October 02, 2014

Review: The Magician's Land

The Magician's Land
The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some terrific action set pieces and step-by-step spells enliven this third outing with Quentin Coldwater and the other magicians bouncing back and forth between the fictional Fillory and Earth. There are great magical enjoyments here, and Quentin remains engaging, although now he's less whiny and depressed, which makes him actually likable. However, the other characters, especially the women, suffer from a certain same blandness and interchangeable energy. (Which one's Julia again? Juliet? Jane?) I'm thinking part of the missing element of characterization is physical description of the secondary people -- it's hard to picture them as unique individuals, which strips them of presence.

That's my only major quibble with this book, though. Otherwise, the magic is properly fabulous, high-stakes dangerous adventures gallop across the page, and the language is strong and clean, with more good usage of the modern vernacular that has been a fun highlight of this series from the beginning.

Best of all are the strengthened metaphorical resonances for magic. Not only does being a magician echo the act of writing quite nicely in spots, it also becomes a mirror for handling the complexities of staying alive and growing up.

1 comment:

Bellevue Janitorial Services group said...

Amazing story. After reading the first book waiting to get this one had me champing at the bit.