The Magicians Trilogy Books 1-3

The Magicians; The Magician King; The Magicians Land

Author Lev Grossman On Tour
The entire #1 New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy, including The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician's Land, now available in one ebook bundle

The Magicians
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 may 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 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.

The Magician King
Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real-world and not in Fillory, as they’d hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia’s illicitly learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

The Magician's Land
Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical world of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. The Magician’s Land is an intricate and fantastical thriller, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy.

 
BOOK 1
BROOKLYN

Quentin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.

They picked their way along the cold, uneven sidewalk together: James, Julia, and Quentin. James and Julia held hands. That’s how things were now. The sidewalk wasn’t quite wide enough, so Quentin trailed after them, like a sulky child. He would rather have been alone with Julia, or just alone period, but you couldn’t have everything. Or at least the available evidence pointed overwhelmingly to that conclusion.

“Okay!” James said over his shoulder. “Q. Let’s talk strategy.”

James seemed to have a sixth sense for when Quentin was starting to feel sorry for himself. Quentin’s interview was in seven minutes. James was right after him.

“Nice firm handshake. Lots of eye contact. Then when he’s feeling comfortable, you hit him with a chair and I’ll break his password and e-mail Princeton.”

“Just be yourself, Q,” Julia said.

Her dark hair was pulled back in a wavy bunch. Somehow it made it worse that she was always so nice to him.

“How is that different from what I said?”

Quentin did the magic trick again. It was a very small trick, a basic one-handed sleight with a nickel. He did it in his coat pocket where nobody could see. He did it again, then he did it backward.

“I have one guess for his password,” James said. “Password.”

It was kind of incredible how long this had been going on, Quentin thought. They were only seventeen, but he felt like he’d known James and Julia forever. The school systems in Brooklyn sorted out the gifted ones and shoved them together, then separated the ridiculously brilliant ones from the merely gifted ones and shoved them together, and as a result they’d been bumping into each other in the same speaking contests and regional Latin exams and tiny, specially convened ultra-advanced math classes since elementary school. The nerdiest of the nerds. By now, their senior year, Quentin knew James and Julia better than he knew anybody else in the world, not excluding his parents, and they knew him. Everybody knew what everybody else was going to say before they said it. Everybody who was going to sleep with anybody else had already done it. Julia—pale, freckled, dreamy Julia, who played the oboe and knew even more physics than he did—was never going to sleep with Quentin.

Quentin was thin and tall, though he habitually hunched his shoulders in a vain attempt to brace himself against whatever blow was coming from the heavens, and which would logically hit the tall people first. His shoulder-length hair was freezing in clumps. He should have stuck around to dry it after gym, especially with his interview today, but for some reason—maybe he was in a self-sabotaging mood—he hadn’t. The low gray sky threatened snow. It seemed to Quentin like the world was offering up special little tableaux of misery just for him: crows perched on power lines, stepped-in dog shit, windblown trash, the corpses of innumerable wet oak leaves being desecrated in innumerable ways by innumerable vehicles and pedestrians.

“God, I’m full,” James said. “I ate too much. Why do I always eat too much?”

“Because you’re a greedy pig?” Julia said brightly. “Because you’re tired of being able to see your feet? Because you’re trying to make your stomach touch your penis?”

James put his hands behind his head, his fingers in his wavy chestnut hair, his camel cashmere coat wide open to the November cold, and belched mightily. Cold never bothered him. Quentin felt cold all the time, like he was trapped in his own private individual winter.

James sang, to a tune somewhere between “Good King Wenceslas” and “Bingo”:
In olden times there was a boy 
Young and strong and brave-o 
He wore a sword and rode a horse 
And his name was Dave-o . . .

“God!” Julia shrieked. “Stop!”

James had written this song five years ago for a middle-school talent show skit. He still liked to sing it; by now they all knew it by heart. Julia shoved him, still singing, into a garbage can, and when that didn’t work she snatched off his watch cap and started beating him over the head with it.

“My hair! My beautiful interview hair!”

King James, Quentin thought. Le roi s’amuse.

“I hate to break up the party,” he said, “but we’ve got like two minutes.”

“Oh dear, oh dear!” Julia twittered. “The duchess! We shall be quite late!”

I should be happy, Quentin thought. I’m young and alive and healthy. I have good friends. I have two reasonably intact parents—viz., Dad, an editor of medical textbooks, and Mom, a commercial illustrator with ambitions, thwarted, of being a painter. I am a solid member of the middle-middle class. My GPA is a number higher than most people even realize it is possible for a GPA to be.

But walking along Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, in his black overcoat and his gray interview suit, Quentin knew he wasn’t happy. Why not? He had painstakingly assembled all the ingredients of happiness. He had performed all the necessary rituals, spoken the words, lit the candles, made the sacrifices. But happiness, like a disobedient spirit, refused to come. He couldn’t think what else to do.

He followed James and Julia past bodegas, laundromats, hipster boutiques, cell-phone stores limned with neon piping, past a bar where old people were already drinking at three forty-five in the afternoon, past a brown-brick Veterans of Foreign Wars hall with plastic patio furniture on the sidewalk in front of it. All of it just confirmed his belief that his real life, the life he should be living, had been mislaid through some clerical error by the cosmic bureaucracy. This couldn’t be it. It had been diverted somewhere else, to somebody else, and he’d been issued this shitty substitute faux life instead.

Maybe his real life would turn up in Princeton. He did the trick with the nickel in his pocket again.

“Are you playing with your wang, Quentin?” James asked.

Quentin blushed.

“I am not playing with my wang.”

“Nothing to be ashamed of.” James clapped him on the shoulder. “Clears the mind.”

The wind bit through the thin material of Quentin’s interview suit, but he refused to button his overcoat. He let the cold blow through it. It didn’t matter, he wasn’t really there anyway.

He was in Fillory.

Christopher Plover’s Fillory and Further is a series of five novels published in England in the 1930s. They describe the adventures of the five Chatwin children in a magical land that they discover while on holiday in the countryside with their eccentric aunt and uncle. They aren’t really on holiday, of course—their father is up to his hips in mud and blood at Passchendaele, and their mother has been hospitalized with a mysterious illness that is probably psychological in nature, which is why they’ve been hastily packed off to the country for safekeeping.

But all that unhappiness takes place far in the background. In the foreground, every summer for three years, the children leave their various boarding schools and return to Cornwall, and each time they do they find their way into the secret world of Fillory, where they have adventures and explore magical lands and defend the gentle creatures who live there against the various forces that menace them. The strangest and most persistent of those enemies is a veiled figure known only as the Watcherwoman, whose horological enchantments threaten to stall time itself, trapping all of Fillory at five o’clock on a particularly dreary, drizzly afternoon in late September.

