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The magicians : a novel
2009
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Quentin Coldwater (Male), College student, Sorcerer, Obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child; admitted to a secret exclusive college of magic where he learned modern sorcery; discovered the magical world he read about as a child is a real place
Genre
Fiction
Fantasy
Coming of age
Adventure
Topics
Magic
College students
College life
Friendship
Young men
Books and reading
Sorcery
Sorcerers
Parallel worlds
Portals
Pranks
Journeys
Setting
New York - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Most of us secretly believed as children that we were somehow destined for greatness. Someday there would be a letter delivered by owl or a magical wardrobe, and it would turn out we were the long-lost ruler of a land in eternal winter! Time magazine book critic Grossman (The Codex) explores what it might be like if this really happened. High school senior Quentin is on his way to a college interview when he wanders off the street and ends up transported to another place.where it's still summer. At first he thinks he must be in the land of Fillory, where his favorite childhood books took place, but no, he is actually at a magical college in upstate New York. He passes the entrance exam and decides to skip the rest of senior year and become a wizard instead-well, wouldn't you? In the course of his adventures, he finds out that studying magic is actually insanely difficult and that fighting a war for the royal succession of an alternate world is much less glamorous than it sounds. But this is not quite a "be careful what you wish for" story. Ultimately, being a magician is, in fact, awesome. This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would also appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended.-Jenne Bergstrom, San Diego Cty. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

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. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, now an original series on SYFY<br> <br> " The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this."<br> --George R.R. Martin<br> <br> "Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy."<br> --Joe Hill<br> <br> "A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre."<br> --John Green<br> <br> " The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I've read this century."<br> --Cory Doctorow<br> <br> "This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them . . . an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story."<br> --The New Yorker <br> <br> "The best urban fantasy in years."<br> --A.V. Club <br> <br> Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he's secretly fascinated with a series of children's fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .<br> <br> The prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician's Land , The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.
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