Story. One reason for reading fiction is to listen to a well-told story. Lev Grossman tells a story quite well with his new novel, The Magicians. The book may fall into a genre of its own: fantasy for adults who rarely read fantasy. Protagonist Quentin Coldwater leaves his family in Brooklyn to attend college at the mysterious Brakebills Academy where he has been selected for an education in magic. At some points of the story, the characters and action felt like normal college life. The magical land of Fillory, and the exploits of Quentin and others in that land remind readers regularly of how different a world Grossman has created. The characters are delightful, there’s plenty of conflict between good and evil, and no matter how magical the setting, the relationships seem real. If you can overcome any aversion to fantasy novels for adults, you’re likely to enjoy The Magicians.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)