Like most people Quentin read the Fillory books in grade school. Unlike most people—unlike James and Julia—he never got over them. They were where he went when he couldn’t deal with the real world, which was a lot. (The Fillory books were both a consolation for Julia not loving him and also probably a major reason why she didn’t.) And it was true, there was a strong whiff of the English nursery about them, and he felt secretly embarrassed when he got to the parts about the Cozy Horse, an enormous, affectionate equine creature who trots around Fillory by night on velvet hooves, and whose back is so broad you can sleep on it.

But there was a more seductive, more dangerous truth to Fillory that Quentin couldn’t let go of. It was almost like the Fillory books—especially the first one, The World in the Walls—were about reading itself. When the oldest Chatwin, melancholy Martin, opens the cabinet of the grandfather clock that stands in a dark, narrow back hallway in his aunt’s house and slips through into Fillory (Quentin always pictured him awkwardly pushing aside the pendulum, like the uvula of a monstrous throat), it’s like he’s opening the covers of a book, but a book that did what books always promised to do and never actually quite did: get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better.

The world Martin discovers in the walls of his aunt’s house is a world of magical twilight, a landscape as black and white and stark as a printed page, with prickly stubblefields and rolling hills crisscrossed by old stone walls. In Fillory there’s an eclipse every day at noon, and seasons can last for a hundred years. Bare trees scratch at the sky. Pale green seas lap at narrow white beaches made of broken shells. In Fillory things mattered in a way they didn’t in this world. In Fillory you felt the appropriate emotions when things happened. Happiness was a real, actual, achievable possibility. It came when you called. Or no, it never left you in the first place.
  
They stood on the sidewalk in front of the house. The neighborhood was fancier here, with wide sidewalks and overhanging trees. The house was brick, the only unattached residential structure in a neighborhood of row houses and brownstones. It was locally famous for having played a role in the bloody, costly Battle of Brooklyn. It seemed to gently reproach the cars and streetlights around it with memories of its gracious Old Dutch past.

If this were a Fillory novel—Quentin thought, just for the record—the house would contain a secret gateway to another world. The old man who lived there would be kindly and eccentric and drop cryptic remarks, and then when his back was turned Quentin would stumble on a mysterious cabinet or an enchanted dumbwaiter or whatever, through which he would gaze with wild surmise on the clean breast of another world.

But this wasn’t a Fillory novel.

“So,” Julia said. “Give ’em Hades.”

She wore a blue serge coat with a round collar that made her look like a French schoolgirl.

“See you at the library maybe.”

“Cheers.”

They bumped fists. She dropped her gaze, embarrassed. She knew how he felt, and he knew she knew, and there was nothing more to say about it. He waited, pretending to be fascinated by a parked car, while she kissed James good-bye—she put a hand on his chest and kicked up her heel like an old-timey starlet—then he and James walked slowly up the cement path to the front door.

James put his arm around Quentin’s shoulders.

“I know what you think, Quentin,” he said gruffly. Quentin was taller, but James was broader, more solidly built, and he pulled Quentin off balance. “You think nobody understands you. But I do.” He squeezed Quentin’s shoulder in an almost fatherly way. “I’m the only one who does.”

Quentin said nothing. You could envy James, but you couldn’t hate him, because along with being handsome and smart he was also, at heart, kind and good. More than anybody else Quentin had ever met, James reminded him of Martin Chatwin. But if James was a Chatwin, what did that make Quentin? The real problem with being around James was that he was always the hero. And what did that make you? Either the sidekick or the villain.

Quentin rang the doorbell. A soft, tinny clatter erupted somewhere in the depths of the darkened house. An old-fashioned, analog ring. He rehearsed a mental list of his extracurriculars, personal goals, etc. He was absolutely prepared for this interview in every possible way, except maybe his incompletely dried hair, but now that the ripened fruit of all that preparation was right in front of him he suddenly lost any desire for it. He wasn’t surprised. He was used to this anticlimactic feeling, where by the time you’ve done all the work to get something you don’t even want it anymore. He had it all the time. It was one of the few things he could depend on.

The doorway was guarded by a depressingly ordinary suburban screen door. Orange and purple zinnias were still blooming, against all horticultural logic, in a random scatter pattern in black earth beds on either side of the doorstep. How weird, Quentin thought, with no curiosity at all, that they would still be alive in November. He withdrew his ungloved hands into the sleeves of his coat and placed the ends of the sleeves under his arms. Even though it felt cold enough to snow, somehow it began to rain.

It was still raining five minutes later. Quentin knocked on the door again, then pushed lightly. It opened a crack, and a wave of warm air tumbled out. The warm, fruity smell of a stranger’s house.

“Hello?” Quentin called. He and James exchanged glances. He pushed the door all the way open.

“Better give him another minute.”

“Who even does this in their spare time?” Quentin said. “I bet he’s a pedophile.”

The foyer was dark and silent and muffled with Oriental rugs. Still outside, James leaned on the doorbell. No one answered.

“I don’t think anybody’s here,” Quentin said. That James wasn’t coming inside suddenly made him want to go inside more. If the interviewer actually turned out to be a gatekeeper to the magical land of Fillory, he thought, it was too bad he wasn’t wearing more practical shoes.

A staircase went up. On the left was a stiff, unused-looking dining room, on the right a cozy den with leather armchairs and a carved, man-size wooden cabinet standing by itself in a corner. Interesting. An old nautical map taller than he was took up half of one wall, with an ornately barbed compass rose. He massaged the walls in search of a light switch. There was a cane chair in one corner, but he didn’t sit.

All the blinds were drawn. The quality of the darkness was less like a house with the curtains drawn than it was like actual night, as if the sun had set or been eclipsed the moment he crossed the threshold. Quentin slow-motion-walked into the den. He’d go back outside and call. In another minute. He had to at least look. The darkness was like a prickling electric cloud around him.

The cabinet was enormous, so big you could climb into it. He placed his hand on its small, dinged brass knob. It was unlocked. His fingers trembled. Le roi s’amuse. He couldn’t help himself. It felt like the world was revolving around him, like his whole life had been leading up to this moment.

It was a liquor cabinet. A big one, there was practically a whole bar in there. Quentin reached back past the ranks of softly jingling bottles and felt the dry, scratchy plywood at the back just to make sure. Solid. Nothing magical about it. He closed the door, breathing hard, his face burning in the darkness. It was when he looked around to make absolutely sure that nobody was watching that he saw the dead body on the floor.

