Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Magicians

I finished reading Lev Grossman's The Magicians: A Novel and wow is that a punch to the gut.  Mostly because I didn't want it to end.

All of those reviews on the back saying how it's a fantasy novel for people who grew up yearning to jump into Narnia or be enrolled in Hogwarts are spot-on, but not in the standard fantasy-novel-for-adults sort of way.  It's an adult look at the yearning itself, within the context of a world in which there *is* such a realm (as mysterious as Narnia and its ilk).  The story really hits a nerve at the points in which that yearning is confronted and spun around.  There's a bit of a nesting doll story arc.  At first, we're introduced to Quentin, who is in the dreary real world of New York.  Then we are introduced to the school of Brakebills (read: Hogwarts-in-drag).  Yet Quentin, despite his immersion into Brakebills culture, realizes Brakebills isn't enough.  He still has that childhood yearning for Fillory (read: Narnia).  And it's there.  By going to the Woods Between the Worlds (woops, I meant the in-between realm between the worlds, not Narnia) he can get there.   And I really like the nesting doll idea of realms within realms, and the idea that the yearning doesn't end by getting into one.  And neither does the childhood yearning for Fillory end gets to the real Fillory.

I liked that in this story, the villain isn't -- in my opinion -- easy to pinpoint right away.  I caught on right before the first reveal, and again caught on from there before the second.

Anyway.  My main point is that I'm eagerly looking forward to the sequel.

And now for some more art/decor that matches the feeling of The Magicians: A Novel:
The Woods Between the Worlds
by fotoforest


by whiteoctopus

Clear-Winged Moon Moth
Okay, the moth isn't really directly connected, but bees were, and doesn't the moth just look...magical?

*Kings and Queens print can be purchased here
**Community garden print can be purchased here (blogger was wonking everything up with captions there)

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post! I just read The Magicians for class and it is certainly interesting. Very thought-provoking. I liked it, and am still thinking about it in a way. I didn't love Quentin and the prose is dense, but the last 100 pages are amazing. The concept is complex, layered. The magic is dark and complex, and honestly, not very much like Harry Potter in my opinion. Sure, they both have schools for magic, but at Brakebill, the students are not wizards and witches, they are MAGICIANS. There is a really different feel to the whole thing for me. I love the art you chose, especially The Woods Between the Worlds one. Thanks for sharing! :)