The third, and final, book of the Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman, “The Magician’s Land” is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Released in 2014, and still available only in hardcover, the novel brings the story of Quentin Coldwater to a close. In it Grossman does two things that I haven’t run across very often: he uses genre tropes to write serious literary fiction, and the ending of series is amazingly well written.
When the first book of the trilogy, “The Magicians” came out back in 2009 I was sold a copy of it on the premise of it being “Harry Potter for adults”, but that sold the book (and the series) far short of what it is. The story of Quentin began with him taking an unplanned diversion in life, one moment he was heading to an interview to attend Princeton and the next he was taking an eccentric test to enter a magical college called Brakebills in upstate NY. From there he learns to work magic, discovers that the Narnia’esque fictional world of Fillory is real, he falls in love, has his heart broken, fails, succeeds, and saves the world a few times along the way through the twelve years that the three books spans.