10 May

How rare that someone actually takes you up on a book recommendation–and how friggin’ awesome when that person likes the book. I recently had that experience with a friend from the U of A, who fb chatted me at 2 am last night to let me know that he loved, loved, loved Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians.” Yes! Conversion complete! Anyway, let’s see if I can keep up the victories. Here’s the review I wrote of the book for my campus paper in the fall, mainly because I’m lazy and that new “reblog” button is so very convenient.

the Scattering

In this bleak and empty wasteland of the post-Harry Potter world we live in, it’s inevitable that any book about twenty-somethings at a school for magic will come under the closest scrutiny. That would be daunting for most fantasy writers, but in “The Magicians,” author Lev Grossman relishes in the prospect.

His characters are us—college students who grew up in the pages of Hogwarts, Middle Earth and other classics of fantasy lit (including a Narnia-like universe called Fillory, complete with talking animals and thinly veiled religious allegories). And naturally, just like us, their expectations of what magic should be like are colored by these books. Quickly, they realize that they (and consequently we too) couldn’t have been more wrong.

Quentin Coldwater is a genius. He, unlike a disturbing number of Hogwarts students, has more than a fifth-grade education in the traditional three R’s—which is all for the good at a…

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