Yes, that's right, folks. There is a Harry Potter-esque trilogy in existence for your reading pleasure. I came across this book a few years ago in a bookstore. I was captivated by the cover art of this book, which lead me to pick it up and check out the synopsis. There was a list of quoted praise from various authors and reviewers on the back. I could not ignore the fact that three of my favorite authors had read it. I have, for you, the ones that stood out to me:
"The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. ...Grossman's sensibilities are thoroughly adult, his narrative dark and dangerous and full of twists. Hogwarts was never like this." -George R. R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones
"Most people will like this book. But there's a certain type of reader who will enjoy it down to the bottoms of their feet." -Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind
"If you like the Harry Potter books...you should also read Lev Grossman's The Magicians series, which is a very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre."
-John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars
I mean I couldn't not read this book after those quotes, especially G.R.R.M's. His comparison was just too great. The timing/ release of the first book in the trilogy was perfect. Why? Because of people like me. Deathly Hallows hit bookstores on 2007. While the last movie of this worldwide series was getting wrapped up, Grossman releases The Magicians in 2009. Like so many others I was searching for something to fill that Harry Potter void with. Again, perfect timing! I fell in love with the wizarding world for the second time, but this time it was juicy.
So, what is it about? Well...
Quentin Coldwater is a high school senior with a secret obsession, Fillory. Fillory is a magical world in a series of books Quentin he has read since his childhood. His world changes when he receives an invitation to an exclusive school. Brakebills is a secret and exclusive school in New York, where one can receive top notch education in the practice of modern sorcery. And so begins our story. I could say more in this synopsis but I don't want to for fear that I might say too much. One needs to explore this world on their own as many have done with Harry Potter.
I enjoyed this trilogy for many reasons but I will highlight a few. Quentin is not your typical "chosen one." In fact, he is what I like to call an antihero. Grossman obviously chose the not so traveled path with this series and that is why I loved it! If you are interested, SyFy has recently made this trilogy into a television show, Monday nights @ 9/8C. Maybe one day I will discover my childhood dreams, of a magical world existing, will come true!