4. Character Development: 7 Lev did a better job at modulating the sexuality in this book and toned down Quentin’s desires quite a bit which was refreshing.  We get the back story to Julia which was shocking to say the least, but that part of the book was my favorite.  She found a way to get magic at all costs and the way it ended was so surprising I had to read the page a few times.

5. Plot: 8 The plot in The Magician King was really interesting and the way that Lev spelled everything out was great.  By flashing back and forth with Julia’s back story I was torn between what I wanted to read more.  I hated getting torn from Fillory and Quentin to go back to Julia’s backstory, but on the flip side, I hated getting torn from Julia’s backstory to go back to Quentin and Fillory.  It was awesome!

6. Pacing: 8 The book started with Quentin, Elliott, Julia, and Janet being really bored.  This in turn made the book really boring for a while.  It did pick back up, but it took me a while to get past the first few chapters before things finally started happening.

7. Ending: 10 Wow! Julia’s back story was just…wow.  I couldn’t believe how it ended from being tricked by Reynard to being turned into a Dryad by Our Lady Underground.  It was so fulfilling.

8. Cover Art: 5 An eclipse from a cave is less than enticing, but in the end I was going to read the book anyway so it didn’t matter much.

9. World Building: 9 We get to see more of the Neitherlands and what Penny has been up to.   Reading about all the different fountains was great.  The underworld was terrifying, and Lev did an awesome job at bringing us there.  The lore of all the gods was one of my favorite aspects of the book and getting to see Reynard’s power as well as Our Lady Underground was awesome.

10. Would I read other books by the Author: 7 Lev wrote another intriguing adventure and I look forward to finding his other books.

This second book had some great humor and an intriguing story line.  It answered enough questions that I had from the first book, but left enough to keep me wanting to come back for the third book.

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