Praise for The Magician's Land 
“Richly imagined and continually surprising. . . . The strongest book in Grossman’s series. It not only offers a satisfying conclusion to Quentin Coldwater’s quests, earthly and otherwise, but also considers complex questions about identity and selfhood as profound as they are entertaining. . . . The Magician’s Land, more than any other book in the trilogy, wrestles with the question of humanity. . . . This is a gifted writer, and his gifts are at their apex in The Magician’s Land.” 
—Edan Lepucki, The New York Times Book Review 
 
“The strength of the trilogy lies . . . in the characters, whose inner lives and frailties Grossman renders with care and empathy. . . . Quentin[’s] . . . magical journey is deeply human.”
—The New Yorker 
 
“[A] wonderful trilogy. . . . If the Narnia books were like catnip for a certain kind of kid, these books are like crack for a certain kind of adult. . . . Brakebills graduates can have a hard time adjusting to life outside, though some distract themselves by lazily meddling in world affairs (e.g., the election of 2000). Readers of Mr. Grossman’s mesmerizing trilogy might experience the same kind of withdrawal upon finishing The Magician’s Land. Short of wishing that a fourth book could suddenly appear by magic, there’s not much we can do about it.” 
—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times

“Grossman makes it clear in the deepening complexity and widening scope of each volume that he understands the pleasures and perils of stories and believing in them. . . . The Magician's Land triumphantly answers the essential questions at the heart of the series, about whether magic belongs to childhood alone, whether reality trumps fantasy, even whether we have the power to shape our own lives in an indifferent universe.” 
—Gwenda Bond, The Los Angeles Times 

“A wholly satisfying and stirring conclusion to this weird and wonderful tale. . . . Relentlessly subversive and inventive. . . . Grossman can . . . write like a magician. . . . [He] reminds us that good writing can beguile the senses, imagination and intellect. The door at the back of the book is still there, and we can go back to those magical lands, older and wiser, eager for the re-enchantment.” 
—Keith Donohue, The Washington Post 
 
“A huge part of the pleasure of this trilogy in general and this volume in particular is that, even as we consume the story just to find out what happens to Quentin, we know that we are collaborating in our own versions of its creation, its animation. The reader gets to be a magician, too.” 
—Nancy Klingener, The Miami Herald 
 
“[A] stirring finale to Grossman’s acclaimed trilogy.”
People 
 
The Magician’s Land . . . does all the things you want in a third book: winding up everyone's stories, tying up the loose ends -- and giving you a bit more than you bargained for. . . . Starting very early in Magician's Land, Grossman kicks off a series of escalating magical battles, each more fantastic, taut, and brutal than the last, which comes to a head in the final chapters with a world-shattering Götterdämmerung scene that stands with great war at the climax of The Return of the King. At the same time, Grossman never loses sight of the idea of magic as unknowable and unsystematized, a thread of Borgesian Big Weird that culminates in a beautiful tribute to Borges himself. It's this welding together of adventure-fiction plotstuff and introspective, moody characterization that makes this book, and the trilogy it concludes, so worthy of your reading time, and your re-reading time.
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing 

“The world of Grossman's ‘Magicians’ series is arrestingly original, joyful and messy. It's so vividly rendered that it's almost disappointing to remember that it doesn't, after all, exist. The overall effect is — well, there's really only one word for it: It's magical.” 
Chicago Tribune
 
“[A] satisfying ending to the series. . . . Saying goodbye to Quentin is bittersweet, but saying goodbye to a Quentin who achieves some peace at last fills the farewell with a reassuring optimism for his future.”
The Boston Globe 
 
“An enchanting conclusion . . . to a series that references C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling while remaining refreshingly original. . . . The Magician’s Land is that rare novel that looks at what happens after the child prodigy grows up and has to get a job. . . . [It] features the return of a character sorely missed by both Quentin and readers alike, as well as Grossman’s trademark witty dialogue.”
—The Christian Science Monitor 
 
“The last (and IOHO, best) book in the hit Magicians trilogy. Savor every word.”
Cosmopolitan

“An explosive conclusion to Quentin Coldwater’s adventures.” 
Entertainment Weekly 
 
“A satisfying finale to the series, while adding depth and shading to the world. . . . Grossman tells exciting fantasy adventures, but at the same time deconstructs the fantasy, as his characters discover that even magical wish-fulfillment is no guarantee of happiness, and even a job casting spells in a magical land is still work.”
A.V. Club (A-) 
 
“When read straight through, the Magicians trilogy reveals its lovely shape. The world of the books wraps around itself, exposing most everything necessary by its conclusion, but occluding operations that we'll never need to see. There's still a series of mysteries and untold tales left unknown deep inside the books.”
—Choire Sicha, The Slate Book Review 
 
“All lovers of Lev Grossman’s first two books of The Magicians trilogy: This is the end, beautiful friend. . . . One of the lovely things about this series is watching Quentin evolve from depressed teen to clear-eyed man. If Grossman raises his kids with the same sympathy with which he parents his literary teen, he’ll be a smashing success. . . . Battle scenes are laid out with vivid, near-storyboard detail. There’s so much excitement as to make the temptation to race ahead a serious danger. . . . Grossman brings the story home on a very satisfying chord. The chorus: We are all magicians. Life, like magic, gives back only as much as you put into it. It takes hard work, it hurts, and you have to be ready to fail. But deep within us all lies the power to enchant the world.”
—Cindy Bagwell, Dallas Morning News 
 

“So you’ve torn through all the volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), and you’re a little over the whole dystopian young-adult thing. What’s an adventure-minded reader to do for a fat beach book this August? Look no further than Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy.” 
—Sara Stewart, The New York Post 
 
“The very satisfying final book in [Grossman’s] trilogy. . . . This third book, at turns a heist story, a meditation on the act of creation, and an apocalyptic disaster tale, continues the adventures of main character Quentin Coldwater. It mixes genre deconstruction with psychological realism, full of self-aware figures who are cognizant of all the tropes of fantasy fiction, while at the same time working to fulfill those tropes or push against them. There are great swaths of high imagination in The Magician's Land, evocative passages that contain entire worlds. Writing, like magic, is a craft, and Grossman performs it oh so well.”
—Gilbert Cruz, NY1 
 
“In the smash trilogy’s thrilling end, Quentin is cast out of Fillory, the enchanted realm he once ruled. But he’ll risk his life (and make dangerous allies) to save the threatened world.”
US Weekly 
 
