Almost two years ago I read The Magicians by Lev Grossman, because I loved his previous book, The Codex. The Codex was a Dan Brown like historical adventure. The Magicians was something completely different. It is often described as Harry Potter for adults with a nice cross over to Narnia. And it is. Kids graduating from high school go to a secret magic college called Brakebills. But more interesting is, what happens after graduation? What do you do then? And then they figure out Filleroy (Narnia) is real, and they have an adventure. A real one, with pain, horrors and death, and with a bitter-sweet happy ending.
This is the sequel, with small references to the first book, as well as using the same characters. The four remaining characters from The Magicians are the four kings of Filleroy. But weird things are happening, and Quentin is craving an adventure, a quest. And he gets what he wishes for, when he is dumped back on earth.
The story is again dark, with pretty awful things happening to everybody. The mythology of the world (Earth, Neitherland and Filleroy) is worked out further, and more background is given to what Julia had to go through to learn and earn magic. Heartbreaking stuff. Meanwhile, Quentin learns what it means to be a hero.
I loved the first book, and loved this one too. For me it is a wonderful mix of fantasy and a real story (nothing young adult here). Four out of five stars.