The Magicians Is An Uneven, Sad Harry Potter

The Magicians Book One: A cynical fantasy thatĀ gets better toward the end.

What it is: The first of Lev Grossman's Magicians trilogy, probably best described as "Harry Potter, except with arseholes". Now also a Syfy TV series that I will probably never watch. Well, at least not until I finish the books.

What I've read: I finished the first book a couple of weeks ago, and am about 30 per cent of the way through the second book, The Magician King.

Is it good? All in all, yeah, though I wasn't really feeling it for a stretch in the middle.

Quick thoughts: I'd heard so many conflicting reports about this book (and this series) that I kept putting it off in favour of other things. I started out having a good enough time, but was bored and even annoyed by the middle chapters. The Fillory books as they were described in the early goings struck me as a device that Grossman was using to clown on Harry Potter and Narnia, when he hadn't yet demonstrated that his own story was any better. The message seemed to be, "Depression sucks, and it sucks just as bad if you're a wizard." But in the final act, the plot actually found its footing and things got much more interesting. Fillory was more than just an abstract device, and winds up being a crucial part of the story. Most of the characters remain twits, yes, but even Quentin grew on me by the end. I like what I've read of book two, as well. Definitely gonna see this series through to the finish.


    Yeah, I started this book a while back, way before the TV show came about, and I couldn't even finish it. It was just boring. I guess it was around the middle, as stated in the article. I was pretty surprised when it was picked up for TV. (But shouldn't have been, I suppose with the novels that get made into TV/Movies these days.) I did give the TV show a go as well, just to see if it was any better, but nope. Didn't get past a few eps of that either. I wanted to like it but it just didn't grip me, I suppose.

    Don't bother watching, some of the worst television I've ever had the displeasure of watching, can't believe it got a second season.

    I enjoyed the books for what they're worth. It's definitely a different take on wizards. The story does often veer off in totally unexpected directions but it keeps things interesting. I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep reading it when it turned into knockoff Narnia but after getting through the initial annoyance I read on and enjoyed it.

    The TV show however was unwatchable for me. The books were half decent overall but the tv show butchered it even further by using older characters and crappy special effects.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now