Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The Magicians is the second novel from Lev Grossman, book critic for TIME magazine. A throughly well constructed fantasy and work of fiction. It's frequently compared with the Harry Potter series, but with a CONSIDERABLY more adult target audience. Set in modern day New York, the series focuses on gifted youngsters whose talents extend much farther than anybody could really expect. Basing some of his concepts of magic on the old hermetic/Pythagorean philosophies, the magic isn't ever really explained and it really doesn't need to be, it's enough to know that the young people are gifted. The novel also has a familiar call back to the stories of C.S. Lewis' Narnia, with a series of books that the folks at the gifted school Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy seem obsessed with, and the novel has a terrific twist near the end. The characters are all rapidly painted, but fully fleshed, showing considerable writing technique... Though the novel feels like more mainstream fiction, meaning that there is little chance of more writing on the characters or in the world the writer created I hope there's more at some point in the future. I highly recommend this novel for folks who enjoy either mainstream fiction or excellent stand alone fantasy.