The Magicians by Lev Grossman was one of the best books I’ve read in 2009.
Part Harry Potter coming-of-age tale of today’s dissolute youth, part homage to the Narnia styled fantasy adventure; the book was poignant with a hopeful-hopelessness that made it resonate deeply. I had to go on a ‘story fast’ for a couple of days after I put The Magicians down – I wanted the bittersweet taste of the tale to linger in my brain for a bit before washing it off with another one. Good books do that to me.
So while I’m really excited to find out (very late) that there’s going to be a sequel to the story of Quentin Coldwater, (out Fall 2011, according to Grossman’s blog), I’m also apprehensive that it won’t live up to my expectations.
Tina Bennett at Janklow and Nesbit has closed on a sequel to Lev Grossman’s The Magicians (Viking, Aug. 2009). Molly Stern at Viking (who edited The Magicians) bought North American rights to The Magician King. The new book picks up with protagonist Quentin Coldwater five years after the original—at the end of The Magicians Coldwater is 23—when he and his friends have become royalty in the fantasy world of Fillory. Coldwater, who is dealing with the challenges of being a member of the ruling class, embarks on a dark quest in the novel, which Bennett called “Voyage of the Dawn Treader [book 5 in the Chronicles of Narnia] as rewritten by Raymond Chandler.”
The double-edged nature of the story was what made me love it so much. Would Grossman keep that fine balance in the sequel? Can he? Would it work if he didn’t? Do I even want to put myself through another emotionally draining book like the first one?
Still, it’s nice to know that Grossman is making progress. Hopefully that means the book will be out next year and I can judge for myself.