The Magician King →
The Magicians is a fantasy novel by Lev Grossman. It tells the story of Quentin Coldwater, a teenager from Brooklyn who discovers that the magical world of which he's read in books is, in fact, real. The New York Times review said the book "could crudely be labeled a Harry Potter for adults", injecting "mature themes" into fantasy literature.
Grossman's sequel to The Magicians, titled The Magician King, was published in August 2011 and picks up two years after the events of The Magicians.
Quentin Coldwater, a teenager from Brooklyn who discovers that the magical world of which he's read in books is, in fact, real. Instead of attending a regular college with his friends, he goes to a magical boarding school called Brakebills. At Brakebills, Quentin and his classmates study magical theory and application. They soon learn, however, that magic is both wondrous and deadly. Quentin and his friends also discover that the world of Fillory, a realm written about in fictional books, is actually very real.
Christopher Plover is the (fictional) author of the "Fillory and Further" series, comprising five books. In The Magicians, the Fillory books were published in Britain in the 1930s and are about the five Chatwin children —Martin, Fiona, Rupert, Helen, and Jane— and their adventures in Fillory.
Quentin Coldwater, one of the magicians of the book's title, grows up a huge fan of the Fillory and Further series, which he assumes are fiction, much like The Chronicles of Narnia. Upon graduating from Brakebills, his Hogwarts-like magical college, however, Quentin discovers that Fillory is real. The kingdom features mobile trees with clock faces, a talking bear with a predilection for alcohol, and giant animals wielding medieval weapons.
Fillory was "a place stuffed with wonder, from the enormous velveteen Cozy Horse that can convey all the children at once to a group of talking bunnies who like to take tea."
Within the fictional universe of The Magicians, there are five books in the "Fillory and Further" series:
- The World in the Walls – Martin and Fiona have to prevent the Watcherwoman from stopping time at 5:00 on a rainy September afternoon.
- The Girl Who Told Time – Helen and Rupert are magicked out of their boarding schools and into Fillory – but also back in time. Rupert secretly helps Martin and Fiona battle the Watcherwoman (without their knowing it), while Helen hunts the mysterious Questing Beast.
- The Flying Forest – Rupert and Fiona search for the source of a mysterious ticking sound that is troubling their friend Sir Hotspots, a noble leopard.
- A Secret Sea – Set adrift on the Outer Ocean by the Watcherwoman, Rupert and Jane seek out the remnants of the Great Shark Army to help them take back Fillory.
- The Wandering Dune – Helen and Jane find a mysterious sand dune blowing through Fillory. It carries them out into the desert, where they discuss morality. Then, the bunnies show up.
The themes and plots of these books are loosely based on those of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. The "Neitherlands" in The Magicians, like the "Wood between the Worlds" in The Magician's Nephew, is a transitional domain containing many pools of water, each of which leads to some other universe; Lewis's wood with pools becomes Grossman's city with fountains, with the implication that the city is the wood paved over. The buttons in The Magicians perform the same function as magical rings in The Magician's Nephew.