“[A] deeply satisfying finale . . . [Grossman’s] characters’ magical battles have a bravura all their own. . . . The essence of being a magician, as Quentin learns to define it, could easily serve as a thumbnail description of Grossman’s art: ‘the power to enchant the world.’”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“An absolutely brilliant fantasy filled with memorable characters—old and new—and prodigious feats of imagination. . . . Endlessly fascinating . . . Fantasy fans will rejoice at its publication.”
Booklist (starred review)
 

“[The Magicians] series taken as a whole brings new life and energy to the fantasy genre. The final volume will please fans looking for action, emotion, and, ultimately, closure.”
Library Journal
 
“An elegantly written third act to Quentin’s bildungsroman. . . . Fans of the trilogy will be pleased.”
Publishers Weekly
 

“If you haven’t read the first two books in Grossman’s Magicians trilogy, buy them immediately and set aside a weekend to read them straight through before you turn to The Magician’s Land. The series, which follows a group of—you guessed it—magicians through the emotional foibles of young adulthood has been called ‘Harry Potter for adults.’ But it’s way more complex than that. Grossman hones in on the particularly brutal business of being young, and then adds layer upon layer of literary allusion, creating works that are both homages to fantasy’s past and glimpses at its future.”
—The New Republic
 
“Sink your mobile devices into the nearest wishing well and duct-tape your front door against gnomes, pollsters, and other distractions. The Magician’s Land is beckoning, and demands your full attention. Lev Grossman proves again that the costs and consolations of creation—both of Fillory and of this conclusion to his trilogy—are mighty forces. Quentin Coldwater, Grossman's Orpheus and his Abraham, his Yahweh and his Puck, enchants as few other magicians can, or dare.”
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon
 
“Lev Grossman has conjured a rare creature: a trilogy that simply gets better and better as it goes along. The Magician's Land is sumptuous and surprising yet deliciously familiar, a glass of rich red wine left out for a hungry ghost. Literary perfection for those of us who grew up testing the structural integrity of the backs of wardrobes.”
—Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus
 
The Magician's Land is a triumphant climax to the best fantasy trilogy of the decade.”
—Charles Stross
 
“Poignant and messy, fearsome and beautiful—like a good magic spell, the final book in this trilogy is more than the sum of its parts. Also, damn. Just some of the best magic I have read, ever.”
—Maggie Stiefvater

Praise for The Magician King
“[A] serious, heartfelt novel [that] turns the machinery of fantasy inside out.”
The New York Times (Editor’s Choice)
 
“A spellbinding stereograph, a literary adventure novel that is also about privilege, power, and the limits of being human. The Magician King is a triumphant sequel.”
—NPR.org
 
“[The Magician King] is The Catcher in the Rye for devotees of alternative universes. It’s dazzling and devil-may-care. . . . Grossman has created a rare, strange, and scintillating novel.”
Chicago Tribune
 
The Magician King is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy.”
The Boston Globe
 
“Grossman has devised an enchanted milieu brimming with possibility, and his sly authorial voice gives it a literary life that positions The Magician King well above the standard fantasy fare.”
San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Grossman expands his magical world into a boundless enchanted universe, and his lively characters navigate it with aplomb.”
The New Yorker
 
The Magician King, the immensely entertaining new novel by Lev Grossman, manages to be both deep and deeply enjoyable.”
Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Now that Harry Potter is through in books and films, grown-up fans of the boy wizard might want to give this nimble fantasy series a try.”
New York Post
 
 “Lev Grossman’s The Magician King is a fresh take on the fantasy-quest novel—dark, austere, featuring characters with considerable psychological complexity, a collection of idiosyncratic talking animals (a sloth who knows the path to the underworld, a dragon in the Grand Canal), and splendid set pieces in Venice, Provence, Cornwall, and Brooklyn.”
The Daily Beast
 
“In this page-turning follow-up to his bestselling 2009 novel The Magicians, Grossman takes another dark, sarcastically sinister stab at fantasy, set in the Narnia-esque realm of Fillory.”
Entertainment Weekly 

Praise for The Magicians
“Fresh and compelling…The Magicians is a great fairy tale, written for grown-ups but appealing to our most basic desires for stories to bring about some re-enchantment with the world, where monsters lurk but where a young man with a little magic may prevail.”
—Washington Post
 
The Magicians is original…slyly funny.”
—USA Today
 
“Lev Grossman’s playful fantasy novel The Magicians pays homage to a variety of sources…with such verve and ease that you quickly forget the references and lose yourself in the story.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
 
The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. Solidly rooted in the traditions of both fantasy and mainstream literary fiction, the novel tips its hat to Oz and Narnia as well to Harry, but don’t mistake this for a children's book. Grossman’s sensibilities are thoroughly adult, his narrative dark and dangerous and full of twists.  Hogwarts was never like this.”
—George R. R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
 
“Stirring, complex, adventurous…from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy.”
—Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize­–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
 
“I felt like I was poppin’ peyote buttons with J. K. Rowling when I was reading Lev Grossman’s new novel The Magicians.…I couldn’t put it down.”
—Mickey Rapkin, GQ
 
“The novel manages a literary magic trick: it’s both an enchantingly written fantasy and a moving deconstruction of enchantingly realized fantasies.”
—Los Angeles Times
 
“Intriguing, coming-of-age fantasy.”
—Boston Globe (Pick of the Week)
 
The Magicians by Lev Grossman is a very entertaining book; one of those summer page-turners that you wish went on for another six volumes. Grossman takes a good number of the best childhood fantasy books from the last seventy-five years and distills their ability to fascinate into the fan-boy mind of his protagonist, Quentin Coldwater.… There is no doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers.”
—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Entertaining.”
—People
 
“Lev Grossman’s novel The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping, and enchanting fantasy novel I’ve read this century…. Grossman is a hell of a pacer, and the book rips along, whole seasons tossed out in a single sentence, all the boring mortar ground off the bricks, so that the book comes across as a sheer, seamless face that you can’t stop yourself from tumbling down once you launch yourself off the first page. This isn’t just an exercise in exploring what we love about fantasy and the lies we tell ourselves about it—it’s a shit-kicking, gripping, tightly plotted novel that makes you want to take the afternoon off work to finish it.”
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
 
“An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting.”
—Salon.com
 
“Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond.”
—Entertainment Weekly
  
“This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them, and tell a darkly cunning story about the power of imagination itself. [The Magicians is] an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story.”
—The New Yorker
© Beowulf Sheehan
Lev Grossman is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy—The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician’s Land—which has been published in thirty countries and adapted as a TV show that ran for five seasons on SYFY. He is also a screenwriter and the author of two children’s books, The Golden Swift and The Silver Arrow, and his journalism has appeared in Time, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, among many other places. He lives with his wife and children in New York City. View titles by Lev Grossman

About

The entire #1 New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy, including The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician's Land, now available in one ebook bundle

The Magicians
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 may 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 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.

