The Magician King, Lev Grossman

I just finished reading Lev Grossman’s sequel to The Magicians – The Magician King (yes, another Scalzi rec – I’m sure I’ll get through them all soon, as long as he stops posting books I’m dying to read over at – and I am sad. No way around it. This book was only released in August, so even if he does to do a third, it will be years away. It wasn’t that he left this one hanging, per se…or well, no, he did. Let’s just go right out and say it. There I was, sobbing over my keyboard (yes I was reading it on the Kindle app on my computer – romantic, I know), in the middle of a really solid cathartic moment, when all of a sudden, poof. Done. Over.

It was like the door to absolute heartbreak (not the romantic type, but you know, the soul-rending kind) creaked open and hung there, and all of a sudden a gust of wind came by and slammed that thing shut. Abruptly. Right in my face. Just like it did for Quentin. And no, Grossman, I am not enjoying any ironic parallels at the moment (I might later, but right now – not so much).

“This isn’t how it ends!” Quentin said. “I am the hero of this goddamned story, Ember! Remember? And the hero gets the reward!”

“No, Quentin,” the ram said. “The hero pays the price.” (pg 396)

I absolutely do not want to think about how the emotional rug got pulled out from under me in precisely the same way it was for Grossman’s severely abused, at times completely idiotic, but somehow lovable Q. It’s literally making my brain stretch and curse at the inside of my head trying to make room for more story that does not yet exist. That may never exist.

Probably what salts the wound is that I don’t know anyone else who has read these books, who understands this particular frustration, with these particular imperfect and many times over detestable characters. And so, like Quentin, I came up from the icy waters…

He was alone. The stone square was silent. He felt dizzy, and not just because he’d hit his head. It was all crashing in on him now. He’d thought he’d known what his future looked like, but he’d been mistaken. His life would be something else now. He was starting over, only he didn’t think he had the strength to start over. He didn’t know if he could stand up. (p 399)

Bah humbug.

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3 thoughts on “The Magician King, Lev Grossman

  1. Maria, I just finished these two books last month too! They were such good reads, and I had exactly the same reaction at the end of the second book. Although, I have to say, when I finished the book, I almost didn’t want to read the second one because he had gone and killed my favorite character. Fortunately, he came back with another fantastic read, and I am back to working my way through the Game of Thrones series until the third book is released.

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