Lev Grossman’s The Magicians: A Gateway Fantasy for the Curious Reader

Let’s talk about the Fantasy genre. Elements of Fantasy have been alive and well since the oral tradition, but has blossomed into a multi-layered medium of storytelling, taking huge leaps and bounds since the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings saga.  While there are so many stories to choose from, one may find it hard to decide where to start. My recommendation: start with the super accessible, very relatable, best-selling trilogy: The Magicians, by Lev Grossman


Lev Grossman is one of the most distinguished modern fantasy writers, and he has also made a career writing as a journalist. He spent 15 years, from 2002-2016, as the lead technology writer and book critic for “Time Magazine.” He was described by “The New York Times” as “among this country’s smartest and reliable critics.”


In his spare time he’s also a huge fantasy fan, so, when there was a hiatus between Harry Potter novels, he did what any good fan would do: he wrote his own magic story. Enter his international best-selling series: The Magicians.


The Magicians trilogy is what I would describe as a “gateway fantasy,” in the way that Harry Potter was for a younger generation. This accessible and relatable coming of age story can open up your heart to a little magic. You see, Quentin Coldwater didn’t know he was a magician.


Book 1: The Magicians. We follow Quentin’s ascension to student at Brakebills University, an elite collegiate school of magic. We follow his journey as he grapples with depression, life, love, loss and the realization that magic is great, but it can’t fix everything.


Book 2: The Magician King. We follow Quentin through the multi-verse, where he fulfills his childhood desire of living in a magical land. He is also confronted with the repercussions of his choices from book 1, and navigates his way through friendship, betrayal, and the dark sides of magic.


Book 3: The Magician’s Land. We see Quentin growing up, owning his mistakes, while making some new ones along the way. Everything he loves is in peril, but will he be able to save it all? This remarkable conclusion to the story goes somewhere few stories have ventured before, and paved the way for Fantasy writers of the future. No spoilers, but it has a beautiful, enigmatic conclusion.


Lev Grossman follows in the footsteps of Fantasy greats, borrowing from and paying homage to our favorite tropes and story arcs. Be sure to check out his “gateway fantasy” series, The Magicians, and follow his happenings online. He’s working on a top secret book project coming soon, so get a jump start on being a fan, and check out the The Magicians trilogy now!


Check out more about Lev Grossman on “Cover to Cover”

Originally posted on GoRead.com

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