The Magician King
Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real-world and not in Fillory, as they’d hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia’s illicitly learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

The Magician's Land
Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical world of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. The Magician’s Land is an intricate and fantastical thriller, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy.

Excerpt

 
BOOK 1
BROOKLYN

Quentin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.

They picked their way along the cold, uneven sidewalk together: James, Julia, and Quentin. James and Julia held hands. That’s how things were now. The sidewalk wasn’t quite wide enough, so Quentin trailed after them, like a sulky child. He would rather have been alone with Julia, or just alone period, but you couldn’t have everything. Or at least the available evidence pointed overwhelmingly to that conclusion.

“Okay!” James said over his shoulder. “Q. Let’s talk strategy.”

James seemed to have a sixth sense for when Quentin was starting to feel sorry for himself. Quentin’s interview was in seven minutes. James was right after him.

“Nice firm handshake. Lots of eye contact. Then when he’s feeling comfortable, you hit him with a chair and I’ll break his password and e-mail Princeton.”

“Just be yourself, Q,” Julia said.

Her dark hair was pulled back in a wavy bunch. Somehow it made it worse that she was always so nice to him.

“How is that different from what I said?”

Quentin did the magic trick again. It was a very small trick, a basic one-handed sleight with a nickel. He did it in his coat pocket where nobody could see. He did it again, then he did it backward.

“I have one guess for his password,” James said. “Password.”

It was kind of incredible how long this had been going on, Quentin thought. They were only seventeen, but he felt like he’d known James and Julia forever. The school systems in Brooklyn sorted out the gifted ones and shoved them together, then separated the ridiculously brilliant ones from the merely gifted ones and shoved them together, and as a result they’d been bumping into each other in the same speaking contests and regional Latin exams and tiny, specially convened ultra-advanced math classes since elementary school. The nerdiest of the nerds. By now, their senior year, Quentin knew James and Julia better than he knew anybody else in the world, not excluding his parents, and they knew him. Everybody knew what everybody else was going to say before they said it. Everybody who was going to sleep with anybody else had already done it. Julia—pale, freckled, dreamy Julia, who played the oboe and knew even more physics than he did—was never going to sleep with Quentin.

Quentin was thin and tall, though he habitually hunched his shoulders in a vain attempt to brace himself against whatever blow was coming from the heavens, and which would logically hit the tall people first. His shoulder-length hair was freezing in clumps. He should have stuck around to dry it after gym, especially with his interview today, but for some reason—maybe he was in a self-sabotaging mood—he hadn’t. The low gray sky threatened snow. It seemed to Quentin like the world was offering up special little tableaux of misery just for him: crows perched on power lines, stepped-in dog shit, windblown trash, the corpses of innumerable wet oak leaves being desecrated in innumerable ways by innumerable vehicles and pedestrians.

“God, I’m full,” James said. “I ate too much. Why do I always eat too much?”

“Because you’re a greedy pig?” Julia said brightly. “Because you’re tired of being able to see your feet? Because you’re trying to make your stomach touch your penis?”

James put his hands behind his head, his fingers in his wavy chestnut hair, his camel cashmere coat wide open to the November cold, and belched mightily. Cold never bothered him. Quentin felt cold all the time, like he was trapped in his own private individual winter.

James sang, to a tune somewhere between “Good King Wenceslas” and “Bingo”:
In olden times there was a boy 
Young and strong and brave-o 
He wore a sword and rode a horse 
And his name was Dave-o . . .

“God!” Julia shrieked. “Stop!”

James had written this song five years ago for a middle-school talent show skit. He still liked to sing it; by now they all knew it by heart. Julia shoved him, still singing, into a garbage can, and when that didn’t work she snatched off his watch cap and started beating him over the head with it.

“My hair! My beautiful interview hair!”

King James, Quentin thought. Le roi s’amuse.

“I hate to break up the party,” he said, “but we’ve got like two minutes.”

“Oh dear, oh dear!” Julia twittered. “The duchess! We shall be quite late!”

I should be happy, Quentin thought. I’m young and alive and healthy. I have good friends. I have two reasonably intact parents—viz., Dad, an editor of medical textbooks, and Mom, a commercial illustrator with ambitions, thwarted, of being a painter. I am a solid member of the middle-middle class. My GPA is a number higher than most people even realize it is possible for a GPA to be.

But walking along Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, in his black overcoat and his gray interview suit, Quentin knew he wasn’t happy. Why not? He had painstakingly assembled all the ingredients of happiness. He had performed all the necessary rituals, spoken the words, lit the candles, made the sacrifices. But happiness, like a disobedient spirit, refused to come. He couldn’t think what else to do.

He followed James and Julia past bodegas, laundromats, hipster boutiques, cell-phone stores limned with neon piping, past a bar where old people were already drinking at three forty-five in the afternoon, past a brown-brick Veterans of Foreign Wars hall with plastic patio furniture on the sidewalk in front of it. All of it just confirmed his belief that his real life, the life he should be living, had been mislaid through some clerical error by the cosmic bureaucracy. This couldn’t be it. It had been diverted somewhere else, to somebody else, and he’d been issued this shitty substitute faux life instead.

Maybe his real life would turn up in Princeton. He did the trick with the nickel in his pocket again.

“Are you playing with your wang, Quentin?” James asked.

Quentin blushed.

“I am not playing with my wang.”

“Nothing to be ashamed of.” James clapped him on the shoulder. “Clears the mind.”

The wind bit through the thin material of Quentin’s interview suit, but he refused to button his overcoat. He let the cold blow through it. It didn’t matter, he wasn’t really there anyway.

He was in Fillory.

Christopher Plover’s Fillory and Further is a series of five novels published in England in the 1930s. They describe the adventures of the five Chatwin children in a magical land that they discover while on holiday in the countryside with their eccentric aunt and uncle. They aren’t really on holiday, of course—their father is up to his hips in mud and blood at Passchendaele, and their mother has been hospitalized with a mysterious illness that is probably psychological in nature, which is why they’ve been hastily packed off to the country for safekeeping.

But all that unhappiness takes place far in the background. In the foreground, every summer for three years, the children leave their various boarding schools and return to Cornwall, and each time they do they find their way into the secret world of Fillory, where they have adventures and explore magical lands and defend the gentle creatures who live there against the various forces that menace them. The strangest and most persistent of those enemies is a veiled figure known only as the Watcherwoman, whose horological enchantments threaten to stall time itself, trapping all of Fillory at five o’clock on a particularly dreary, drizzly afternoon in late September.

