Review of The Magicians

Quentin Coldwater is brillant but miserable. He's a senior in high school, and a certifiable genius, but he's still secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a kid, about the adventures of five children in a magical land called Fillory. Compared to that, anything in his real life just seems gray and colorless.

Everything changes when Quentin finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the practice of modern sorcery. He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. But something is still missing. Magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he though it would.

Then, after graduation, he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real.

After listening to Lev Grossman on an episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Ask Me Another, and hearing his book The Magicians described as “The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish Whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.” I decided that I had to read this book. Well, I should clarify, I actually listened to the audiobook, lol. It was read by Mark Bramhall and was 17 hours, 28 minutes long.

  • I loved the beginning on the story, Quentin is overly smart and kinda the outcast in the “real world” but all the sudden finds himself taking the crazy test in a crazy place with no clue what is going on. He ends up finding out that he has been accepted to a magical college.
  • I could totally relate with Quentin’s love of the books from his childhood, they were like a mix of Harry Potter and Narnia. Quentin always dreamed that the magical world was real and when he got into the magic school, he found that he was completely right.
  • The book was interesting, entertaining and kept you wanting more, for the most part. I definitely enjoyed the first part of the book far more than the end, but I wanted to finish the book and find out what happens.
  • The writing was amazing, there were points were I was in awe with Lev’s style.

  • It is going to seem like I have a lot more gripes than likes, but overall, it was an interesting story. There were a few times in the book that I could not picture exactly what Lev Grossman was describing, especially the magical game they played at school. I could just really not get my head around it and the specifics.
  • The book hit high notes early and then kinda stayed mediocre for the rest of the book, I wanted more action. I realize that it is a new adult, coming of age, finding yourself kind of story, but it still felt stagnant in quite a few places. I would have loved if the books were structured more like Harry Potter and focused more around school, because that was the best part of the story. When Quentin and the group graduated, it really seemed to throw the storyline into a tailspin. It was drawn out in places and rushed in places.
  • I really don’t think that I will continue with the series. I wanted to know how this book ended, but I had already put so much time into the story that I didn’t want to DNF. But I really am not sure that Quentin’s aspirations really matter that much to me to continue with the story. I will though, check out other things that Lev has written, because I did enjoy his writing style.


  1. I haven't heard of this one but I love that cover. I got to say that books that start with a lot of action and then just continue in a slower pace turn me off. I mean throughout the whole book I just want more. So yeah. Sorry. I hope that your next read is much better :)

  2. It definitely looks interesting. Unfortunately I know what you mean. It is really disheartening to read a book that starts of great and goes downhill from there.

  3. This book was a DNF for me. I was just so bored! To me it felt like NOTHING happened, so I just put it down.

  4. A lot of books I've read these days go downhill and it's so depressing :( It has a beautiful cover though. Fab review!

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

  5. I still need to pick this one up. But maybe I'll check it out of the library and lower my expectations some.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.