I am a book junkie.
I think we've established this here on my blog.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my dad reading to me before bed, particularly the books: Charlet's Web, The Secret Garden, The Boy Next Door and this big old 365 days of fairy tales book.
By the time I was in grade three I was hooked on the Hobbit and Narnia. Later came the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Heralds of Valdemar.
Today my own personal library (and I think I have to call it library and not just collection) is well over 300 books.
This past week, I crushed another 3 (one of them in the last 24hours).
They are Lev Grossman's
The Magician King
The Magician's Land
They drew me right in, and wouldn't let me go until I finished them.
So why did I start this book review off by telling you about my favourite childhood books? Because if you are going to read these books, you need to have read and loved The Chronicals of Narnia and Harry Potter. Lev Grossman pulls these two worlds together and drops the mal adjusted Quentin Coldwater into them.
Quentin grew up reading the Fillory books (basically a twist on Narnia) and when, midway through his last year of highschool, he is accepted into North America's only magic school, Brakebills; he feels like he has finally found his own Fillory adventure.
However magic isn't the solution to happiness, and when, after 4 years of hard studying Quentin and friends graduate into the real world. They quickly find themselves throwing their lives away into drugs, alcohol and debauchery. Things are getting pretty bleak until they find a way into Fillory, which turns out to be real after all and more importantly, not as happy and wonderful as the children's books made it out to be.
Over the three books, with Quentin at the lead, Grossman explores what it means to find happiness and purpose in life and what people will sacrifice in the pursuit of it. This is Harry Potter and Narnia's dark and twisty and grimy older sibling. And if you've ever found yourself wishing you could escape your life and run off on a magical adventure, these books are for you.