Like most people Quentin read the Fillory books in grade school. Unlike most people—unlike James and Julia—he never got over them. They were where he went when he couldn’t deal with the real world, which was a lot. (The Fillory books were both a consolation for Julia not loving him and also probably a major reason why she didn’t.) And it was true, there was a strong whiff of the English nursery about them, and he felt secretly embarrassed when he got to the parts about the Cozy Horse, an enormous, affectionate equine creature who trots around Fillory by night on velvet hooves, and whose back is so broad you can sleep on it.

But there was a more seductive, more dangerous truth to Fillory that Quentin couldn’t let go of. It was almost like the Fillory books—especially the first one, The World in the Walls—were about reading itself. When the oldest Chatwin, melancholy Martin, opens the cabinet of the grandfather clock that stands in a dark, narrow back hallway in his aunt’s house and slips through into Fillory (Quentin always pictured him awkwardly pushing aside the pendulum, like the uvula of a monstrous throat), it’s like he’s opening the covers of a book, but a book that did what books always promised to do and never actually quite did: get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better.

The world Martin discovers in the walls of his aunt’s house is a world of magical twilight, a landscape as black and white and stark as a printed page, with prickly stubblefields and rolling hills crisscrossed by old stone walls. In Fillory there’s an eclipse every day at noon, and seasons can last for a hundred years. Bare trees scratch at the sky. Pale green seas lap at narrow white beaches made of broken shells. In Fillory things mattered in a way they didn’t in this world. In Fillory you felt the appropriate emotions when things happened. Happiness was a real, actual, achievable possibility. It came when you called. Or no, it never left you in the first place.
  
They stood on the sidewalk in front of the house. The neighborhood was fancier here, with wide sidewalks and overhanging trees. The house was brick, the only unattached residential structure in a neighborhood of row houses and brownstones. It was locally famous for having played a role in the bloody, costly Battle of Brooklyn. It seemed to gently reproach the cars and streetlights around it with memories of its gracious Old Dutch past.

If this were a Fillory novel—Quentin thought, just for the record—the house would contain a secret gateway to another world. The old man who lived there would be kindly and eccentric and drop cryptic remarks, and then when his back was turned Quentin would stumble on a mysterious cabinet or an enchanted dumbwaiter or whatever, through which he would gaze with wild surmise on the clean breast of another world.

But this wasn’t a Fillory novel.

“So,” Julia said. “Give ’em Hades.”

She wore a blue serge coat with a round collar that made her look like a French schoolgirl.

“See you at the library maybe.”

“Cheers.”

They bumped fists. She dropped her gaze, embarrassed. She knew how he felt, and he knew she knew, and there was nothing more to say about it. He waited, pretending to be fascinated by a parked car, while she kissed James good-bye—she put a hand on his chest and kicked up her heel like an old-timey starlet—then he and James walked slowly up the cement path to the front door.

James put his arm around Quentin’s shoulders.

“I know what you think, Quentin,” he said gruffly. Quentin was taller, but James was broader, more solidly built, and he pulled Quentin off balance. “You think nobody understands you. But I do.” He squeezed Quentin’s shoulder in an almost fatherly way. “I’m the only one who does.”

Quentin said nothing. You could envy James, but you couldn’t hate him, because along with being handsome and smart he was also, at heart, kind and good. More than anybody else Quentin had ever met, James reminded him of Martin Chatwin. But if James was a Chatwin, what did that make Quentin? The real problem with being around James was that he was always the hero. And what did that make you? Either the sidekick or the villain.

Quentin rang the doorbell. A soft, tinny clatter erupted somewhere in the depths of the darkened house. An old-fashioned, analog ring. He rehearsed a mental list of his extracurriculars, personal goals, etc. He was absolutely prepared for this interview in every possible way, except maybe his incompletely dried hair, but now that the ripened fruit of all that preparation was right in front of him he suddenly lost any desire for it. He wasn’t surprised. He was used to this anticlimactic feeling, where by the time you’ve done all the work to get something you don’t even want it anymore. He had it all the time. It was one of the few things he could depend on.

The doorway was guarded by a depressingly ordinary suburban screen door. Orange and purple zinnias were still blooming, against all horticultural logic, in a random scatter pattern in black earth beds on either side of the doorstep. How weird, Quentin thought, with no curiosity at all, that they would still be alive in November. He withdrew his ungloved hands into the sleeves of his coat and placed the ends of the sleeves under his arms. Even though it felt cold enough to snow, somehow it began to rain.

It was still raining five minutes later. Quentin knocked on the door again, then pushed lightly. It opened a crack, and a wave of warm air tumbled out. The warm, fruity smell of a stranger’s house.

“Hello?” Quentin called. He and James exchanged glances. He pushed the door all the way open.

“Better give him another minute.”

“Who even does this in their spare time?” Quentin said. “I bet he’s a pedophile.”

The foyer was dark and silent and muffled with Oriental rugs. Still outside, James leaned on the doorbell. No one answered.

“I don’t think anybody’s here,” Quentin said. That James wasn’t coming inside suddenly made him want to go inside more. If the interviewer actually turned out to be a gatekeeper to the magical land of Fillory, he thought, it was too bad he wasn’t wearing more practical shoes.

A staircase went up. On the left was a stiff, unused-looking dining room, on the right a cozy den with leather armchairs and a carved, man-size wooden cabinet standing by itself in a corner. Interesting. An old nautical map taller than he was took up half of one wall, with an ornately barbed compass rose. He massaged the walls in search of a light switch. There was a cane chair in one corner, but he didn’t sit.

All the blinds were drawn. The quality of the darkness was less like a house with the curtains drawn than it was like actual night, as if the sun had set or been eclipsed the moment he crossed the threshold. Quentin slow-motion-walked into the den. He’d go back outside and call. In another minute. He had to at least look. The darkness was like a prickling electric cloud around him.

The cabinet was enormous, so big you could climb into it. He placed his hand on its small, dinged brass knob. It was unlocked. His fingers trembled. Le roi s’amuse. He couldn’t help himself. It felt like the world was revolving around him, like his whole life had been leading up to this moment.

It was a liquor cabinet. A big one, there was practically a whole bar in there. Quentin reached back past the ranks of softly jingling bottles and felt the dry, scratchy plywood at the back just to make sure. Solid. Nothing magical about it. He closed the door, breathing hard, his face burning in the darkness. It was when he looked around to make absolutely sure that nobody was watching that he saw the dead body on the floor.

