Ever since finishing Lev Grossman‘s The Magicians I wondered if another foray into the land of Fillory was possible. And with the recent release of The Magician King my question and hopes have been answered. I look forward to getting my hands on this book…I feel it will be a perfect read for crisp autumn evenings, curled up on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket with a nice dram of whisky. That’s right, save the tea for Harry Potter! If the first book was any indication, The Magician King, promises to be quite a wild ride.
The Magicians started off slowly with the angst-ridden Quentin Coldwater mysteriously stumbling upon a hidden school for magic and discovering he has an untapped knack for hoodoo. Comparisons to the Harry Potter series are inevitable but veer off jarringly with drinking binges, sex, and drugs combined with an extreme curriculum in spell casting. It devolves into the drug and alcohol induced seeking of wisdom; a quest much like that perpetuated by Jim Morrison, alarmingly so. All this with the subtext that the childhood books so beloved by Quentin, a wonderful land of talking animals and mystical magic is actually a real place; a hard-core Narnia, if you will.
The first book dealt with forms of escapism, the destructive power of getting what one wants and not necessarily what one needs, and discovering that one’s fantasies can be dark and lurid. And yet, when the “trip” is over, all of life’s obstacles (both real and fantasy) are still painfully present and personal responsibility must be acknowledged and reckoned with.
I have stayed away from reading any overviews or editorial reviews of The Magician King, preferring to come to the story fresh and unadulterated, but I presume it will be more of the same but different and better. I look forward to settling down (with my whisky) and crossing into this not-so childhood fantasy.