The Magicians Trilogy By Lev Grossman
So one of my favorite people, Ziggy, gave me a copy of the first book in this series, The Magician. She knows me well. I took it on a trip, read most of it on the plane there and had to immediately pick up the other two books. I love these books.
I have to say, I agree with several reviews though. It’s misleading to think the book is actually about the lead character, Quentin, though it’s told through his voice and perspective. This book is about the women in his life, Julia and Alice, even the ones who play less prominent roles. It’s about their experiences, the way so many women, even powerful women, so often find themselves players in the background of someone else’s story, this story is so much about what it is to achieve agency, independence and power in that world and story.When it comes down to it, they are the brightest colors and the most compelling aspects in the story line for me. The lengths these women will go to, to do what they need is extraordinary, more than anything, they inspired me, they broke my heart.
I’m glad it took Grossman so long to write each book. I’m also grateful that they were complete before I was introduced to them as I don’t think I could have waited to find out what happens. It feels as though he captures the angst of youth filled with privilege and the loss that creates the distillation process of personal growth that achieving some maturity so often requires. Quentin’s process of understanding how to find meaning in a life that ostensibly when offered the endless power of magic in a mundane world could lose all purpose and wonder is valuable on its own. This process juxtaposed against the honest suffering of the women in his world makes this series heart wrenching.
I will say this, these books effected me deeply and I find myself wanting to re-read them. Thank you Ziggy. I miss Fillory.