Reviews

Praise for The Magician's Land 
“Richly imagined and continually surprising. . . . The strongest book in Grossman’s series. It not only offers a satisfying conclusion to Quentin Coldwater’s quests, earthly and otherwise, but also considers complex questions about identity and selfhood as profound as they are entertaining. . . . The Magician’s Land, more than any other book in the trilogy, wrestles with the question of humanity. . . . This is a gifted writer, and his gifts are at their apex in The Magician’s Land.” 
—Edan Lepucki, The New York Times Book Review 
 
“The strength of the trilogy lies . . . in the characters, whose inner lives and frailties Grossman renders with care and empathy. . . . Quentin[’s] . . . magical journey is deeply human.”
—The New Yorker 
 
“[A] wonderful trilogy. . . . If the Narnia books were like catnip for a certain kind of kid, these books are like crack for a certain kind of adult. . . . Brakebills graduates can have a hard time adjusting to life outside, though some distract themselves by lazily meddling in world affairs (e.g., the election of 2000). Readers of Mr. Grossman’s mesmerizing trilogy might experience the same kind of withdrawal upon finishing The Magician’s Land. Short of wishing that a fourth book could suddenly appear by magic, there’s not much we can do about it.” 
—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times

“Grossman makes it clear in the deepening complexity and widening scope of each volume that he understands the pleasures and perils of stories and believing in them. . . . The Magician's Land triumphantly answers the essential questions at the heart of the series, about whether magic belongs to childhood alone, whether reality trumps fantasy, even whether we have the power to shape our own lives in an indifferent universe.” 
—Gwenda Bond, The Los Angeles Times 

“A wholly satisfying and stirring conclusion to this weird and wonderful tale. . . . Relentlessly subversive and inventive. . . . Grossman can . . . write like a magician. . . . [He] reminds us that good writing can beguile the senses, imagination and intellect. The door at the back of the book is still there, and we can go back to those magical lands, older and wiser, eager for the re-enchantment.” 
—Keith Donohue, The Washington Post 
 
“A huge part of the pleasure of this trilogy in general and this volume in particular is that, even as we consume the story just to find out what happens to Quentin, we know that we are collaborating in our own versions of its creation, its animation. The reader gets to be a magician, too.” 
—Nancy Klingener, The Miami Herald 
 
“[A] stirring finale to Grossman’s acclaimed trilogy.”
People 
 
The Magician’s Land . . . does all the things you want in a third book: winding up everyone's stories, tying up the loose ends -- and giving you a bit more than you bargained for. . . . Starting very early in Magician's Land, Grossman kicks off a series of escalating magical battles, each more fantastic, taut, and brutal than the last, which comes to a head in the final chapters with a world-shattering Götterdämmerung scene that stands with great war at the climax of The Return of the King. At the same time, Grossman never loses sight of the idea of magic as unknowable and unsystematized, a thread of Borgesian Big Weird that culminates in a beautiful tribute to Borges himself. It's this welding together of adventure-fiction plotstuff and introspective, moody characterization that makes this book, and the trilogy it concludes, so worthy of your reading time, and your re-reading time.
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing 

“The world of Grossman's ‘Magicians’ series is arrestingly original, joyful and messy. It's so vividly rendered that it's almost disappointing to remember that it doesn't, after all, exist. The overall effect is — well, there's really only one word for it: It's magical.” 
Chicago Tribune
 
“[A] satisfying ending to the series. . . . Saying goodbye to Quentin is bittersweet, but saying goodbye to a Quentin who achieves some peace at last fills the farewell with a reassuring optimism for his future.”
The Boston Globe 
 
“An enchanting conclusion . . . to a series that references C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling while remaining refreshingly original. . . . The Magician’s Land is that rare novel that looks at what happens after the child prodigy grows up and has to get a job. . . . [It] features the return of a character sorely missed by both Quentin and readers alike, as well as Grossman’s trademark witty dialogue.”
—The Christian Science Monitor 
 
“The last (and IOHO, best) book in the hit Magicians trilogy. Savor every word.”
Cosmopolitan

“An explosive conclusion to Quentin Coldwater’s adventures.” 
Entertainment Weekly 
 
“A satisfying finale to the series, while adding depth and shading to the world. . . . Grossman tells exciting fantasy adventures, but at the same time deconstructs the fantasy, as his characters discover that even magical wish-fulfillment is no guarantee of happiness, and even a job casting spells in a magical land is still work.”
A.V. Club (A-) 
 
“When read straight through, the Magicians trilogy reveals its lovely shape. The world of the books wraps around itself, exposing most everything necessary by its conclusion, but occluding operations that we'll never need to see. There's still a series of mysteries and untold tales left unknown deep inside the books.”
—Choire Sicha, The Slate Book Review 
 
“All lovers of Lev Grossman’s first two books of The Magicians trilogy: This is the end, beautiful friend. . . . One of the lovely things about this series is watching Quentin evolve from depressed teen to clear-eyed man. If Grossman raises his kids with the same sympathy with which he parents his literary teen, he’ll be a smashing success. . . . Battle scenes are laid out with vivid, near-storyboard detail. There’s so much excitement as to make the temptation to race ahead a serious danger. . . . Grossman brings the story home on a very satisfying chord. The chorus: We are all magicians. Life, like magic, gives back only as much as you put into it. It takes hard work, it hurts, and you have to be ready to fail. But deep within us all lies the power to enchant the world.”
—Cindy Bagwell, Dallas Morning News 
 

“So you’ve torn through all the volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), and you’re a little over the whole dystopian young-adult thing. What’s an adventure-minded reader to do for a fat beach book this August? Look no further than Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy.” 
—Sara Stewart, The New York Post 
 
“The very satisfying final book in [Grossman’s] trilogy. . . . This third book, at turns a heist story, a meditation on the act of creation, and an apocalyptic disaster tale, continues the adventures of main character Quentin Coldwater. It mixes genre deconstruction with psychological realism, full of self-aware figures who are cognizant of all the tropes of fantasy fiction, while at the same time working to fulfill those tropes or push against them. There are great swaths of high imagination in The Magician's Land, evocative passages that contain entire worlds. Writing, like magic, is a craft, and Grossman performs it oh so well.”
—Gilbert Cruz, NY1 
 
“In the smash trilogy’s thrilling end, Quentin is cast out of Fillory, the enchanted realm he once ruled. But he’ll risk his life (and make dangerous allies) to save the threatened world.”
US Weekly 
 
“[A] deeply satisfying finale . . . [Grossman’s] characters’ magical battles have a bravura all their own. . . . The essence of being a magician, as Quentin learns to define it, could easily serve as a thumbnail description of Grossman’s art: ‘the power to enchant the world.’”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“An absolutely brilliant fantasy filled with memorable characters—old and new—and prodigious feats of imagination. . . . Endlessly fascinating . . . Fantasy fans will rejoice at its publication.”
Booklist (starred review)
 

