Lev Grossman's Magicians Trilogy

Sometimes, it pays to discover a trilogy only upon the final installment is published. Thanks to Aisha Tyler, who has mentioned The Magicians by Lev Grossman several times on her Girl on Guy podcast, I embarked on this epic journey just as The Magician's Land was making its appearance. Lev Grossman, book editor for Time magazine, has explored two what if questions: What if Hogwarts was for college kids instead of middle and high schoolers? and What if Narnia was real and someone found a way to visit? The Magician Trilogy has been called derivative, and though that is true, it is not done blindly nor blithely, and it is not meant to be hipster ironic either. It is homage, an author investigating the worlds and ideas of another.

So hear are my top seven things to love about The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman, without spoilers.
  1. All the characters grow and change, without altering what is essential to their being. Ultimately Quentin, Eliot, Julia, Janet, Alice, Josh, Poppy, Plum, discover who they are during their adventures in Fillory and the Neitherlands.
  2. Lev Grossman is not afraid to use a big word now and again. Persiflage, chthonic, anhedonic - I went to the dictionary dozens of times, and I'm a word geek
  3. There's a multiverse. 
  4. Books are important, as is genius, diligence, creativity, passion, determination, perseverance and a whole host of character traits.
  5. This is real life, and it's dark and disturbing. Rampant sex, alcoholism, death, depression, obsession, and a sinister rape scene are all part of the landscape.
  6. Fillory is the magical land about which every kid dreams. It's weird and wonderful, and you could be a king or a queen even as a child.
  7. Bad things happen to people, but they are not broken by them. In an age of victimhood, it is nice to see characters who transform their pain into power.
If you are an adult who loves J. K. Rowling or J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis , go read these books, unless you are so uptight that the reality of our modern world offends your sensibilities. Lev Grossman has given a gift to all of us who grew up wanting to find a way to Hogwarts or Narnia or Middle Earth. 


Unknown said…
Great books!