Friday, June 28, 2013

The Magician King

Written by: Lev Grossman

First line: Quentin rode a gray horse with white socks named Dauntless.

Why you should read this book: Being the king of a magical land is boring and Quentin thirsts for adventure, for something bigger than what he has, and for some way to help Julia, who's turned into a real black-clad gothic witch queen, and probably isn't quite right in the head, even if she is insanely powerful. This fast-paced sequel offers up the sumptuous detail and reframing of worlds (both real and imaginary) that made the original such a luscious read, but it refuses to offer anything predictable, or easy, or even necessarily happy. With its backstory of Julia's indoctrination into the world of magic, it's a hard-knocks counterpoint to the cheerful, theory-based education Quentin received in the first book, one that doesn't even recognize the phrase "happily ever after," and forces the reader to accept that magic is the hardest reality.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You already know how you want it to end.

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