“[The Magicians] series taken as a whole brings new life and energy to the fantasy genre. The final volume will please fans looking for action, emotion, and, ultimately, closure.”
Library Journal
 
“An elegantly written third act to Quentin’s bildungsroman. . . . Fans of the trilogy will be pleased.”
Publishers Weekly
 

“If you haven’t read the first two books in Grossman’s Magicians trilogy, buy them immediately and set aside a weekend to read them straight through before you turn to The Magician’s Land. The series, which follows a group of—you guessed it—magicians through the emotional foibles of young adulthood has been called ‘Harry Potter for adults.’ But it’s way more complex than that. Grossman hones in on the particularly brutal business of being young, and then adds layer upon layer of literary allusion, creating works that are both homages to fantasy’s past and glimpses at its future.”
—The New Republic
 
“Sink your mobile devices into the nearest wishing well and duct-tape your front door against gnomes, pollsters, and other distractions. The Magician’s Land is beckoning, and demands your full attention. Lev Grossman proves again that the costs and consolations of creation—both of Fillory and of this conclusion to his trilogy—are mighty forces. Quentin Coldwater, Grossman's Orpheus and his Abraham, his Yahweh and his Puck, enchants as few other magicians can, or dare.”
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon
 
“Lev Grossman has conjured a rare creature: a trilogy that simply gets better and better as it goes along. The Magician's Land is sumptuous and surprising yet deliciously familiar, a glass of rich red wine left out for a hungry ghost. Literary perfection for those of us who grew up testing the structural integrity of the backs of wardrobes.”
—Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus
 
The Magician's Land is a triumphant climax to the best fantasy trilogy of the decade.”
—Charles Stross
 
“Poignant and messy, fearsome and beautiful—like a good magic spell, the final book in this trilogy is more than the sum of its parts. Also, damn. Just some of the best magic I have read, ever.”
—Maggie Stiefvater

Praise for The Magician King
“[A] serious, heartfelt novel [that] turns the machinery of fantasy inside out.”
The New York Times (Editor’s Choice)
 
“A spellbinding stereograph, a literary adventure novel that is also about privilege, power, and the limits of being human. The Magician King is a triumphant sequel.”
—NPR.org
 
“[The Magician King] is The Catcher in the Rye for devotees of alternative universes. It’s dazzling and devil-may-care. . . . Grossman has created a rare, strange, and scintillating novel.”
Chicago Tribune
 
The Magician King is a rare achievement, a book that simultaneously criticizes and celebrates our deep desire for fantasy.”
The Boston Globe
 
“Grossman has devised an enchanted milieu brimming with possibility, and his sly authorial voice gives it a literary life that positions The Magician King well above the standard fantasy fare.”
San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Grossman expands his magical world into a boundless enchanted universe, and his lively characters navigate it with aplomb.”
The New Yorker
 
The Magician King, the immensely entertaining new novel by Lev Grossman, manages to be both deep and deeply enjoyable.”
Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Now that Harry Potter is through in books and films, grown-up fans of the boy wizard might want to give this nimble fantasy series a try.”
New York Post
 
 “Lev Grossman’s The Magician King is a fresh take on the fantasy-quest novel—dark, austere, featuring characters with considerable psychological complexity, a collection of idiosyncratic talking animals (a sloth who knows the path to the underworld, a dragon in the Grand Canal), and splendid set pieces in Venice, Provence, Cornwall, and Brooklyn.”
The Daily Beast
 
“In this page-turning follow-up to his bestselling 2009 novel The Magicians, Grossman takes another dark, sarcastically sinister stab at fantasy, set in the Narnia-esque realm of Fillory.”
Entertainment Weekly 

Praise for The Magicians
“Fresh and compelling…The Magicians is a great fairy tale, written for grown-ups but appealing to our most basic desires for stories to bring about some re-enchantment with the world, where monsters lurk but where a young man with a little magic may prevail.”
—Washington Post
 
The Magicians is original…slyly funny.”
—USA Today
 
“Lev Grossman’s playful fantasy novel The Magicians pays homage to a variety of sources…with such verve and ease that you quickly forget the references and lose yourself in the story.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
 
The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. Solidly rooted in the traditions of both fantasy and mainstream literary fiction, the novel tips its hat to Oz and Narnia as well to Harry, but don’t mistake this for a children's book. Grossman’s sensibilities are thoroughly adult, his narrative dark and dangerous and full of twists.  Hogwarts was never like this.”
—George R. R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
 
“Stirring, complex, adventurous…from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy.”
—Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize­–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
 
“I felt like I was poppin’ peyote buttons with J. K. Rowling when I was reading Lev Grossman’s new novel The Magicians.…I couldn’t put it down.”
—Mickey Rapkin, GQ
 
“The novel manages a literary magic trick: it’s both an enchantingly written fantasy and a moving deconstruction of enchantingly realized fantasies.”
—Los Angeles Times
 
“Intriguing, coming-of-age fantasy.”
—Boston Globe (Pick of the Week)
 
The Magicians by Lev Grossman is a very entertaining book; one of those summer page-turners that you wish went on for another six volumes. Grossman takes a good number of the best childhood fantasy books from the last seventy-five years and distills their ability to fascinate into the fan-boy mind of his protagonist, Quentin Coldwater.… There is no doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers.”
—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Entertaining.”
—People
 
“Lev Grossman’s novel The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping, and enchanting fantasy novel I’ve read this century…. Grossman is a hell of a pacer, and the book rips along, whole seasons tossed out in a single sentence, all the boring mortar ground off the bricks, so that the book comes across as a sheer, seamless face that you can’t stop yourself from tumbling down once you launch yourself off the first page. This isn’t just an exercise in exploring what we love about fantasy and the lies we tell ourselves about it—it’s a shit-kicking, gripping, tightly plotted novel that makes you want to take the afternoon off work to finish it.”
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
 
“An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting.”
—Salon.com
 
“Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond.”
—Entertainment Weekly
  
“This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them, and tell a darkly cunning story about the power of imagination itself. [The Magicians is] an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story.”
—The New Yorker

Author

© Beowulf Sheehan
Lev Grossman is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy—The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician’s Land—which has been published in thirty countries and adapted as a TV show that ran for five seasons on SYFY. He is also a screenwriter and the author of two children’s books, The Golden Swift and The Silver Arrow, and his journalism has appeared in Time, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, among many other places. He lives with his wife and children in New York City. View titles by Lev Grossman