Recommended Book of the Week: The Magicians

Lev Grossman and The Magicians. It sounds like a wizard rock group, but it’s not. It’s the author and title of a fantastical book that takes every one of you Harry Potter and Narnia fans’ dreams of being able to live inside your favorite book and turns that dream askew. Magic is real in The Magicians, and it is hard. If you get accepted into Brakebills Academy for Magic, like the quiet but brilliant Quentin Coldwater does, you can expect years of grueling work ahead of you.

All next week, Lev Grossman will be our special guest on Figment Daily Themes, sending five writing prompts right to your email inbox. Click here to sign up, ’cause you’re not gonna wanna miss ’em!

Without further ado, let’s see how The Magicians scores on Figment’s patented Scale of Awesome . . .

+478 points for making magic difficult.
No matter how much Hermione flaunted her fancy “winGARdium leviOHsa,” we just weren’t buying it. Hogwarts seemed like a cakewalk. At Brakebills, there are late nights studying. There are inanely repetitive practices. There are minute differences that can have catastrophic results and magic is HARD.

-167 points for making the entrance age 18.
When we didn’t get our acceptance to Hogwarts at 11 years old, we were barely old enough to register the massive slight. But Brakebills is a college. THERE’S STILL HOPE. High school students? Cross your fingers. College students? We’re sure Brakebills takes transfers. But curse you, Lev Grossman, if you’ve raised our hopes in vain.

+388 for growing up.
This book spans years in the lives of a group of young wizards. They grow and change. Ambition lapses into malaise. Contentment lapses into annoyance. Love lapses into hate. And the span of this novel is interesting. In and out of college in ONE BOOK? Unheard of. We dig it.

-289 for getting people getting turned into animals.
It was . . . it was just . . . things happened, man. Things we can’t unthink. We’ll never be able to look at two animals playing in the snow the same way again.

+500 for honoring childhood obsessions.
The Magicians makes you wonder if your unwavering dedication to Superman, or Zelda, or, say, Justin Bieber,  has made you who you are today, and if that’s such a good thing.

Lev Grossman, photo credit Mathieu Bourgois

Which brings The Magicians to a grand total of 910 points! But because Lev is contributing five Daily Themes, we’re gonna sprinkle some awesome author bonus points on this macaroni sculpture for a new total of 1,001 points! Make sure to sign-up for Daily Themes here.

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