Never risking anything meant never having or doing or being anything either. Life is risk, it turned out.
Lev Grossman | 2014 | 402 Pages
Quentin Coldwater has been banished from Fillory, a move that forces him to grow up and find some stability in life. Of course, that goes wrong too, leading to a heist, mirror worlds, a mysterious diary, and the death of a land itself. The Magicians trilogy comes to an end as the various worlds and characters converge, learning more about the magic and the divinity that surrounds them.
The entire Magicians series is an odd one- a combination of familiar fantasies combined with darker mysteries, a coming of age tale, and dozens of other allusions and influences. We’ve journeyed with these kids through their college years, their disillusion after, and their adventures in another world. Not they are adults, full-fledged, grown-up adults who are finally maturing and coming to terms with the worlds they live in and the choices that they have made.
Along with those character changes are stylistic ones. Each book in this series is written by the same voice, but with a different narrative style. In the final installment, we see shifts in the timeline and in the point of view itself. We get answers to Fillorian questions, insight into the workings of magic, and a heavy dose of the fictional history that Grossman has covered throughout the three novels. It’s a fine ending to the series, giving everyone some semblance of closure while leaving the door open to greater worlds and adventures.
While some questions were answered, so many others remain. Will we ever revisit this world to learn more about it? The story ended with many possibilities ahead.
And without getting into too many spoilers I’d like to see some of the characters, the women especially, explore their new roles without being constantly beaten up. Grossman doesn’t treat many of his characters well- they all go through hell it seems- but the women, in particular, get the short end over and over.
The story also has some of the same criticisms that I lobbed at the first book, The Magicians. Things move quickly, often too quickly. The writer is inventing this crazy mythology, but we don’t get to spend nearly as much time with the people and places as I’d like.
Should You Read This?
If you enjoyed the first two books, do yourself the favor and finish off the trilogy. It’s a satisfying ending to an odd romp of a series. And don’t worry about it spoiling the television show, by the way. The two have so diverged at this point that they are two totally separate entities.