Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What do you get when you combine Narnia, Harry Potter, and mature themes?

Wow. I literally just finished The Magicians by Lev Grossman, so I still have that dreamlike feeling of being between two worlds. What a fun read. Grossman took Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, and smooshed them together. Just like that. No apologies, no excuses. He wrote a book about magic and included elements that we are all aware of to make it happen. And where with some authors it would just make the work seem contrived, with The Magicians it just made it sort of relatable and humorous. He even named a ship in the magical world that he travels to the Skywalker. Okay, so here’s how it goes: Quentin, a guy in his senior year of high school, finds himself magically transported to this school for magic. He takes a few tests and before long gets accepted to the school. There he meets other students entrenched in the study of magic. His life at the school goes on but pretty soon he has to face the real world. And just like most college graduates, once he’s done, he has no idea what he wants to do with his life. Until his friend discovers a way to the magical world Narnia—I mean Fillory (huh--Word accepts Narnia as a word, but underlines Fillory—go figure). Quentin has been a huge fan of the Fillory books since he was a kid, and finding out they are real just may be the thing he needs to carve out a destiny for himself. There’s so much more to the plot, as always, but I found the whole thing quite entertaining and engrossing. I quite liked his nods to major fantasy works, and the ending sentence actually reminded me of the end of Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, which was neat. So if you liked the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, but want something with a more grown up inclination (I must say there are mature scenes throughout), I highly recommend The Magicians. Oh, and I just read that he's coming out with a sequel, The Magician King, so stay tuned for that!

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