The Magicians. A book trilogy and a series on SyFy

Discussions about Lev Grossmans The Magicians invariably lead to comparisons with the Harry Potter books. Both are urban fantasy series about people who wield awesome magical powers, living in the same world as us and the schools where they were taught to use them. The similarities end there however. Hogwarts is a highschool and Brakebills is a college. While the Potter novels each recount a single year of school, The Magicians covers an entire fours years of college in the first book and the next two are all about growing up and life as an adult. One of the things I enjoyed about J.K. Rowlings books was how the language and themes of the books matured as the readers did. Lev Grossman treats his readers as adults from page one. The themes he explores are deep and complex, mostly about how we view the world and our relationships in it. Where most unpleasant things in the Harry Potter books happen in bloodless, Disney like manners or completely “off camera”, in The Magicians books they are violent, bloody and in your face. So I wouldn’t recommend it to readers still in primary school, but if you’re ready to graduate…

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