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The Grey Matters

I Love Magic


I’ve never written two blogs in one day, but I just finished a book and I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT!!

It’s called The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

{I’m surprised I could even take time to write this, rather then start the second book, The Magician King.}

I am one of those folks who loves Harry Potter. (I always, always, accidentally type “Harry Pottery” and have to delete the y. Why?) I get lost in the world of magic, usually convince myself at least a few times that magic has to be real, right?, and then stumble back into the real world like everyone else. I’ve read the entire HP series about seven times. Which is why I was a little bit skeptical when Greg told me I had to read The Magicians. You see, Greg has never read Harry Potter. Ever! Can you believe it? He says he will.


Greg read both The Magicians and The Magician King within three weeks. That is rare. He said he loved them, Quentin is a star of a main character, and that I really should read it. I didn’t want to. This one actually had a cool cover, so I wasn’t judging a book by its cover (thank goodness.)

magic, the magicians, hey lou, writer

Highly recommended by Lou

Also- doesn’t the tree in my own backyard kind of resemble the one in the cover?

author, short stories, ya novels, fiction, hey lou

I thought so…

I was, however, judging a book based on a different book. I should never do that, either. I pre-judged The Magicians, thinking it couldn’t live up to Harry Potter(y) expectation and I might as well quit while I’m ahead. Ho, ho, ho. This book is NOTHING like Harry Potter.

Yes, they are magicians. They do not call themselves wizards.

Yes, they go to school. But this is college, complete with cuss words, sexual relations, and gruesome deaths/injuries that we didn’t see until the seventh book of HP.

Yes, the main character is a slightly lanky, kind of depressed boy who can’t find happiness. But he isn’t Harry. Not even close. Quentin has a harder time being a hero, doesn’t always manage it, and nothing seems to end well.

If you were a kid who loved The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, you will also have an extra heart for this book. Quentin grew up reading a series of books about little kids who travel through a grandfather clock and wind up in a magical place called Fillery. Well, Fillery has more up its sleeves than staying tucked away in Quentin’s childhood. That’s all I’ll say about that.

There are so many surprises, so many character returns, so many plot twists, that it was hard to keep up with this book. If I hadn’t read it within four days I would have been lost. The 402 pages encompass approximately 6 years of time. The first half is four years of school. At first I thought it was a bit choppy, a bit sterile. I thought I wouldn’t really care about the characters because I didn’t know them very well and who cares if ____ dies?

Turns out I cared… a lot.

This isn’t a book to take lightly. You have to pay attention, realize the subtle ways Lev Grossman has introduced us to characters who we actually know better than we think, and you have to get ready for some real disappointment.

That’s all I’m going to say. Greg says I have a terrible habit of ruining the ending for people. NEVER AGAIN. Just let me know if you read it.


Author: Melinda Haas

Melinda is a writer, blogger, artist and teacher. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.

8 thoughts on “I Love Magic

  1. Thats one awesome tree you have in your backyard.. lol!

  2. I have picked this book up a dozen times and put it back the same number of times. Now I will get it! Thanks.

  3. I really don’t have time for all these amazing book suggestions. So just stop it.
    P.S. Picking up Call the Midwife at the library tomorrow!

  4. I read both of the books in the series last summer, I think! They were great :) So unique. It was around the same time that I read “the Night Circus” by E. Morgenstern (I think Emily or Erin? Can’t remember…). That is also a great, unique, atmospheric, slightly supernatural book I would recommend you check out!

    • Jacquee… wish we lived in the same place so we could 1) see each other at all and 2) be in a book club together! I read the Night Circus about a year ago, too!!! I LOVED IT!!!!! Any other suggestions? We obviously have similar tastes!

  5. I am completely engrossed in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon right now. No magic, unless you count the singing stones that transport Claire backwards in history 200 years. Fascinating books. I am, however, adding The Magicians to my “Books to Read” list right now :-) P.S. Love that tree!

  6. Okay, and I am officially adding the Outlander series to my reading list! Thanks!

  7. Just picked this one up from the library yesterday! Thanks for another book recommendation! And I’ve heard amazing things about the Outlander series. A lot of my friends are obsessed with it. Have you read Games of Thrones by George R.R. Martin?

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