The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

Hey, it turns out, Quentin Clearwarter only needed to grow the hell up for me to like him as a main character. I think that was Mr. Grossman’s point in writing Quentin the way he did in the first two books and while I appreciate the skill it took to make it a believable transition, it was sometimes very hard going when the main character was one you constantly wanted to slap about the face. You know?

The Magician’s Land sees Quentin taking a much more proactive role in his life than we’ve ever seen him take before. He still sometimes needs a kick in the pants, but on the whole his “sit around and wait for things to happen and then complain about what does” method of dealing with life is gone. It’s fucking delightful, let me tell you. We also get to see some depth from Janet and Eliot, character who previously almost totally lacked depth. There’s a section in particular that makes me want to hug Janet, rendering her my temporary favorite because characters who need hugs are my jams.

On the whole, it was a very satisfactory end to the series, wrapping up all the threads I could think of. I will say though, that in the series as a whole but especially in this book, it felt like if you hadn’t read the entire Narnia series, you would be kind of missing out on a lot of stuff. I’m sure there are people out there who haven’t read the Narnia books but have read these but it seems almost pointless to me? I know for me, my enjoyment of the Magician books very much hinged on my early love of Narnia.

So I guess what I’m saying is the Magician books are virtual sequels to the Narnia books and while you can read the Magician books without first reading Narnia, you would be missing out on a lot. A LOT. So if you’ve not read the Narnia books, read those and then read Mr. Grossman’s series and know when you start the latter that everybody wants to smack the crap out of Quentin but it does get better. And now you’ve got ten books to read instead of three, isn’t that fun? Yay!

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