The Magicians - Lev Grossman

The Magicians

By Lev Grossman

  • Release Date: 2009-08-11
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4
From 1,142 Ratings


The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, now an original series on SYFY

The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this.”
—George R.R. Martin
“Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy.”
—Joe Hill
“A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre.”
—John Green
The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I’ve read this century.”
—Cory Doctorow

“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.”
—The New Yorker

“The best urban fantasy in years.”
—A.V. Club

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. . . .

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.


  • book review

    By Mady Null
    highly recommend. very well written, great character development, and really keeps you interested. so sad to see it end.
  • Snoozer

    By Abby RP.
    So boring. Felt like a poorly written rip off of Lion Witch Wardrobe and Harry Potter that was trying to “be cool.” i stopped reading 3/4 through and had enough. Wish i could get my money back!!!
  • Terrible, horrible, and oh so boring

    By Viktoria's flame
    Can't believe I even got halfway through this book before finally tossing it aside. God its so boring. Anyways I have three big issues with this book. First off let me say descriptive writing is nice, but should be used in moderation. I don't need to know the hues and scents of every single tree Quentin (the main character) walks past. He describes every single idiotic thing to the point where I became very agitated. Secondly, can I just ask the author what sort of crack he was smoking when he came up with this fantasy world. At some points the storyline is so screwed up. I felt critically disturbed during many scenes in the book. This is also coming from someone who read Game of Thrones and watches American Horror Story. Lastly Quentin. Oh Quentin you are the worst main character I have had the burden of following in this adventure. He is shallow, and just keeps on pitying himself. We get it, your best friend and one true love didn't fall for you and your friends don't pay attention to your whims and woes. Boo hoo who cares. You don't have to be so boring. But sadly you are and those the very reason I absolutely despise this book.
  • A cult classic of our generation

    By Lamarok
    It's an incredible book about the coming of age as a wizard involving drugs, sex, magic and violence and the struggle of living with untold power at your command. 10/10 adult Harry Potter
  • Good book

    By Clintoffogus
    Hard to get into but when you do your hooked. Some slow parts but overall good story.

    By Arial Black
    I hate you, George RR Martin. I bought this book just because he said it's boozier version of Harry Potter. I turned a blind eye to all the negative reviews just because he said so. It's not in any way comparable to the (quality of) Harry Potter. It's more a ripoff of Narnia. It's a Narnia fan fiction . . . a really terible horrible awful one.
  • Meh

    By Just a thought. Just a smirk.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, but really really disliked the main character. I very much liked the story but am not a fan of the writing style. Oh well. Didn't stop me from buying the next two books.
  • Charming and articulate

    By Ron Reed
    I found this book to be original, well paced, complex and populated with likable and diverse characters. There is a wry wit and subtle humor running through even the most somber scenes that is quite appealing. This book does play a vague homage to the works of C.S. Lewis, in that the parallel universe of Fillory lays behind the main story, in theory accessible through a closet or clock much like Lewis' land of Narnia. Fillory is more evocative of early 20th century fantastical literature as a whole, however, as it is not burdened by the hamfisted Christian propoganda that awkwardly mired Lewis’ work. It is also chocked full of brief allusions to many other works of high fantasy. I have read a number of reviews here that claimed that this story was depressing, dull, overly complex, the characters unlikable. I suspect that these are written by those who read only the lightest of fiction and perhaps not in great quantity. This is a nice piece of fantastical literature with some depth to it. It is not, however, a major undertaking such as Ulysses by James Joyce or even Dhalgren by Samuel Delaney. While I would agree that this book touches on ‘mature themes’ relative to some light fantasy literature, this is not Harry Potter for adults ( If pressed, I would reserve that concept for Susanna Clarke’s astonishing 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell', a work superior to this or the Potter books) as that reference could imply that this work is singularly derivative, which it is not. It’s its own thing, and that thing is engrossing and magnetic.
  • Great read!!

    By Morinstn
    This is one of the rare books that the hero really isn't a hero. He's a messed up kid that continues to be messed up. But that's totally ok in literature. The story line was quick, spanning 6 years, and felt very "Harry potter-Esque" while he was still in school. Unlike Harry Potter, there are a lot of adult things happening, and the drama that goes along with it. They go to a different world (that we hear all about through the Hero's love of a children's series), and the author does a great job of giving just enough detail to let our imaginations figure out what things look like. He does actually connects things together, which is a major bonus. The writing style is intelligent (lots of big words) and there are some wonderful turn of phrases (my favorite: malignant menagerie). Overall, I'd say 4/5 stars, losing a star only for the slight drag in the middle between school (which was interesting) and the plot leading up to the new magical land.
  • Well Written Crap

    By demonboyzan
    For the most part, the title says it all. The book is well written, sure, but at least three fourths of it is just the characters drinking, having sex, and whining to each other or to themselves about their lives and how pointless everything is or how bored they are. The last quarter of the novel become slightly different in that the characters act more than just talk, drink, and think, but overall it's not nearly enough to counterbalance the rest of the story. Maybe it might all mean something more to some people but for the average reader, it's a pretty pointless story that never really goes anywhere till it's nearly over and even then it turns out to be false hope. The ending doesn't make me wish to read the next book in the series either, rather it urges me to find a way to come face to face with the author Lev Grossman so I might punch him solidly in the nose.