The Magicians by Lev Grossman | Book Review

Title: The Magicians
Author: Lev Grossman
Publisher: Viking
Release Date: 8/11/2009
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 402


The Magicians is the story of Quentin Coldwater. He does magic tricks and is obsessed with the children’s book series, Fillory and Further. In that series the children explore a magical land called Fillory and become Kings and Queens. Quentin wishes the same could happen to him. One day, he and his friend James head to their college interviews where they find that tragedy has struck their interviewer. When the paramedics come, one paramedic tries to hand Quentin and James manilla envelopes she states she found inside the room of the interviewer. Quentin takes his. James does not. On Quentin’s way home, he opens the manilla envelope and finds a notebook with the title The Magicians: Book six of Fillory and Further. This startles Quentin because there are only 5 books in the series. He also finds a piece of paper inside of the notebook. When he tries to read it, the paper flies out of his hand. Trying to chase down the paper, he ends up in front of a school he’s never seen. Brakebills College; a secret exclusive magic school. While there, Quentin is offered to take the preliminary examination to find out if he will be accepted into the school. The story continues to follow Quentin’s life at the school while he learns what real magic is and whether or not him keeping his fantasy alive of seeing the land of Fillory will pay off.

Why I Picked It Up

Heard about this series on a Book Riot Podcast episode.


It is an adult fantasy and the first book in a trilogy. Some have stated it is the adult Harry Potter. I advise everyone who picks this book up to not go into it thinking it is the adult Harry Potter. I think a lot of people that go into this book thinking this are disappointed. To try to compare it to Harry Potter, I will say it is about a school of magic but it has adult themes. There are cursing, sex, drugs, drinking, etc. This story felt less about going to this magical school in a magical world and more about being in the real world where you just so happen to go to a school of magic.

This is the second time I’ve read this book and the second time is the charm. I tried this book last summer. I thought the characters were annoying and I didn’t care about anything that was happening. However, the story sat in the back of my mind and I wanted to know what happened next. This book was on my TBR list for the summer and I am glad I put it there.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters felt realistic to the story. They aren’t perfect. They were still annoying, however, they felt like students who attended an exclusive magic college would act. They could be elitist at times, but there were some that you could sympathize with. I also really enjoyed the storytelling. I liked how the land of Fillory was connected into the story. I liked reading about them learning magic. I also liked Quentin trying to figure out what life would be like being a graduate of a magic school in the real world. I am interested to see what happens in the next book in the series. I thought this book could have been a stand-a-lone. It completed the college experience for the students and answered the question “does Fillory exist?”.

Again, I am happy I gave this book a second chance and it is one of my favorite books of the year.

Find The Book Online

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads


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Published by cdlampley

I am a writer and front end developer living in Central Ohio. I love to read and decided to start making YouTube videos about the books that I read.

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